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BBC Radio 2’s Tony Blackburn reveals he had sepsis and pneumonia in health update

Tony Blackburn took a break from his BBC Radio 2 show back in April  (PA)
Tony Blackburn took a break from his BBC Radio 2 show back in April (PA)

Tony Blackburn has revealed that he had life threatening sepsis and pneumonia after coming out of a two-month stay in hospital.

The veteran BBC Radio DJ had pulled out of his Sound Of the 60s UK Tour and accompanying radio show earlier this year after he was taken ill.

At the time, Blackburn told his listeners he had a chest infection. Now that Blackburn has fully recovered and has been discharged from hospital, the DJ has revealed that he was actually suffering from sepsis, pneumonia and blood poisoning.

“I was doing three a week at one time forgetting that I’m now a little bit older, so I ended up in hospital for two months with sepsis and pneumonia and blood poisoning,” he said on BBC Radio Scotland’s Afternoon Show on Wednesday (23 August).

“And I didn’t realise how unwell I was until one day in the hospital my whole family were gathered around the bed. And I thought ‘this isn’t good’.”

“A couple of weeks ago I went to see my specialist and he said ‘you are cured’, so that was a nice thing to hear.”

After a three-month break, Blackburn has returned to his tour but will be doing one show per week rather than three per week.

He said: “I haven’t been doing the [tour] show for about three months because I was told to rest a little bit. Now I’m back in form and we’re selling out.”

Tony Blackburn pictured in 2022 (PA)
Tony Blackburn pictured in 2022 (PA)

“I love being with the band and it’s just loads of fun.”

Blackburn returned to BBC Radio 2 after Johnnie Walker covered his Sounds of the 60s radio show during his illness and has since launched a new show on Sunday afternoons – Tony Blackburn’s Soul on Sunday on BBC Radio London.

Back in May, Blackburn announced that he had been discharged from hospital and was looking forward to broadcasting again.

“After three weeks in hospital I have just been discharged and am now at home to have some more treatment by having a daily injection for a few days from a hospital near me,” he said.

“Thanks to everyone at the Wellington Hospital in London, doctors and nurses for looking after me.

“After my treatment and a rest I look forward to getting back @BBCRadio2 and @BBCLOCALRADIO to doing what I love doing. Just want to thank all my friends for your lovely messages, you are all so kind to think about me xx,” he concluded.

According to the NHS, sepsis is a life-threatening reaction to an infection when your immune system overreacts to an infection and starts to damage your body’s own tissues and organs.

There are lots of symptoms of sepsis, and those symptoms can be similar to other conditions, including the flu or a chest infection.