Tony Butler


Tony Butler (given birth to 15 Might 1935) is a retired Birmingham based UK sports activities broadcaster and was among the initial stars of neighborhood radio in Britain, known for a unique local highlight and sometimes controversial design. In 2007, he was honoured with the Sony Radio Academy with an eternity Accomplishment Award.

Early career

Tony Butler was created in Wolverhampton on 15 Might 1935. He started his journalistic profession in local documents in Birmingham before you begin to donate to BBC nationwide and local radio in the 1960s. His solid regional accent triggered problems on the staid BBC and he afterwards recalled how he was inspired to soften his organic highlight. At one stage the BBC also supplied elocution lessons.


In 1974, he was hired to be the 1st sports editor at Birmingham's brand-new independent (i.e. non-BBC) radio place BRMB, among a small number of industrial stations to start in those days. With BRMB trying to offer different things from the set up BBC r / c, Butler was prompted to act normally in the atmosphere, emphasising instead of hiding his highlight.After being sent on the tour of r / c in Canada and the united states, Butler noticed the success of the forthright UNITED STATES broadcasters and, back the united kingdom, he begun to create a similar aggressive manner around the air, offering controversial views and arguing with callers to his shows. In another development imported from over the Atlantic, Butler started to present sports fans the chance to contact into his displays with their views of their groups' performances, having a baby to his boast that he was the inventor from the football phone-in.Butler's very much repeated catchphrase "On 'yer bicycle" was utilized to take off callers whose views he disagreed with, whilst his contests would taxes listeners with queries such as for example "Just how many back yards of elastic is there inside a baseball?". During live protection of football video games, fans were motivated to "obtain those prayer mats out" to greatly help their ailing groups. Comparable encouragement was provided through regular playing of "The Butler Theme Melody" (the truth is Hurricane Smith's "Theme from an Unmade Silent Film").Butler's outspokenness and unique radio displays soon manufactured him among Birmingham's most recognized voices. It helped that this past due 1970s and early 80s had been a particularly great time for regional sport, with five from the Western Midlands' teams taking pleasure in top flight soccer. Butler and his group of reporters had been also in a position to cover unforgettable European promotions for Aston Villa, Western Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers. Popular locally, Butler's abrasive design was also taken to nationwide attention after getting worked in to the routines of Birmingham comic Jasper Carrott, who frequently enjoyed to poke fun on the homespun character of BRMB's development at that time.In 1984, Butler was sacked from BRMB after a row with fellow broadcaster Brian Savin, who's disabled. Savin got sent an email to Butler complaining about insurance coverage of the cricket match over-running into his present; Butler was thought to possess found this content of the take note unpleasant and confronted Savin, tugging him out of his seat through the ensuing debate. The termination of such a high-profile character was front web page information in Birmingham, and programs on BRMB had been significantly affected as a few of Butler's previous colleagues walked from strike.Butler afterwards commented that the problem have been blown out of most percentage, claiming that he remained close friends with Savin. He chosen to feature the sacking to an over-all falling-out with BRMB administration.


Pursuing his sacking, Butler was purchased pretty much immediately with the BBC local TV news program "Midlands Today" often confirming over the lighter items and demonstrating a more supple part to his nature than anyone acquired hitherto noticed. He also provided his successful regional Television shows "Having Butler", "Boating Butler" and "Biking Butler", going around the spot meeting people who have an interesting tale to tell.In 1987, Tony Inchley was appointed Supervisor of ailing BBC Radio WM, at the same time when the BBC was under great pressure from the federal government to justify its provision of regional radio services. Inchley quickly revamped the BBC station's result, hiring several personalities and recruiting Butler to restart his Fri night soccer phone-in in immediate competition with BRMB's George Gavin, Butler's previous deputy.Butler was subsequently promoted to web host the prestigious breakfast time present, updating Ed Doolan, (who all then began his hugely popular lunchtime present). Under Butler, Radio WM's breakfast time present was a variety of current affairs, details and phone-in tournaments, the presenter in a position to present his flexibility switching from interviewing politicians to communicating with callers. He provided away egg mugs and mugs towards the same callers week in week out. He continuing to web host the Friday evening football phone-in.Butler was even now unable to get rid of his controversial picture though; in 1989 Radio WM's reporters discovered themselves prohibited from covering Wolverhampton Wanderers video games after the membership accused Butler of earning racist responses about among their dark players, Shane Westley.When Tony Inchley announced his pension Butler experienced his period was up, therefore he made a decision to leave.

Xtra AM

In 1994 Butler moved back again to industrial radio, hosting the breakfast display on BRMB spin-off station Xtra-AM, giving him the chance to play even more music. During this time period he also co-hosted Xtra's Fri night soccer phone-in, along with sports activities editor Tom Ross.

Back to the BBC

The purchase of Xtra-AM by the administrative centre Radio group saw the finish to most from the locally produced programming therefore in 1998, Butler produced his in the past to Radio WM. First of all, presenting a Sunday lunchtime display, before overtaking his current Mon – Thursday night football telephone in display from 7-8pm as well as the Sportsnight display on Mondays from 8-10pm.

Birmingham Live TV

In 1998 Butler joined up with local cable television station Birmingham Live TV, a local affiliate of MGN's L!VE TV. Within the sports activities team, he provided the local sports activities bulletins in the channel, aswell as venturing out to interview showing off figures over the Western world Midlands. He also hosted a live phone-in present on the route every Friday evening called 'Butler's Sports activities Particular'. He continued to be at Birmingham Live until its closure in November 1999.

Controversy at BBC West Midlands

Tony Butler courted additional controversy on the BBC Western world Midlands radio program, broadcast on 28 March 2007. He mentioned that women shouldn't be in battle areas and, commenting on kidnapped United kingdom sailor Faye Turney, stated which were she decapitated, "it could serve her best."His outburst prompted a barrage of problems from listeners, and led the BBC to concern an apology.


Butler announced in Apr 2009, that he'd retire by the end from the 2008/2009 soccer time of year, commenting "I believe you understand when it's time for you to retire, and I'm on my bicycle."

Return to Commercial Radio

In August 2009, it had been announced by Tom Ross that Butler will be time for the Gold airwaves to co-host the football phone in on Friday evenings on Gold.The announcement was made within times of Orion taking control of BRMB and Gold. It really is thought that Butler is a regular fixture of their extended coverage through the 2009/10 season.In August 2012, it had been announced by Tom Ross that Butler had finally finished his broadcasting career because of ill-health. Ross paid tribute to Butler within an psychological telephone interview along with his forerunner on his starting football mobile phone in present of the 2012/2013 period; thanking him for provide him to BRMB over thirty years before.