BBC presenter dies as tributes pour in for 'legend of broadcasting'

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BBC presenter dies as tributes pour in for
BBC presenter dies as tributes pour in for 'legend of broadcasting'

BBC presenter Robbie Shepherd has died at the age of 87, with tributes pouring in for the late TV star from celebrities and fans all across the country.

Shepherd, was born in Dunecht in Aberdeenshire, was best known for his 35-year stint hosting BBC Radio Scotland's Take the Floor and was a regular commentator at the Highland Games. He retired from the Take the Floor show in 2015 and was succeed by Gary Innes.

Innes recalled Shepherd's advice and kindness while paying tribute to his late predecessor on Twitter, writing: "The man was a legend. After 35 years he left with such grace and dignity. I said to him: 'Robbie, I have no idea how on Earth I am ever going to fill your boots'. And he just said with that lovely Doric accent: 'Ach Gary, ye ken I'm only a size five, you'll be fine'."

BBC Scotland director Steve Carson said Shepherd's Take the Floor programme was a regular fixture of Scottish cultural life for decades as he paid tribute to the late star, adding: "All of us at BBC Scotland are desperately sad to hear the news of his passing. Our thoughts are with his family and friends in Aberdeen, and the wider family of radio listeners all around the world who loved hearing his Doric voice and his enthusiasm and passion for the music he so dearly loved."

BBC presenter dies as tributes pour in for 'legend of broadcasting' rriddqixxiqezinvTributes have been pouring in for the late star (BBC)

When Shepherd announced he would be leaving BBC Radio Scotland's Take the Floor after 35 years in September 2016, former First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon said on Twitter: "Sad that broadcasting legend, Robbie Shepherd, is hanging up his headphones. Best wishes to him."

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Discussing his exit at the time, Shepherd said: "I am taking a break, that is for sure. But, as they say, I am a wanted man. I hope sincerely you have not heard the last of this Doric voice. It's been 35 years of sheer pleasure."

Shepherd, whose work was recognised with an MBE, was proud of his accent and once recalled how he was initially being "slated" for his voice in some quarters, and dismissed as a "rough and ready country loon" when he first entered broadcasting. Discussing his broadcasting philosophy in 20016, the late star said: "I like to think that I am broadcasting to a lady in the top tenement in Glasgow at the same time as I am chatting to a lady in a croft."

"Sad news about the death of Robbie Shepherd at 87. He may have described himself as "just a loon fae Dunecht", but he was "Mr Doric" to so many. Robbie loved the north-east, the music and the people of the region and he was a genuinely nice man!" Neil Drysdale wrote on Twitter as news of Shepherd's death broke.

Scottish singer Iona Fyfe added: "He lit up every room he entered. One of the only broadcasters who championed the Doric dialect of the Scots language. Rest easy Robbie Shepherd."

Zoe Delaney

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