A Brit has been hailed as the world’s oldest music radio DJ – still hosting a regular radio show at 95.
John Cavie has been presenting on Life Care Radio at Totnes Hospital in Devon for a decade.
The former timber surveyor turned 95 on Monday, August 28, making him the oldest music radio presenter on the planet.
Walter Bingham, 99, from Israel, has been named by Guinness as the world’s oldest talk radio host, but John is thought to be the oldest radio music show host.
John said: “We’ve been going for about ten years now and it’s just the highlight of my week.
“We will get requests for music in at about lunch time, and then I’ll do my radio show at five to raise people’s spirits.
“It’s sometimes a little difficult because people can leave hospital before their song gets played, but that’s why we now are also supporting care homes.
“When we play people music, even if they are an elderly dementia patient who cannot even talk to us, it just brings such a joy to their faces.
“I think that’s what really makes it for us. You just see people’s faces light up – and it just makes your day.
“I love to play songs from when I was younger, especially as a lot of patients listening are from that generation.
“I think my favorite songs to play are Louis Armstrong’s ‘Wonderful World,’ and Pat Boone’s ‘April Love’ – especially the last one because I was married in April 1953.”
John was introduced to radio presenting by his granddaughter, Cathie Burgess, 41, who worked as a presenter at Wells Hospital in the early 2000s.
After volunteering to help out, he picked up his own show, but soon wanted to do more.
He says that he tries to use his skills to raise the spirits of elderly care home and hospice residents who are often younger than him.
Having himself beaten cancer, suffered several heart attacks and even asbestos poisoning, John says he is determined to give back to the world while he still has time.
He said: “I always introduce myself as the ‘old guy’ when I meet people in homes or elderly people in hospital.
“I guess I must not look that old, so people tell me, so people never believe me when I say that I’m now 95. Everyone always thinks I look like I’m in my 60’s.
“I’ve lived through the lives of five monarchs now, and I remember as a young boy we learned to write using slate and chalk – so to be able to broadcast to so many people is amazing.
“I mostly understand how to use it, though sometimes I’ll give my granddaughter Cathie a call and just say ‘hello is this technical support’ if I get confused.
“She always finds it funny, but she helps me get things working and shows me what to do.
“I love people, and I am lucky that maybe I have a different mindset about my life. I’m always smiling, and always try to be positive.
“We’re all for a very short time – we’ve got to make he best of it.
“My dad John used to give us advice as children, and he always said to be sure that when you leave this world you put more into it than you take.
“So, I try to give something back. I consider myself very lucky in life.”
Despite his age, John says he has no plans to quit now – and will keep recording shows at home if he is unable to attend the hospital in person.
He added: “During the COVID-19 pandemic I used to record shows with the help of my granddaughter’s husband, because he’s very tech-y.
“I have no plans to stop presenting. I’ve got a bit of a croak in my voice from the asbestos in my lungs, but that hasn’t stopped me.
“If I have to, I’ll just stay home and record shows there again. But I tell everyone I’m going to live to 102 – I’ve got too many people to annoy to give up now.”
Produced in association with SWNS Talker
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