Steve Allen leaves LBC after 44 years

LBC’s longest-serving presenter Steve Allen has left the radio station where he has spent 44 years, after being off-air for a week.

Allen most recently presented the early morning breakfast show between 4am and 7am, but he has hosted almost every time slot at LBC since he first joined in 1979.

Allen presented his last show on 17 February and regular listeners have been asking where he has been over the past week. Usual Sunday afternoon presenter Ian Payne has appeared in his usual time slot.

A Global spokesperson said on Friday: “Steve Allen’s contract with LBC is up shortly and, following discussions with him, Steve is stepping down from LBC today. We thank him for his enormous contribution to commercial radio over the past 44 years, making him one of the longest-serving radio broadcasters in the UK.”

Allen issued a similar statement, saying: “Some news from me, firstly thanks for all your questions. My contract with LBC is up shortly and following discussions, I’m stepping down from LBC today I’d like to thank you all for listening over the last 44 years it’s been an honour and a privilege.”

LBC and owner Global have recently been making major new hires, including ex-BBC stalwart Andrew Marr who presents an hourly 6pm show as well as his former colleagues at the broadcaster Jon Sopel, Emily Maitlis and Lewis Goodall who present the hit podcast The News Agents.

Allen’s “unique and acerbic take on the news of the day” occasionally got him into trouble with listeners and broadcast regulator Ofcom. In 2018 the watchdog ruled he had breached the Broadcasting Code by mocking a blind BBC journalist who had been assigned a guide horse.

In December 2021 Ofcom cleared Allen over comments he made that Strictly Come Dancing star Tilly Ramsay was a “chubby little thing”, in part because it decided the presenter was known for being “provocative”, but it provided guidance to LBC to take greater care in the future.

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