Tony Blackburn lifts lid on quiet life away from fame wife warned him ‘not to reveal’

Tony Blackburn has opened up about the quiet place he visits with his wife Debbie to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life in an exclusive interview with The BBC Radio 2 DJ has revealed he and Debbie now like to spend their downtime in their peaceful Devon holiday home.

Tony, 81, spoke about cutting back on the number of shows he’s been doing lately in order to take more time out to relax. It comes after the I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! winner spent two months in hospital last year with sepsis, pneumonia and blood poisoning, forcing him to pull out of his tour at the time.

Luckily, Tony is now feeling much better and continues to bring joy to his radio 2 listeners each week, as well as audiences at his iconic Sounds of the 60s tour. In a wider chat about keeping his home gas-safe with Gas Safe Register, the star spoke about things getting “too much”.

He explained: “I wanted to cut it down a little bit because all the travelling was quite, you know, we’re going from one place to another and things like that… Whereas now, I want a little bit more time to relax.”

Tony then went on to reveal that one of his favourite places to go is his holiday home on the coast. He said: “Some of the time, I live down in Devon.

“We’ve got a little flat there and I like to get down there and be by the sea. I’m in a little village there and it’s just fabulous.

“I love having a little bit more time off with my wife and we go to Devon and walk along the seafront.”

The BBC star then went on to admit his wife Debbie, whom he married in 1992, wasn’t to keen on him announcing their presence.

He continued: “With everybody there, I remember when we moved my wife said, ‘Don’t tell anybody we live here now.’

“And everybody of course knew, which is fine,” Tony added with a chuckle. “They’re a lovely, lovely crowd.

“It’s a different ballgame down there. It’s more relaxed and very friendly. I love it, you know, it’s great fun.

He added: “It’s just a different vibe really. I wanted to just change my life a little bit and spend a little bit more time with my wife.

“She comes with me to the shows anyway and quite often drives me, which is nice. But I just wanted to cut back a little bit.”

Despite cutting back his time on local radio, the star clarified he will be carrying on his work at Radio 2 for the foreseeable future.

Tony also spoke about the importance of grandparents getting clued up on gas safety, as nine in ten (86%) UK grandparents provide some form of childcare for their grandchildren during the week, according to research from Gas Safe Register.

The research goes on to reveal that, despite nearly half (46%) of grandparents claiming to be more clued up on home safety measures than their adult children, only 16% were able to correctly identify all the seven crucial warning signs that indicate gas appliances in the home could be faulty or unsafe.

Radio veteran Tony Blackburn OBE has teamed up with Gas Safe Register to help the nation’s grandparents (and entire families) get clued up on how to be gas-safe in the home this winter.

To find a local Gas Safe registered engineer in your area, and for further gas safety tips this winter and beyond, visit or call 0800 408 5500.


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