Why David Jacobs will be so sorely missed



The thought of a BBC radio without the voice of Radio 2’s David Jacobs is almost impossible to contemplate. But there you are. At the age of 87, he has chosen to put a cap on his microphone for the last time, bundle up his inexhaustible supply of records by people such as Frank Sinatra and Dinah Shore and go to bed a little earlier on Sunday nights.

What a joy it has been listening to him. He speaks in what is still sometimes called “received pronunciation”. In other words, you hear every syllable in his script — although he always sounded as if there was no script at all. After all, he just comes into your living room and talks about his favourite subject.

He has kept his private life very much to himself, even the tragedies that have dogged his life — the death of a son (in Israel), the wife who was killed in a road accident. He has never worn his Jewishness on his sleeve. But it has always been there. He has been a stalwart of the Celebrities Guild, a kind of Jewish Variety Club. He has rarely turned down a chance to go to speak in ordinary suburban synagogues.

He’ll be missed by lovers of “sweet music”. Perhaps the sweetest music of all has come from his own voice.

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