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Subject: Alan Keith, 94, Britain's oldest national radio disc jockey

March 17
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Date Posted: March 24, 2003 6:58:01 EDT

Keith, whose soothing voice was a Sunday night fixture and whose broadcasting career spanned 70 years, was due to announce his retirement on the March 16 edition of the show, but his recorded announcement was pulled after he became ill, the British Broadcasting Corp. said.

Keith was the oldest regular voice on the British airwaves, being a month older than BBC Radio 4's Alistair Cooke, who still presents his long-running "Letter from America" every week.

First broadcast in 1959, Keith's program "Your Hundred Best Tunes" was based on the simple format of playing listeners' requests.

Born Alec Kossoff, Keith studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, worked as a variety show master of ceremonies and in 1928 performed in George Bernard Shaw's production of "Major Barbara" in London's West End.

He was made an officer of the Order of the British Empire, or OBE, in recognition of his work in broadcasting.

Survivors include his wife, a son and a daughter.

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