A veteran broadcaster and DJ who lives in Barnet has received a royal award for extraordinary contributions to the country.

Tony Blackburn, a veteran broadcaster and DJ who lives in Barnet, was made an OBE in the New Years Honours after more than six decades on the BBC and other radio stations.

An OBE, which stands for order of the British Empire, is awarded by King Charles and Mr Blackburn received his for services to broadcasting and charity.

Mr Blackburn, 80, in a statement to PA, said:  “Receiving this honour is truly unexpected and very humbling.

“When I first replied to a New Musical Express advert looking for DJs, back in 1964, I never imagined that nearly 60 years later, I would still be doing something I love so much.

“To still be in a radio studio a few times a week, being welcomed in to so many listeners’ homes, sharing mine and their memories, and playing the music I love is simply wonderful.

“To be recognised for my work in broadcasting in this way is testament to all those I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the years, on both the BBC and in commercial radio.

“It really is the best job and to receive this award is the icing on a very lovely cake,” he added.

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Mr Blackburn, born in Guildford, rose to fame as a DJ on pirate radio broadcaster Radio Caroline South in 1964.

He then joined Radio London where he introduced the first soul music programme in the UK.

The Barnet resident was the first voice on BBC Radio 1 when the station started airing on September 30 in 1967 with his breakfast show.

In 1967 he also began to regularly present BBC TV show Top of the Pops.

Mr Blackburn hosted his breakfast show until 1974 when he took over the morning show and stayed with BBC Radio 1 until 1984.

He also spent time at BBC London where he is credited with commercialising soul music.

The DJ joined Capital Radio in 1988 to launch Gold Station where he presented soul shows until 2002.

Additional reporting by PA.