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of the week

Back in 1980 when Steve Wright joined Radio 1 from Radio 210 in Reading, I had the job of showing Steve where the studios were. He’d never been to that area and it was great to chat with the ‘new boy’ and what a lovely man he was. We got on well and when he brought the ‘zoo’ radio format to the UK from America, I was one of the ‘afternoon’ boys. There was no official afternoon crew, it was just whoever was in and around the studio at the time and I very often was. Even the tea lady timed her round to occasionally be part of it and Steve loved that. I was even an inspiration for one of the character voices after I started making something up and Steve said, “Ooh I like that, I can use that.”

No one put more effort into building a show like Steve. He was in the building every single morning around 8.30/9am for a 2pm show and often didn’t leave until 7pm or later as he was preparing ideas for the next day. He worked hard like no other and, clearly, had a massive following for over 40 years on Radio’s 1 and 2. His show was retired last year for no other reason other than the BBC, in their tired, outdated ways that things needed to change. No they didn’t. Steve and Ken Bruce were bringing in huge audience figures and whether you liked them as broadcasters or not, they were doing exactly what they were paid to do and both loved doing it and their listeners loved them.

Many obituaries have been written most praising his broadcasting skills which was much deserved, but no one put it better, or could have even tried to put it better, than Paul Gambaccini. Like he did four weeks previously with Annie Nightingale, he had the amazing ability to stop you in your tracks and bring a tear to your eye with his heart-rendering delivery.

This needs to be heard and here it is.