Steve Wright’s “shocked” colleague Sara Cox led tributes to the broadcast icon after news of his death aged 69 broke while she was on air.
Sara, 49, was presenting on BBC Radio 2 when it was announced during Tuesday’s (13.02.24) news bulletin Steve had passed away following a career on BBC Radio 1 and 2 that spanned more than 40 years.
Steve’s family confirmed his death “with deep sorrow and profound regret” in a statement released on Tuesday afternoon, with the news included in the rush-hour news round up on BBC Radio 2.
Sara sounded emotional as she choked back tears while responding: “It’s really hard to know what to say about the news of Steve Wright’s passing, except that we are all absolutely devastated and shocked and blind-sided by this news.
“Steve was an extraordinary broadcaster and a really, really kind person.
“He was witty, he was warm and he was a huge, huge part of the Radio 2 family.
“And I know my fellow DJs will be absolutely shattered too.”
Sara added to her listeners: “I’m sure you are feeling sad too and we are here to listen to your messages. If you’d like to reach out, if you’d like to share your thoughts or memories about Steve, please do on 88291.
“We’ve all lost a dear friend who was a big part of our lives for so many years so we’re going to try and do Steve proud for the rest of the show and we’re going to play the music that he loved so much.”
Steve joined the BBC in the 1970s, and as well as hosting shows on Radio 1 and Radio 2 he also hosted ‘Top of the Pops’ in its heyday.
A statement from his family said about his death: “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.”
Mike Powell, who announced Steve’s passing while reading the 5pm news, said BBC Radio 2 “plans to celebrate his legacy with a range of programming across the station”.