The 55-year-old broadcaster is hoping he will stay on air until he reaches 82 years old to match his hero, Sir Jimmy Young, who was the long-serving host on the lunchtime show, ‘The JY Prog’.
He told the ‘Elevenses’ podcast: “I’d love to still be on Radio 2 when I’m 82 because that’s when Jimmy was here.”
Jimmy was best known for his lunchtime show on Radio 2, which ran from 1973 to 2002, where he regularly interviewed Margaret Thatcher while she was Prime Minister.
He left the show in 2002 with Jeremy taking over his slot with ‘The Jeremy Vine Show’ in 2003.
Jimmy, who died in November 2016 aged 95, made his final radio appearance on Jeremy’s show earlier that year, when he gave a brief tribute to his former colleague, Sir Terry Wogan, following his death from cancer in January 2016.
Coincidentally, Terry was the first person Jeremy met on his first day in the studio and the job has been “heaven” for him ever since.
He continued: “When I started, the first person I met was Terry Wogan. I didn’t say this to Terry but he started his breakfast show when I was six years old. It was amazing to walk in here and he was still on.
“There’s something about it, the lift doors open and Gary Numan steps out or I go in and see Tony Blackburn or Bob Harris. I’m a radio wonk, so for me this is heaven.”
However, Jeremy fears his life would have no meaning if his show came to an abrupt end as his identity is built from the show.
He explained: “The scary thing is that when you get to the end of your life you didn’t really do anything of consequence. I worry that, if somebody suddenly turned the show off, there’s nothing.
“Broadcasters really worry about this. Sir Jimmy, his identity was the show, he was still broadcasting at 82, and I said to my editor, ‘How’s that possible?’ And he said, ‘He’s actually really existing for two hours a day’. The other 22 hours I don’t know what Jimmy was doing, but probably recovery.”
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Jeremy Vine, BBC Radio 2, Jimmy Young
World news – GB – Jeremy Vine wants to work until his 80s