LBC stalwart Steve Allen, one of Britain’s longest-serving broadcasters, announced today that he is leaving the station immediately after 44 years.
Allen, 68, known for his monologues and dry humor on the news of the day, hosted the early breakfast show between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m. but didn’t say goodbye to live listeners.
On Twitter he revealed his departure from LBC, which he joined in 1979, in an announcement 18 months after a fight when he described Tilly Ramsay as a “chubby little thing” while at Strictly.
Allen has not revealed whether he will retire, but a source said he may be looking for a weekend slot at a rival talk station.
The source said: “Steve left immediately, but it may be that he and LBC mutually agreed not to renew his contract and the station didn’t want to risk him having too long an on-air rant or au revoir for his fans.” .
44-year-old LBC presenter Steve Allen leaves the station
Tilly Ramsay at Strictly Come Dancing 2021 where Mr. Allen called her ‘chubby’
His departure comes as a shock to fans, many of whom have been hearing about it for decades.
Taking to Twitter, the 68-year-old said: “Some news from me, first of all thanks for all your questions.” My contract with LBC ends shortly and after discussions I am retiring from LBC today.
“I would like to thank you all for listening over the past 44 years, it has been an honor and a privilege.”
Minutes later, the broadcaster, which has signed a number of former BBC stars including Andrew Marr, said: “Steve Allen’s contract with LBC ends shortly and following discussions with him, Steve is retiring from LBC today.”
“We thank him for his enormous contribution to commercial radio over the past 44 years, making him one of the UK’s longest-serving radio broadcasters.”
In October 2021, Allen drew hundreds of complaints after describing Strictly Come Dancing contestant Tilly Ramsay live as a “chubby little thing”.
He faced widespread criticism after saying he was “bored” with the 21-year-old’s performances on the BBC’s flagship dance show and also referred to her famous father, chef Gordon Ramsay, when he said her appearance physics probably had to do with “its daddy’s kitchen”.
At the time, he issued a private apology to the television presenter.
It was later claimed that his colleagues were calling for him to be fired.
A source said at the time: “Steve’s outdated and archaic comments have been allowed to go on for far too long and a lot of people want him out.”
They added: “Many people think it is time for him to be given his marching orders because this is not the first time he has made unacceptable comments on the air and he has not been reprimanded.”
He should at least apologize, but people want him gone.
Tilly Ramsay took to Instagram to share a lengthy statement expressing her pain and shock that Allen criticized her appearance.
Chef, social media influencer, and TV host, Tilly has over 9.5 million followers on TikTok, where she regularly posts hilarious videos of herself and her dad Gordon.
In a post, Tilly, 19, revealed that she was “learning to accept” herself, but was still “hurt” by Allen’s comments.
She said: ‘I try not to read and listen to comments and negativity, however recently a 67-year-old man came to my attention on a national radio station and it’s a step too far.
‘Steve, feel free to express your opinions, however, I am merely commenting on my appearance. It’s a shame someone tries to turn such a positive experience into a negative one.
She continued: “This is not the first and definitely will not be” the last comment about my appearance and I accept it and am learning to accept myself.
But remember that words can hurt. And at the end of the day, I’m only 19 years old and so grateful for all the amazing opportunities I’ve been able to participate in.
And I understand that being in the public eye obviously has its own repercussions and I’ve been aware of this from a young age.
“However, I will not tolerate people who think it’s okay to publicly comment and examine someone’s weight and appearance.” I love Tilly xx’
She captioned the post ‘#bekind’.
Allen joined LBC, which originally stood for London Broadcasting Company but now stands for Leading Britain’s Conversation, in 1979 as presenter of the Night Extra Program before moving on to presenting The Night Is Young.
During his career, he presented the afternoon show for London Talkback Radio and Saturday Night Out, but is best known for presenting the early breakfast show from 4am to 7am, where he would discuss stories from the day’s newspapers.