The Beeb have announced today that mainstay broadcaster Bob Harris is taking time out from his radio duties.

“I am sorry to say that I will be unable to broadcast on the Radio 2 Country Show for the next few weeks. Ten days ago, while out walking, I suffered a tear to my aorta known as an aortic dissection. The aorta is basically the M1 of the body and any damage is regarded as extremely serious. For the past few years I have been walking an average of five miles a day and I am convinced that the level of fitness I have achieved during that time helped save my life.” – Bob Harris

Bob Harris will be taking a break from presenting The Country Show With Bob Harris on BBC Radio 2 due to illness the corporation today confirmed. Bob has presented several programmes over the years on the radio and is best known to television viewers as the host of alternative music show The Old Grey Whistle Test which aired in the 70s and 80s on BBC Two before making a one-off anniversary special return to BBC Four in February last year. The extended special marked thirty years since the programme last aired.

Bob’s laid back and softly spoken presenting style on The Old Grey Whistle Test was parodied by sketch series The Fast Show with Louis Balfour (John Thomson) as host of The Jazz Club. Bob’s intimate speaking style has also gained him the nickname of ‘Whispering Bob’.

Speaking about the incident 73-year-old Bob noted it was ‘extremely serious’ following the broadcaster tearing his aorta while out walking two weeks ago. He added it was a ‘scary moment’ and thanked the medical experts involved in his treatment. Harris, who began his broadcasting career at Radio 1 in 1970, said he is now on ‘the road to recovery’ and aims to be back on Radio 2 as soon as possible.

“It was an incredibly scary moment and I am massively indebted to the ambulance crew who attended so promptly, the Intensive Care team and the consultants at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford and to my wife Trudie and my wonderful family who have rallied round me with huge love and support. I am not exactly sure when I will be on air again but I am on the road to recovery now and will be back playing music for you on Radio 2 as soon as possible. Thank you for everything.” – Bob Harris

The Country Show With Bob Harris is broadcast each Thursday evening from 9-10pm. Paul Sexton will present the programme on Thursday 13th and Thursday 20th June. Deputy presenters for further shows will be announced in due course the Beeb have noted.

“On behalf of everyone at Radio 2 and our millions of listeners, we wish Bob a very speedy recovery and look forward to welcoming him back to Wogan House when he’s ready.” – Lewis Carnie, Head of Radio 2

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