The Paul Harvey of the UK, Alistair Cooke, 95 (he was 50 when I was born - he was freaking 35 when Roger Daltrey was born - he joined the BBC as a film critic the year after my father was born), has retired from his Letter From America radio show after 58 years (it began in 1946):
- The show is the world's longest-running speech radio programme.
Cooke, who was absent from the show last week due to illness, will not record any new shows but Radio 4 will air archive shows for several weeks.
The BBC said Cooke had decided to sign off following advice from doctors
Cooke said: "I can no longer continue my Letter From America.
"Throughout 58 years I have had much enjoyment in doing these talks and hope that some of it has passed over to the listeners, to all of whom I now say thank you for your loyalty and goodbye."
Since Letter From America began, Cooke has presented 2,869 shows, making up more than 717 hours of broadcasting time. This does not include other radio shows he has fronted.
....Cooke has also taken part in a wide range of television programmes but is perhaps best known for the BBC's Alistair Cooke's America, which was aired around the world.
His ground-breaking cultural television show Omnibus changed the face of American television in the 1950s.
Tapes of the programme were placed in every public library in the US and a stream of successful books culminating in the title America, which sold two million copies.
Mark Byford, acting BBC director general and former World Service director, thanked Cooke for his "unparalleled contribution".
He said: "Alistair Cooke has been one of the greatest broadcasters ever, full of insight and wisdom.