Radio presenter Sara Cox has led tributes to BBC Radio 2 broadcaster Steve Wright after his death aged 69.
On Tuesday, a statement shared to the broadcaster by Wright’s family said: “It is with deep sorrow and profound regret that we announce the passing of our beloved Steve Wright.”
Cox, 49, told listeners during her slot on the radio station that her fellow DJs were “absolutely shattered”.
She said: “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.
“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, and I know my fellow DJs will be absolutely shattered too.
“And I imagine you’re feeling sad, too, and we are here for your messages.
“If you’d like to reach out, if you’d like to share your thoughts or memories about Steve, please do.
“Because we’ve all lost a lovely friend who’s been 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 play the music that he loved.”
Fellow BBC Radio 2 presenter Scott Mills called Wright “one of our greatest ever broadcasters”.
Mills, 50, left BBC Radio 1 in 2022 to replace the programme Wright was best known for on BBC Radio 2 – Steve Wright In The Afternoon.
Mills said: “He (Wright) 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.”
Paul Gambaccini, who hosted the radio station’s Pick Of The Pops until Wright took over in October 2023, called the late broadcaster “one of the all-time greats”.
In an Instagram video, Gambaccini said: “He (Wright) was not only the best at what he did, he was basically the only at what he did.
“There had been zoo radio in the United States with Scott Shannon, but Steve really perfected it. And he is one of the all-time greats and will never be replaced, because he can never be replaced.
“No one else here did what he did, and he did it regularly.
“We will love him forever.”
The zoo format describes radio shows with zany activities and segments alongside a number of characters or special guests.
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💔 pic.twitter.com/Vro3Osj7ff
— Jo Whiley (@jowhiley) February 13, 2024
DJ Jo Whiley thanked Wright for his support over the years.
In a post to X, 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.”
On his social media page former BBC Radio 2 presenter Simon Mayo also paid tribute and called the late broadcaster “a fabulous creative whirlwind of a presenter.”
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.
— Ken Bruce (@RealKenBruce) February 13, 2024
Elsewhere, Scottish radio presenter Ken Bruce described Wright’s death as “a loss to the world of radio.”
On X, he said: “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.”
Wright was made an MBE for his services to radio in the December 2023 New Year Honours list and said he wanted to dedicate it “to all the people in broadcasting who gave comfort and public service during the pandemic”.