Emotional moment Radio 2 DJ Sara Cox reacts to Steve Wright’s death on air

Emotional moment Radio 2 DJ Sara Cox reacts to Steve Wright’s death on air

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Sara Cox’s voice trembled on Radio 2 as it was announced her friend, colleague and Radio 2 legend Steve Wright has died aged 69.

‘It’s really hard to know what to say about the news of Steve Wright’s passing, except we are all absolutely devastated and shocked and blindsided by this news,’ she began on Radio 2 as the news broke.

‘Steve was an extraordinary broadcaster. A really, really kind person. He was witty, he was warm, and he was a huge, huge part of the Radio 2 family.

‘I know my fellow DJs will all be absolutely shattered too. I imagine you’re feeling sad too, so we are here for your messages.

‘If you’d like to reach out, share your thoughts or memories about Steve, please do. We’ve all lost a lovely friend who’s been a big part of our life for so many years.’

Wright’s family confirmed the news in a statement shared on Tuesday, as they said: ‘It is with deep sorrow and profound regret that we announce the passing of our beloved Steve Wright.

Wright has been the voice for the nation since he first appeared on BBC radio in the 1970s (Picture: Geoff Wilkinson/REX/Shutterstock)

‘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.’

Wright was one of the country’s most beloved and familiar voices, having presented programmes for BBC Radio 1 and Radio 2 for over four decades, and he was also a long-standing presenter of Top Of The Pops on BBC One.

In September 2022 Steve’s afternoon show came to an end, and he continued to present Sunday Love Songs.

A month later he began presenting long-running Radio 2 show Pick of the Pops.

His last ever show was aired just days before his death, which was a pre-recorded special Valentine’s Day edition of his Love Songs programme.

The broadcasting world and beyond have flooded to social media to pay tribute to a man clearly loved by many.

Radio 1’s Scott Mills took to X, formerly Twitter, and said: ‘Steve Wright is one of our greatest ever broadcasters.

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Tributes have flooded in from the broadcasting world and beyond for the presenter (Picture: Carol Norman/Shutterstock)

‘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.

‘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.’

Fellow radio presenter Ken Bruce wrote: ‘Totally shocked to hear the news about the great Steve Wright. We were planning lunch to celebrate the award of his richly deserved MBE.

‘An outstanding and innovative broadcaster whose listeners loved him. What a loss to the world of radio.’

Steve recently received a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2024 New Year Honours for his services to radio over the decades.

Jo Whiley thanked Wright, ‘the broadcaster’s broadcaster’, for all his support over the years, following his death.

In a post the radio DJ and television presenter wrote: ‘What a man. What a legend.

‘The broadcaster’s broadcaster. One of the kindest, loveliest people I’ve had the pleasure to work with.

‘Thanks for the support & music chat over the years. Can’t believe we won’t meet in the bowels of MV for our weekly catch up. Love ya Wrighty.’

Fellow BBC star Tony Blackburn said: ‘I am so sad that my dear friend Steve Wright has passed away. He was a great broadcaster and we just loved one another’s company. I was shocked at the news and will miss him terribly.’

The likes of Piers Morgan, Matt Lucas, and Carol Vorderman also paid tribute to Wright, citing him as one of radio’s greatest broadcasters.

Richard Hammond said he’d lost his ‘hero’ and credited Wright as ‘the reason I started my career’.

On Sunday’s pre-recorded show, Wright signed off with a characteristic, ‘Ta-ta, then,’ for the last ever time.

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