Sir Cliff sings praise for DJ Blackburn

Last updated at 16:37 24 June 2004

Sir Cliff Richard said today he would buy Tony Blackburn flowers and a bottle of champagne for attempting to revive the veteran crooner's music career.

DJ Blackburn was suspended from Classic Gold after he ripped up an email warning him to steer clear of Cliff's golden oldies and played two tracks back to back.

He was immediately asked to leave the station but was reinstated today and returns on air tomorrow.

Speaking from Wimbledon, Sir Cliff said: "I'm thrilled really. I had given up being worried about it three or four years ago "I tried to talk my way on to playlists but it didn't work and I didn't understand why - I had done nothing wrong to be banned in this way.

"Now Tony had taken up the cudgel, I thought, great."

Sir Cliff said Blackburn's protest had received a "terrific response" from the public who wanted to listen to "good old fashioned rock and roll".

The singer said he was delighted that Blackburn had been reinstated adding: "I wouldn't want to have that on my conscience.

"Golden stations are playing ancient music anyway so they may as well play me - I am ancient."

Thanking the former I'm a Celebrity winner, Sir Cliff, who was dressed in a multicoloured jacket, said he would buy him a bottle of champagne and some flowers.

"He was always a good DJ anyway and it fascinates me that he decided to take up my case," he added.

Sir Cliff is about to release a new album and he said all the publicity for him was wonderful.

"I spoke to the radio station this morning and they said 'we think it is a publicity stunt and you are just a pawn' and I said 'fabulous'."

He plans to release an album - working title Outta Towner - which he recorded in Nashville.

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