Legendary radio DJ Tony Blackburn has swapped ‘King of the Jungle’ for ‘King of Thameslink’ as he steps in open the new Brent Cross West Station.

The 80-year-old, who lives in Barnet, is taking on the role of station announcer across the Thameslink network this week to celebrate the opening of the station on Sunday (December 10).  

From today (December 7) until Wednesday (December 13) passengers travelling between Luton and Sutton will hear a series of special announcements from the radio legend on the Thameslink route.

Tony’s voice will be heard at stations between Bedfordshire and South London that will serve Brent Cross West, as well as welcoming passengers at the brand-new station itself.  

Tony was introduced to new audiences after becoming the first winner of the British reality TV series I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! in 2002.

He said: “As a Barnet resident I’m delighted and honoured to be involved in the opening of our fabulous new station which, as far as I’m concerned, is top of the charts!

"Congratulations to Barnet Council and all their partners for this magnificent project.

"I'm sure Thameslink passengers will enjoy the style and space here, as well as being just 15 minutes or less from central London.

"But we’re not just celebrating a great train station – the public footbridge is this area’s first link between Barnet and Brent since the railway first came through 150 years ago.”   

Brent Cross West will connect passengers from Central London to Brent Cross in as little as 12 minutes, with up to eight Thameslink services running each way.

The station will serve as the gateway to the newly formed Brent Cross Town, which is aiming to bring 25,000 jobs and 6,700 new homes to the area, and pledges to be a net zero carbon town by 2030. 

Keith Jipps, Govia Thameslink Railway’s infrastructure director, said: “There really is no person or voice more iconic and ideal than the legendary Tony Blackburn to welcome passengers to the new Brent Cross West station.

"This station will make a huge difference to the residents in both Barnet and Brent, and we’re absolutely delighted to have Tony on board!”