The family of DJ Steve Wright have announced the Radio 2 presenter has died at the age of 69 after a decades-long career with the BBC.
Confirming the news on Tuesday, they released a statement sharing their “deep sorrow and profound regret”.
In a statement via the BBC, Wright’s family announced: “It is with deep sorrow and profound regret that we announce the passing of our beloved Steve Wright.
“In addition to his son, Tom, and daughter, Lucy, Steve leaves behind his brother, Laurence and his father Richard.
“Also, much-loved close friends and colleagues, and millions of devoted radio listeners who had the good fortune and great pleasure of allowing Steve into their daily lives as one of the UK’s most enduring and popular radio personalities.
“As we all grieve, the family requests privacy at this immensely difficult time.”
Steve Wright has been with the BBC for decades
Radio 2 presenter Sara Cox led tributes to her colleague as they gave a tearful speech, explaining the team was “devastated”.
“It’s really hard to know what to say about the news of Steve Wright’s passing, except we are all shocked and devastated and blindsided by this news,” Cox said.
“Steve was an extraordinary broadcaster, a 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 all be absolutely shattered too.”
Meanwhile, BBC director general Tim Davie also honoured the late star, adding: “All of us at the BBC are heartbroken to hear this terribly sad news. Steve was a truly wonderful broadcaster who has been a huge part of so many of our lives over many decades.
Tributes have poured in for the popular radio host
“He was the ultimate professional – passionate about the craft of radio and deeply in touch with his listeners.
“This was deservedly recognised in the New Year Honours list with his MBE for services to radio.
“No-one had more energy to deliver shows that put a smile on audiences’ faces. They loved him deeply.
“We are thinking of Steve and his family and will miss him terribly.”
BBC director general Tim Davie described Wright as ‘a truly wonderful broadcaster’
Meanwhile, presenter Jeremy Vine also paid tribute to the father-of-two, telling BBC News: “It’s come as a complete shock to us. The Radio 2 family are in mourning.
“The thing about Steve is that he was 69 when he died, but he still sounded like he did when he was 30. He was such an incredible professional… a lovely man.
“He was so encouraging to the next generation of presenters like me. He was so generous with his time. He was such a huge figure in British radio. That cheerful voice is gone, and there are so many people who will feel his loss.”
Wright’s broadcasting career began in 1976 for Thames Valley Radio before he joined BBC Radio 1 four years later. In the 1980s, he launched Steve Wright in the Afternoon which ultimately kick-started his career.
Radio 2 has said it plans to honour Wright’s life across the station.