At a special service at Liverpool Town Hall on Thursday 10 May, three BBC Radio Merseyside presenters had the Citizen of Honour award conferred on them.
The honour was introduced by Liverpool City Council in 2008 to formally recognise individuals who have made a significant, exceptional or unique contribution to enriching the life of the city of Liverpool. Previous recipients of the title have been heritage campaigners, sculptors, surgeons, filmmakers, and international orchestral conductors.
The three are:
Billy Butler – Billy, a true son of the city, born and bred in Liverpool became DJ at the world famous Cavern Club 1964. He later joined BBC Radio Merseyside in 1972, since then he’s been a continuous contributor to radio broadcasting in Liverpool. Not only a local voice but a local face, being a lifelong champion for local charitable organisations, raising substantial contributions and awareness. Billy has been awarded three Lifetime Achievement Awards, and a Sony National Radio award.
Billy said: “To win an award is a great achievement – to win an award from the city you love is an honour.”
Linda McDermott – Linda is a multi-award-winning journalist, writer and broadcaster who has recently added co-writing a successful stage musical based on Carla Lane’s much loved 70s sitcom The Liver Birds to her ever expanding career. Born and raised in Liverpool, she began her career as one of the country’s first ever female football reporters. Linda has written and narrated documentaries for National Geographic’s Discovery Channel concerning one of her favourite subjects, Liverpool’s incredible maritime history. For the last ten years Linda has been at the helm of BBC Radio Merseyside’s late night panel show. Linda was recently elected only the second woman President in the 138 year history of Liverpool Press Club and is Patron of several Merseyside organisations and charities.
Linda said: “Liverpool to me is the greatest city in the world, built by hard work, ambition, genius and vision, all of which are still present in abundance in its extraordinary people. My home city has provided figures on the world stage in every field of life from science, engineering and invention to social reformers, sporting and show business giants. To be regarded as a Citizen of Honour in this wondrous place is a prize and privilege beyond compare.”
Roger Phillips– Roger arrived in Liverpool and by chance fell into local radio at BBC Radio Merseyside in 1978 where he continues to presents a daily phone-in programme. His broadcasting achievements have been recognised on many occasions as the winner of numerous awards. Roger is the official Ambassador and patron of many organisations and charities nationally and across Liverpool. In 2001, he was honoured by both the University of Liverpool with an honorary Doctorate of Laws, and Liverpool John Moores University with an honorary Fellowship, as well as being awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Radio Academy in 2012.
Roger said: “It really is a great honour to be given this award and be recognised by the city which, while not the city where I was born, is however the city which I love and would never leave, having lived here for more than 45 years.”
Lord Mayor, Councillor Malcolm Kennedy, added: “I am delighted to be able to pay tribute to the latest recipients of the Citizen of Honour awards for making such an outstanding contribution to the city of Liverpool.
“Their dedication and commitment to radio broadcasting, entertainment and community work has undoubtedly enriched the lives of people living in Liverpool for many decades.”