BBC Radio 2's Tony Blackburn, 80, contracted sepsis after pneumonia diagnosis

Tony Blackburn contracted sepsis after a battle with pneumonia.

The BBC Radio 2 star, 80, was hospitalised with pneumonia earlier this year after first announcing he had a chest infection.

He was forced to cancel his Sound of the 60s Tour and Radio 2 show as he battled the potentially life-threatening condition.

Now it has been revealed that the radio star contracted sepsis as he fought off the infection, spending two months in total in hospital.

Sepsis is a serious, life-threatening complication of an existing infection, and can be similar to pneumonia in symptoms in that it can lead to difficulty breathing.

It can also lead to confusion and slurred speech.

He revealed he did not realise how serious his condition was until his family gathered by his bedside in hospital.

Tony told BBC Scotland: ‘ I ended up in hospital for two months with sepsis and pneumonia and blood poisoning.

‘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”.’

Tony has now thankfully recovered from the brutal illnesses, and admits he may have over-exerted himself with his tour, music and chat show.

He has now returned to his tour but is limiting himself to just one show a week, and is back on BBC Radio 2 after Johnnie Walker temporarily filled in for him.

Tony was released from hospital in May but said at the time that he would require further care, including regular injections.

Thanking the medical staff for looking after him, he said he ‘looked forward to getting back’ to his radio show and ‘doing what I love doing.’

Tony – who uttered the first words of Radio 1 upon its launch in 1967 – has appeared on numerous stations across his career, including famous pirate station Radio Caroline and Smooth Radio.

In November 2010 he took over the reins of Radio 2’s Pick Of The Pops programme following on from its two previous long-serving hosts, Alan Freeman and Dale Winton.

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