Veteran British broadcaster Jimmy Young dies aged 95

His wife Alicia was by his side when he passed away on Monday afternoon

Veteran British broadcaster Jimmy Young dies aged 95

File photo dated 09/12/2002 of Jimmy Young. Picture by Johnny Green PA Wire/PA Images

The veteran British broadcaster Jimmy Young has died "peacefully at home", aged 95.

A spokesman for the former BBC Radio 2 DJ said his wife Alicia was by his side when he passed away on Monday afternoon.

In a radio broadcasting career spanning almost 30 years, Young became known as the "housewives' choice" and counted prime ministers and the Queen among his many millions of listeners.

The "funny, charming and kind" presenter interviewed every prime minister since Harold Macmillan (who ended his term in 1963), with Margaret Thatcher a guest no fewer than 14 times.

He was also known as much for his singing talents as for his radio broadcasting, making it to the top of the charts in 1954 with The Man From Laramie, and again in 1955 with Unchained Melody.

He was born Leslie Ronald Young in 1921, the only child of a miner in Cinderford, Gloucestershire.

His love of music came from his mother who taught him to play the piano at the age of seven, and he went on to become a choirboy before winning a scholarship.

But his parents could not afford for him to continue his education and he left school to become a baker's boy. 

He spent time working as a clerk for the UK's education minister and managed a hair salon, but had already set his heart on a career in broadcasting and entertainment.

After singing and playing piano on the club circuit he landed a record deal in 1949 after being spotted by a producer before going on to help launch BBC Radio 1 in 1967.

Among the honours he received during his six-decade career, he was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1979 and a knighthood in 2002.