I was going to write a lot more about Tony Blackburn and Cliff Richard, but thankfully I decided not to bother. My theme was going to be the way that both of them have managed to be deeply unfashionable and yet very successful over the last 40 years or so. Craig Brown in the Daily Telegraph (registration required) has done a much better job, and has also unearthed the intriguing fact that the radio station that suspended Tony Blackburn is 80% owned by Noel Edmonds, another naff disc jockey (though better known as a naff TV presenter).
Cliff and Tony; Tony and Cliff. For nearly 50 years, the relationship between Tony Blackburn and Sir Cliff Richard has been that of fan to idol. Tony Blackburn was born in Guildford at 2am on January 29, 1943, making him three years Sir Cliff's junior.
Ever since, the two men have enjoyed strangely parallel careers, Cliff as a singer, Tony as a DJ. Neither was ever truly fashionable for more than a handful of years, Cliff between Move It in 1958 and The Young Ones in 1962, Tony between his stint on Radio Caroline in 1964 and becoming the first voice on Radio One in 1967. At that time, as "the most famous radio personality in the country", he was able to make a triumphant return to his public school, Millfield, with "accessories to match - an E-type Jag and a gorgeous bunny girl in the shortest mini-skirt ever invented".
But their fashionability was to prove short-lived. By the end of the 1960s, the two men were already by-words in naff.