Feb 14, 2024 2 min read

Tributes pour in as BBC radio presenter Steve Wright dies

Longstanding BBC radio presenter Steve Wright has died aged 69, his family announced yesterday. Joining Radio 1 in 1980, he wa a popular fixture on the station until the 90s, and later moved to Radio 2 where he continued to present shows up until his death

Tributes pour in as BBC radio presenter Steve Wright dies

BBC radio presenter Steve Wright has died, aged 69. In a statement yesterday, his family announced the news “with deep sorrow and profound regret”.

Jo Whiley, who hosted a tribute show on Radio 2 last night, told Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme, "He devoted his whole life to radio and all he cared about was making people happy. We were all in tears and felt very sad, I hate talking about him in the past tense”.

Speaking on his Greatest Hits Radio show yesterday, Wright’s former colleague at BBC Radio 1 and Radio 2 Simon Mayo choked up as he told listeners, “He was one of the true originals of music radio. I loved his shows. I know a lot of you did as well. It was a thrill to be on the same radio stations as him. He’ll be much missed”.

Wright began his broadcasting career in 1976 on Reading local radio station Radio 210, before joining Radio Luxembourg in 1979. A year later he joined Radio 1, taking over the Saturday evening slot and beginning a more than 40 year career at the BBC.

His ‘Steve Wright In The Afternoon’ show ran from 1981 to 1993 on the station, before he moved to the breakfast show in 1994. However, that run was relatively short-lived, as he resigned in 1995 following a dispute with then Radio 1 Controller Matthew Bannister.

Following a brief stint on commercial station Talk Radio, he returned to the BBC to present a Saturday show in 1996. Three years later, ‘Steve Wright In The Afternoon’ was revived on Radio 2 and ran on weekdays until 2022. 

Up until his death, he continued to present his ‘Sunday Love Songs’ programme, which began in 1996. A pre-recorded edition of ‘Sunday Love Songs’ was aired at the weekend.

Numerous colleagues and fans paid tribute following the news of Wright’s death, including Mike Read, who co-presented a show with him on Radio 210. He told BBC Breakfast, “He worked tirelessly, he was a radio man not just somebody who turned up, did the show and went home. It was in his mind, always thinking of ideas".

Meanwhile Scott Mills, who took over Wright’s Saturday slot in 2022, said, “Steve Wright is one of our greatest ever broadcasters. He made everything sound effortless, and worked so hard to make every show world class. He was a constant inspiration to me on how to do radio that sounded big”.

“When I first started doing shows at Radio 2, he and I spent hours reminiscing about his days at Radio 1, and I would listen to his stories and wisdom in awe”, he went on. “My thoughts are with his family and my colleagues who have worked with him for so many years. Steve, you’re the best to ever do it”.

Great! You’ve successfully signed up.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
You've successfully subscribed to CMU.
Your link has expired.
Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.
Success! Your billing info has been updated.
Your billing was not updated.
Privacy Policy