Forever Young: The Autobiography

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9780340734377: Forever Young: The Autobiography

With a record five-and-a-half-million listeners and 30 years as BBC Radio 2's top presenter, Sir Jimmy Young left the BBC at Christmas 2002. It was a controversial departure behind which lies a story he is only now prepared to reveal. In an extraordinary career which first brought him fame - and two consecutive hits - as a singer in the 1950s, Jimmy Young turned to radio when the hits began to dry up. His programme was soon to break the mould of other DJs with a mix of music, recipes and topical items. Always innovative, his was the first BBC show to broadcast from Moscow during the Cold War. Other broadcasts from around the world followed. Eventually the depth and breadth of his popularity would gain exclusives from many of the leading politicians of his day - from Margaret Thatcher to Tony Blair. When his departure from Radio 2 was threatened, MPs mounted a campaign to keep him. Despite his high profile, he has always remained a very private person, seldom giving interviews. This autobiography tells his story.

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About the Author:

Born in Gloucestershire, Jimmy Young spent 7 years in the RAF before turning to broadcasting in 1949. In the 1950s he was also a successful pop singer, and had many hit records including 3 No. 1s - 'Too Young', 'Unchained Melody' and 'The Man From Laramie'. Jimmy presented many BBC Radio programmes before joining Radio 1 in October 1967. The following year the Variety Club of Great Britain named him Radio Personality of the Year. In 1973 he joined Radio 2 to present his daily afternoon programme, affectionately known to its millions of listeners as 'the JY Prog'. In January 2002 Jimmy was knighted in the New Year Honours list. At the end of 2002 he announced his departure from Radio 2.

Review:

Judging by the amount of publicity JY's departure from Radio 2 received - not to mention his programme's 5.5 million listeners - there is a huge, ready-made audience for this autobiography of one of the nation's light entertainment institutions. Whatever one's personal views of the broadcaster, Young's story is an extraordinary one. It is easy to forget that he had three number one hits before reinventing himself as a radio show host and could easily have become the next Perry Como or Andy Williams. Yet just a few years later, his was the first BBC radio show to broadcast from Moscow during the Cold War. Naturally, the title is subject to a serialisation embargo - but expect some juicy stories about the many Prime Ministers who have sat opposite him in the studio.

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Jimmy Young
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