Steve Wright Dies: BBC Radio Presenter & Former ‘Top Of The Pops’ Host Was 69

Steve Wright, an iconic BBC radio presenter who used to host Top of the Pops, died Monday. He was 69.

Wright’s family confirmed the death to the BBC in a statement earlier today.

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“It is with deep sorrow and profound regret that we announce the passing of our beloved Steve Wright,” they said. “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.”

BBC Director General Tim Davie led the tributes, calling Wright “the ultimate professional – passionate about the craft of radio and deeply in touch with his listeners.”

Wright presented shows on Radio 1 and Radio 2 for decades, including most recently his iconic Sunday Love Songs for the latter, which he last hosted over the weekend for a pre-recorded Valentine’s Day special. He also had stints hosting music TV show Top of the Pops and spin-off Top of the Pops 2. His death comes just a month after that of Annie Nightingale, the first female presenter of a BBC Radio 1 show.

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Born in London in 1954, Wright joined the BBC as a clerk in his early 20s. After a brief stint with Thames Valley Radio, he returned to present weekend programs on Radio 1.

Steve Wright in the Afternoon made him a household name in the 1980s and he also had stints hosting the coveted Radio 1 breakfast show and with Talk Radio.

He began presenting on Saturdays plus Sunday Love Songs on Radio 2 from 1996 and also had an afternoon show from 1999-2022.

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The BBC said it plans to celebrate Wright’s life with a range of shows across the station.

BBC Music Director Lorna Clarke hailed an “extraordinary broadcaster – someone audiences loved, and many of us looked up to.”

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“He loved radio, and he loved the BBC, but most of all he loved his audience,” she added. “From Radio 1 to Radio 2, he was with us for more than four decades, and brought so much joy to our airwaves, whatever he was up to. We were privileged to have him with us for all these years.”

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