Tony Butler is a Birmingham based UK sports broadcaster and one of the first stars of local radio in Britain, known for a distinctive local accent and sometimes controversial style. In 2007, he was honoured by the Sony Radio Academy with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Tony Butler was born in Wolverhampton on May 15 1935. He began his journalistic career in local papers in Birmingham before beginning to contribute to BBC national and regional radio in the 1960s. His strong regional accent caused problems at the staid BBC and he later recalled how he was encouraged to soften his natural accent. At one point the BBC even provided elocution lessons.
In 1974, he was hired to be the first sports editor at Birmingham's new independent (i.e. non-BBC) radio station BRMB, one of a handful of commercial stations to launch at that time. With BRMB striving to offer something different from the established BBC radio stations, Butler was encouraged to act naturally on the air, emphasising rather than hiding his accent.