Final Billy Butler programme on BBC Radio Merseyside - 2018
Billy Butler served Merseyside for 47 years on Radio City, its AM offshoots and then back to BBC Radio Merseyside. At the age of 76, the BBC chose not to renew his contract. Having hosted Thursdays and Fridays, his final programme was broadcast on 28th December 2018.
As is to be expected, in the case of a man who’s served such a characterful city for so many decades, played at the Cavern and rubbed shoulders with the Beatles, his regular listeners were not best pleased, as reflected on social media and on local press. His ‘Hold your Plums’ has a place in broadcasting history.
Aziz Rashid, head of the BBC in the North West, said: "Billy Butler has been in radio for almost half a century and most of that on BBC Radio Merseyside.
"Few people attain the status of legend in their own lifetime. Billy Butler MBE (Mrs Butler’s Eldest) can certainly claim that honour. As well as an outstanding contribution award from the BBC in 2010, just this year he was enrolled as a Citizen of Honour of Liverpool; the highest accolade the city can bestow.
"Billy has brightened our listeners’ day; been a huge influence on local musicians; and impressed and flummoxed many a celebrity guest with his legendary forensic research – often knowing more about them than they do. And he is of course the man behind the iconic Hold Your Plums.
"We hope Billy will be working with us on some one-off projects in the future. A beloved broadcaster and a generous colleague, we thank him for the incredible contribution he has made not just to broadcasting but also to life on Merseyside."
Hear Billy’s story in his own words in this hour of Conversations.