Northern Ireland news

Broadcaster Castles remembered as 'listener's friend'

Former Downtown Radio broadcaster Harry Castles died on Wednesday at his home in Spain
Paul Ainsworth

BROADCASTER Harry Castles spoke to listeners as a “friend”, colleagues said last night.

The popular former Downtown Radio presenter passed away in the early hours of Wednesday at his home in Spain, where the 67-year-old had lived with wife Liz since 2006.

Best-known for his Sunday phone-in show, Castles was one of the first voices to be heard on Downtown when transmissions began in 1976, and he became the station’s news editor.

Downtown and Cool FM managing director David Sloan described his passing as a “massive loss”.

"A lot of journalists out there started off with Harry and got advice from him. Journalism is a serious business but Harry would always see the funny side of it and there was always a joke to be told, or a mishap, or something that went wrong," he said.

"He was a really good broadcaster. With his easy, relaxed style he made everyone feel as if they were listening to a friend.

"He was looking forward to a lot longer in Spain. He loved Spain - he had a lovely apartment there looking out towards Gibraltar and Morocco. Many an afternoon I sat on his balcony with him talking about old times.

"Our condolences are with his wife Liz, his two children Darren and Julie and the wider circle of family and friends."

Others to express sympathy included BBC Northern Ireland’s Barra Best, who tweeted: “Sorry to hear this news. Harry gave me my first opportunity at journalism at @officialcoolfm 10 years ago. #RIP.”

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