Steve Wright – 1954 to 2024 – Radio industry and listeners pay tribute to the broadcasting legend

Thousands of tributes have been paid to radio presenter Steve Wright who died at the age of 69 yesterday.

The radio industry and listeners alike have been paying tributes on social media.

His friend and colleague Paul Gambaccini has been speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, sharing his shock at the news announced at 5pm by the BBC and Steve’s family.

Paul said how he’d spoken to him over the weekend and even sent two emails to him today, not knowing he’d died the day before.

Steve was last on-air over the weekend, hosting a Valentines special version of his Sunday Love Songs at BBC Radio 2.

Mark Goodier also appeared on 5 Live paying tribute. “He’s gone too young. He always had plans and always had ideas. Nobody ever did anything like Steve did it.”

Tony Blackburn was one of the first to pay tribute to his dear friend, writing on X: “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.”

Ken Bruce: “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.”

Simon Mayo, holding back the tears speaking on Greatest Hits Radio: “He was one of the true originals of music radio… I loved his shows and I know a lot of you did as well. It was a thrill to be on the same radio station as him.”

Paul McKenna: “I am beyond sad at the passing of my friend Steve Wright – one of the greatest broadcasters of all time. He had a fantastic sense of humour and was always very kind & encouraging to me. Rest in peace, my friend…”

Michael Ball: “Unbelievably sad and shocking news. He was an inspiration, a cheer leader and a lovely man. A unique and brilliant radio presenter, so funny, creative and supportive. I will miss you friend #RIP SteveWright.”

Steve Penk: “So shocked and saddened by the news about Steve Wright, he was one of our best broadcasters and a lovely guy.
Thanks for all the brilliant radio shows #RIPSteveWright”

Danny Baker: “Steve Wright was a thoroughly good man, a genuine radio star and a loyal chum. This is a dreadful shock.”

Richard Allinson: “Oh no…Steve Wright. One of the kindest, wisest, funniest people I’m humbled to call a friend.”

Vanessa Feltz: “He was energised, enlivened and absolutely full of love and passion and enthusiasm for his job.”

Iain Dale wrote: “I grew up with Steve Wright. He is one of my broadcasting heroes. He phoned me 2 weeks ago just to tell me I’d done a brilliant show the previous night.

“You can imagine what that meant to me. I tried to get him to do an All Talk but he hated talking about himself. Legend.”

Jenny Costello: “Such very sad news. Lovely Steve Wright, such a talent and inspiration to many of us. Thinking of his family and all his radio friends #RIP”

Steve Orchard writes: “What a terrible shock. Steve joined GWR Group in the period of his career between R1 and R2. It wasn’t an easy sell but what swung it was his enthusiasm for coaching our Morning Crews up and down the network. He also did a Sunday show on our stations. Showbiz to a tee, he insisted I sign the contract with him at Cliveden in the grandest of private rooms overlooking the fountain.

“Steve Wright was an inspirational coach. His epic talent, his attention to the minutest of details and his phenomenal work ethic helped us lift the standards of breakfast presentation across our Group. He would arrive at a coaching session with reams of handwritten notes – his observations on the presenters and great examples of how to craft more effective links. Our guys loved him.

“I was fortunate to travel the country with Steve – and wherever we went he was greeted warmly by the public – “I think I’ve reached the status of beloved” he once confided. Over dinners he would share his insight into the top US talent he had studied and of course his love of a good jingle package.

“Steve was so funny – we were like two giggling schoolboys oblivious to our disruptive influence in a smart restaurant or once, memorably, on the Reading to Paddington early train packed with grinning commuters, not believing their luck at the once-in-a-lifetime relief from the grim dreariness of the morning commute, Steve cracking jokes at the top of his voice. There were times we laughed so much it hurt. That is how I will remember Steve Wright– he made life more bearable for everyone hearing his voice.”