Tributes paid to former Signal presenter Johnny Owen

Long-serving Signal Radio presenter Johnny Owen has died aged 66 after losing his battle with cancer.

His current station, community service The Hitmix, said in a statement: “It is with great sadness that we have to announce the passing of our dear friend. He lost his battle with cancer on Wednesday. Everyone here at the Hitmix is devastated by this news. He was a husband, father and to us a valued work colleague and for thousands of listeners a friend on their radio.”

Johnny presented the breakfast show on the medium wave service for Stoke from 2002 until moving to weekends on Signal 2 in 2017.

Last year he joined The Hitmix for a weekend show and went six days a week from earlier this year, broadcasting from home after being given just months to live because of his cancer. The station also named a studio in his honour in recognition of his 45 years in broadcasting.

He had started out on Radio Manchester in the 1970s before working for KFM and Signal Cheshire, Sunset Radio, Century 105, Signal Gold and Signal 2. His final show on The Hitmix was on Sunday 18th October, just a few days before his death.

Former Signal collegaue Doug Wood posted on Facebook: “Johnny Owen was a great entertainer, a real radio man, who started his radio career as a pirate broadcaster in Stockport. That station went legal and was then taken over by Signal, and soon after that he was transferred to Signal Gold where he soon nicked the breakfast show off of me, BUT the best man won and Johnny broke the record at Signal for staying on a breakfast show the longest.

“Sadly ill heath crept up on him but Johnny fought the good fight and returned to the airwaves at The HitMix where he once again entertained his old Signal audience who transferred with him. Johnny was doing what he does best just last Sunday only to be taken to hospital later that very day but sadly passed on Tuesday evening.

“Johnny was a very quiet private down to earth man who just got on with the job. Never phased if the world was falling to bits around him he was an absolute true pro. My thoughts are with his family and close friends who have lost a very really nice guy in there lives, who is irreplaceable. RIP Johnny, may those three wheels on your wagon roll on forever. If you get the breakfast show on Heaven FM then ask them to save Drive Time for me. XX”

Here are a few other tributes from social media: