1. ITV Report

Tony Blackburn says he was 'given the chance to resign' before BBC sacking

Tony Blackburn says he was given chance to resign before sacking Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA

Veteran DJ Tony Blackburn has revealed he was "given the chance to resign" by BBC bosses before the corporation sacked him.

Speaking in his first interview since he was fired, Blackburn told Radio 4's Broadcasting House programme - aired on Five Live - he was given the axe after he refused to step down.

He said: "They gave me the chance to resign saying that way you don't actually cut off all ties with the BBC and we could probably bring you back in a few months - I don't think people knew that. But I said no I wouldn't do that because I've got nothing to hide."

I said well why do I want to resign?

– Tony Blackburn

Blackburn, who was the first ever voice to be broadcast on Radio 1, has claimed he was fired because the BBC said his evidence to the Jimmy Savile inquiry "fell short" of the standards demanded.

In evidence, Blackburn denied ever being made aware by the BBC of a complaint made against him by a teenager in 1971 regarding a later withdrawn allegation that he "seduced" a 15-year-old after a Top Of The Pops recording - an allegation he denies.

Stating that the whole thing "baffled him" Blackburn said he blamed the management from 1971, not the one now, and claimed he should have been investigated at the time.

He said : "I told the truth now if that isn't up to the BBC's standards I don't know what he means by that."

Radio 4's Broadcasting House programme airs on Sunday at 9am on Sunday.

More on this story