Annie Nightingale once revealed that she was the first person to interview Paul McCartney after John Lennon‘s death.
Nightingale’s death was announced yesterday (January 12) in a statement by her family. She was aged 83.
The BBC Radio 1 stalwart championed many generations of musicians and was good friends with The Beatles.
In a resurfaced interview on The Beatles podcast I Am The Eggpod from 2018, Nightingale shared that she was working on the music TV show The Old Grey Whistle Test when Lennon was shot and killed in 1980.
She went on to say the show lined up a special programme that night to pay tribute to the singer and McCartney surprised her by phoning in during show.
“It was frantic because we were trying to find people who would come in and talk about John and they just wouldn’t,” she said. “People were too upset, most people were too upset to talk about him.”
During the show, Nightingale said they were trying “to reflect how people were feeling but at the same time be professional, be a broadcaster, be professional and don’t get emotional about it on air, wait until later”. Then in the middle of the programme a producer appeared in the studio and told Nightingale that someone was on the phone for her.
“He said, ‘Paul’s on the phone and he wants to speak to you.’ I had no idea who he meant. I thought, ‘Why is he telling me about somebody on the phone in the middle of this really difficult programme?’… I said, ‘Paul who?’” she said.
Nightingale went on: “He wanted to say thank you on behalf of Linda (his late wife Linda McCartney) and himself and Yoko (Ono) and George (Harrison) and Ringo (Starr).”
The British DJ and television presenter passed away at her home in London on Thursday (January 11) “after a short illness”, a statement from her family.
“Annie was a pioneer, trailblazer and an inspiration to many. Her impulse to share that enthusiasm with audiences remained undimmed after six decades of broadcasting on BBC TV and radio globally,” the message read.
“Never underestimate the role model she became. Breaking down doors by refusing to bow down to sexual prejudice and male fear gave encouragement to generations of young women who, like Annie, only wanted to tell you about an amazing tune they had just heard.”
Nightingale was BBC Radio 1’s longest-serving host, having joined the station back in 1970. From then, she remained the only female DJ on the schedule for a 12-year period. Nightingale presented her final Annie Nightingale Presents… show last month.
Following news of her death, Nightingale’s final shows for BBC Radio 1 re-emerged.
Fans also shared a brilliant anecdote involving the broadcasting legend and The Clash’s Joe Strummer.
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