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Saturday, March 2, 2024

BBC star Steve Wright dies aged 69: Tributes flood in to legendary broadcaster who enjoyed 40-year career hosting shows on Radio 1 and Radio 2 and presented Top Of The Pops

BBC DJ Steve Wright has died aged 69 – with his family telling of their ‘deep sorrow and profound regret’. 

The legendary broadcaster presented Steve Wright in the Afternoon for 12 years on Radio 1 and a further 23 years on Radio 2. Today’s shock announcement has left colleagues ‘heartbroken’ and prompted an outpouring of tributes. 

The DJ also presented the popular Sunday Love Songs weekend mid-morning show on Radio 2. His last show was a pre-recorded Valentine’s Day edition of the programme. 

Wright’s family said in a statement today: ‘It is with deep sorrow and profound regret that we announce the passing of our beloved Steve Wright.

‘In addition to his son, Tom, and daughter, Lucy, Steve leaves behind his brother, Laurence and his father Richard. Also, much-loved close friends and colleagues, and millions of devoted radio listeners who had the good fortune and great pleasure of allowing Steve into their daily lives as one of the UK’s most enduring and popular radio personalities.

‘As we all grieve, the family requests privacy at this immensely difficult time.’

Steve Wright, who has died at the age of 69, pictured in his recording studio in 1994

Steve Wright, who has died at the age of 69, pictured in his recording studio in 1994 

Wright seen in a recent photo from when he was out walking in central London

Wright seen in a recent photo from when he was out walking in central London 

The DJ was married to Cyndi Robinson until they divorced in 1999. They are seen on their wedding day

The DJ was married to Cyndi Robinson until they divorced in 1999. They are seen on their wedding day 

BBC Director General Tim Davie said: ‘All of us at the BBC are heartbroken to hear this terribly sad news. Steve was a truly wonderful broadcaster who has been a huge part of so many of our lives over many decades. 

‘He was the ultimate professional – passionate about the craft of radio and deeply in touch with his listeners. This was deservedly recognised in the New Year Honours list with his MBE for services to radio. 

‘No-one had more energy to deliver shows that put a smile on audiences’ faces. They loved him deeply. We are thinking of Steve and his family and will miss him terribly.’

Helen Thomas, Head of Radio 2, said: ‘Steve understood the connection and companionship that radio engenders better than anyone, and we all loved him for it. 

‘He was a consummate professional whose attention to detail was always second to none, and he made his guests laugh, he was fair, and he wanted to showcase them and their work in the best possible light, bringing brilliant stories to our listeners.

‘Steve’s afternoon show was an institution that began on Radio 1 and later moved over to Radio 2 where it was broadcast for 23 years. He believed in the BBC passionately during his career that spanned for more than four decades, and he was always up for pursuing new ideas. 

The legendary broadcaster presented Steve Wright in the Afternoon for 12 years on Radio 1 and a further 23 years on Radio 2. He is pictured in 1980

The legendary broadcaster presented Steve Wright in the Afternoon for 12 years on Radio 1 and a further 23 years on Radio 2. He is pictured in 1980 

The DJ, seen in 2003, was made an MBE for services to radio

The DJ, seen in 2003, was made an MBE for services to radio 

‘He brought joy to millions of listeners with his Sunday Love Songs as well as the legendary Pick of the Pops, which he took on last year and was having fun experimenting with, alongside a host of specials and new BBC Sounds formats which he loved doing.

‘Steve was the first presenter I ever produced more than twenty years ago, and I remember the pure amazement I felt, sitting opposite this legendary broadcaster whose shows I had listened to and marvelled at whilst growing up in Hull. 

‘For all of us at Radio 2, he was a wonderful colleague and a friend with his excellent sense of humour, generosity with his time, and endless wise words. We were lucky to have him with us for all these decades, and we will miss his talent and his friendship terribly.’

Wright being surprised in his studio by by Paul McCartney. Also pictured is his production assistant Dianne Oxberry

Wright being surprised in his studio by by Paul McCartney. Also pictured is his production assistant Dianne Oxberry

Wright with George Michael in an undated photo taken within a BBC studio

Wright with George Michael in an undated photo taken within a BBC studio 

Lorna Clarke, Director of BBC Music, said: ‘Steve was an extraordinary broadcaster – someone audiences loved, and many of us looked up to. He loved radio, and he loved the BBC, but most of all… he loved his audience. 

‘From Radio 1 to Radio 2, he was with us for more than four decades, and brought so much joy to our airwaves, whatever he was up to. 

‘We were privileged to have him with us for all these years.’

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