the Radio 2 presenters respected by R2OK !

R2OK ! is currently assembling a Radio 2 Hall of Fame page, but members are invited to submit their own researched biographies of current radio presenters, and depending on the size of the article, to appear on this page or on a dedicated presenter page.

Ed Stewart

a special tribute to Ed Stewart, who last broadcast on Radio in April 2005, can be seen at the Stewpot page

Brian Matthew

a young Brian MatthewsBorn in Coventry in 1928, Brian's first experience in radio was working for the British Forces Network in Hamburg in 1948 but his love of acting drive him to enrol with RADA in 1949 and he was on stage with the Old Vic Company. Radio beckoned again, however, and in 1952 Brian joined Radio Nederland Wereldomroep, the overseas service of Dutch Radio, producing, doing outside broadcasting and scriptwriting. At the BBC Brian was one of the driving forces that put pop music onto the pre-R2 Light Programme. He started "Saturday Skiffle Club" with Jimmy Grant in 1957 (it eventually dropped the word "Skiffle"), and in 1959 not only produced but also compered a new Sunday morning show called "Easy Beat".

Brian Matthews Brian even went on to make pop records, "Goodness Gracious Me" with Maureen Evans and "What's It All About" with Peter Murray. When the Light programme became radio 2 Brian became one of its first DJs, still hosting Saturday Club, and also Thank Your Lucky Stars and Late Night Extra, but he is probably best known for presenting the long-running Round Midnight programme which won the 1987 Pulitzer Publishing Award.

Brian Matthew has presented Sounds of the Sixties since April 1990. The show won a Gold Sony Radio Award in 1996 and in the same year Brian received a Broadcasting Press Guild Award for Outstanding Contribution to Radio. John Wright, 22 August 2005

Sheridan Morley

Author, journalist and broadcaster Sheridan Morley, who died 16 Feb 2007, presented Melodies For You during 2003 - 2006, having previously presented the Radio 2 Arts Programme for 14 years. His last Melodies For You was broadcast 17 Dec 2006 and his departure was sudden, possibly due to illness and/or depression which he had suffered from.

During the mid-60s Sheridan was a newscaster, reporter and scriptwriter for Independent Television News, then joined the BBC in 1967 to present the television show Late Night Line-Up on BBC 2, until 1975. He was also a regular presenter of Kaleidoscope on BBC Radio 4 and on Meridian for BBC World Service radio, and continued to present shows on BBC television. In 1989 Sheridan was the BP Arts Journalist Of The Year.

Sheridan MorleyOther contributions to BBC broadcasting include Deputy Features Editor and Arts Diarist. Sheridan also worked for Punch magazine as its Arts Editor and Drama Critic and for The Times newspaper as TV critic. He wrote for other newspapers including The Sunday Telegraph, The London Evening Standard and Playbill (New York) and he was at some time the London drama critic for the International Herald Tribune and for The Spectator. Sheridan's own publications included: A Talent To Amuse - The Life Of Noel Coward, The Stephen Sondheim Songbook, The Noel Coward Diaries, The Theatregoers Quiz Book and his autobiography Asking for Trouble (2003). John Wright, 23 August 2005

Richard Baker

Richard BakerRichard Baker began broadcasting for the BBC in 1950. He introduced the Last Night of the Proms for 32 years and has often compered the New Year Concert from Vienna.

Richard read BBC television news for 28 years, hosted Start The Week on BBC Radio 4 for 17 years and has often commentated on the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall.

Richard presented Melodies For You for on BBC Radio 2 for several years and became the presenter of Radio 2's Your Hundred Best Tunes in 2003 following the death of Alan Keith.

The final Your Hundred Best Tunes was broadcast on 21 January 2007. Richard has also presented regular weekly programmes on BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4, the latter including These You Have Loved and Baker's Dozen. Richard is also well known for his appearances on BBC 2's Face The Music.

Richard Baker received the Newscaster of the Year award on three occasions, and in 1984 was the Variety Club's Radio Personality of the Year. In 1979, he was awarded the OBE for services to broadcasting.

Elaine Paige

Official Elaine Paige website

Fans' website

Russell Davies

Born in North Wales, Russell Davies graduated with a first class degree at Cambridge then toured with the Cambridge Footlights revue. He was a TV comedy actor for two years before turning his hand to journalism, and ever since his career has combined writing and broadcasting. A jazz player himself, his love of the genre is very apparent from his radio and TV work. For TV he has produced several documentaries on jazz including a film about Artie Shaw for BBC 4 in 2003. Russell writes and presents several radio programmes including his own Sunday afternoon show on BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 4's series Word Of Mouth (winner of the 1996 European Radio, ONDAS prize). On BBC Radio 2 he presented a series on the songwriters Rodgers and Hart, and 'Legends of Light Music' and has produced numerous programmes on radio comedy, literature and jazz music.

Russell DaviesRussell has also been film critic of The Observer, TV critic for both The Observer and The Sunday Times, caricaturist for the Times newspaper's Literary Supplement, deputy editor of Punch magazine, features writer for the Telegraph Magazine and sports columnist for the Sunday Telegraph.

His Sunday afternoon prime-time show is very popular with a broad audience who expect a varied show featuring artistes as varied as Duke Ellington, Cleo Laine, Bessie Smith, Dorsey Brothers, Nat King Cole, Al Bowlly, Charlie Parker, Hildegarde, Adelaide Hall, Mills Brothers, Fred Astaire, Benny Goodman, Paul Whiteman, Victor Borge, Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra and film soundtracks. John Wright, 23 August 2005

contributions invited from R2OK ! members and visitors


this page first published 20 August 2005
last updated 17 February 2008

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