Veteran radio and television personality David Jacobs has died aged 87. His death today follows his retirement from Radio 2 less than a month ago.
Jacobs was born in London and joined the Royal Navy after leaving school. He first ventured into broadcasting when he joined the corporation’s forces programme in 1944. He later became an announcer with the British Forces Broadcasting Service. He returned to the BBC in the 1950s as a continuity announcer before moving into presenting on programmes such as Juke Box Jury, Eurovision Song Contest, Top Of The Pops, The Wednesday Show with David Jacobs and Song for Europe. He also spent a time at the beeb as a newsreader.
In the 70s and 80s he hosted a number of television series for both the BBC and ITV as well as several radio programmes ranging from Any Questions? to Melodies for You. In recent times he popped up as a guest on programmes including Channel 4’s Countdown.
Since 1998 he hosted The David Jacobs Collection for BBC Radio 2, the show came to a close on August 4th this year. Speaking of his retirement in July he said:
Over the past two years Radio 2 has given me time to be treated for liver cancer and Parkinson’s Disease. My Producer, Alan Boyd, has been a tower of strength in so many ways and I thank him profusely. We shared a love of so many records and wonderful music. I will not stop collecting but my sadness will be that I cannot share them with all my loyal listeners. But rest assured, I will be back from time to time.
In a long and illustrious broadcasting career, he has been the recipient of numerous awards and accolades including the rare honour of being admitted to Radio Academy Hall of Fame in 2005. And in 1996 David was honoured with a CBE. David was voted Britain’s Top Disc Jockey for six years, both for the BBC and Radio Luxembourg. He was the Variety Club of Great Britain TV Personality of the Year in 1960 and BBC Radio Personality of the Year in 1975.
In 1984, he received the Sony Gold Award for his outstanding contribution to radio over the years and was subsequently admitted to the Sony Hall of Fame. He has also received the Richard Martin Award for exceptional service in the cause of animal welfare and is well known for his devotion to charitable causes.
In 1975, Jacobs survived a car accident in Spain in which his second wife, Caroline was killed.
BBC Radio 2 tonight noted that they were ‘sad’ about the news, but said that they would be celebrating the work of the broadcaster with a ‘number of tribute programmes’ in due course. Jacobs died ‘surrounded by his family’ the network added.
Below is a tribute to David uploaded this evening to You Tube:
David Jacobs 1926 – 2013