Northern Ireland news

Stephen Clements funeral details announced

Stephen Clements who died suddenly

A funeral service for popular broadcaster Stephen Clements will be for family and friends only.

On Thursday, details were released stating a service was to be held in Belfast. In a later statement released by the BBC on behalf of the Clements family, they said this will now not go ahead.

"There will be a private service for family and close friends only," the statement read.

The family thanked people for the outpouring of sympathy following their loss.

"We would like to thank everyone for their support and kind words," they said.

"We appreciate the privacy given to our family at this time."

The airwaves of radio stations across the north were filled with emotion and sadness yesterday as many programmes were dedicated to the broadcaster whose sudden death was announced by the BBC on Tuesday.

From BBC Radio Ulster to the presenter's former home stations of Q Radio and Cool FM, several hours of airtime was devoted to the much-loved host.

On Radio Ulster, the station that the 47-year-old had just recently joined after landing his "dream job", his mid-morning slot was inundated with tributes and listeners sharing their memories of him.

As stand-in presenter Steven Rainey opened the show, he said "I know that I am not the voice any of us are expecting to hear this morning".

"Stephen Clements was truly a one-off, he was a brilliant broadcaster who I know brought so much to so many of us here," he said.

Mr Rainey said while "Stephen was only part of that family for a short time... he had become a really special part of what we do".

He described the father-of-two as an "amazing broadcaster and a very, very decent human".

Read More: Stephen Clements' brother leads tributes to much-loved broadcaster

"I have already been overwhelmed by the number of people getting in touch today to pay their respects and share their memories of Stephen Clements," he added.

"The messages that we are getting through today are heartbreaking and heart-warming at the same time.

"One thing that I think is really coming across is how much he brightened up people's mornings. It is something I think none of us here at Radio Ulster can deny."

The former teacher had only joined the BBC last summer, following a successful seven years at Q Radio where, along with co-host Cate Conway, he had turned the breakfast show into one of the most popular programmes in the north.

New Q Radio breakfast show presenters Ryan A and Jordan Humphries were tearful during the specially dedicated programme, with each song chosen in honour of their former colleague.

A montage of clips from his time with the station was also played.

In an emotional tribute, his former radio co-host Cate Conway posted a video of the two of them hugging during their final show together last year.

"At the end of our very last show together, I set my camera running so we’d have a wee memory of the end," she wrote.

"I hadn’t ever planned to post this although Stephen did use a later part in a tweet.

"The deal was that we would definitely work together again at some stage in the future. We stayed as close as we were in those 4-and-a-half years and now I’m totally and completely heartbroken and lost.

Cate Conway and Stephen Clements

"He wasn’t a co-worker. He was the arm that dragged me through some of my darkest days.

"He was the shoulder I cried on. He was the eejit who tormented me and called me hairy handed moonface. He was a soul mate."

Cool FM breakfast show host Pete Snodden's voice also cracked with emotion as he paid tributes during his show, describing how "our radio family had lost one of its own".

"The airwaves are going to be an emptier place now that he is not going to be with us," he said.

Police meanwhile said they were "investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a man at a house in Carrickfergus" but added that the "death is not believed to be suspicious".

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