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What made the late BBC Radio DJ Steve Wright so special… 150 150 mhamer

What made the late BBC Radio DJ Steve Wright so special…

Jimmy Cricket's newspaper column about the late BBC Radio 1 and 2 DJ Steve Wright appeared in the Lancashire Evening Post

Jimmy Cricket has revealed he was a big fan of famous radio DJ Steve Wright who died earlier this year.

For decades the voice of the BBC on afternoon radio, Steve passed away aged 69 in February.

He had joined the national broadcaster at the beginning of the 1980s and went on to host popular shows on both BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 2.

In a statement, his family referred to the “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”.

Jimmy’s latest monthly newspaper column in the Lancashire Evening Post is devoted to the late DJ.

‘An instant fan’

He says: “When I first got a break on the tele in the early eighties, a friend told me that there was this young DJ on the radio doing an impression of me who was called Steve Wright.

“Obviously, this did my ego a power of good, so I made it my business to tune in to this new ‘jock’.

“I became an instant fan! Steve just had that special something that drew you closer to the radio when he was in full flight.

“He made even reading out the weather report sound interesting.

“Twenty-five years later, I was sitting in the BBC London studios being interviewed by him for his big show that was aired on weekday afternoons.

“I was accompanied by Cannon and Ball. We were there to promote a show we were touring with called The Best of British Variety.

Rory Bremner

“It was great fun as we all bounced ad libs between us, ending with Steve reeling out the theatres around the country where we were strutting our stuff.”

Adds Jimmy: “My other link to Steve’s show came via the impressionist Rory Bremner.

“Rory and I did a TV series for Central television in the mid-eighties and we both got this booking to entertain on a cruise around the Greek Islands. (I know it’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it!).

“The problem was I turned up at Athens airport without my passport.

“I can still see it now – half a dozen security men gathered round looking at a publicity photo of a guy in a funny hat and wellingtons at 3 o’clock in the morning, all babbling in Greek, half of them giggling and the other half scratching their heads.

“When Rory went on Steve’s show, he relayed the story as only he could, complete with impressions of the Greek officials.

‘Moving and emotional’

“Steve laughed so much he asked Rory to repeat it the next time he came on his show.”

The column continues: “Of course, no article about Steve Wright would be complete without mention of his other BBC Radio 2 show – Sunday Love Songs.

“Here, he gave shoutouts to couples getting engaged and married (as well as people’s anniversaries), while playing some of the most iconic and romantic songs ever written.

“Some lucky couples even got champagne and chocolate.

“This was one of the most moving and emotional programmes on national radio. It drew huge numbers of listeners every Sunday morning.”

Jimmy concludes: “You know, there’s an intimacy about listening on the radio to your favourite presenter.

“Without the visual distraction of television, you feel he’s just talking to you alone.

“Perhaps that’s what made Steve so special.

“Even though he was talking to the nation, you got the feeling he was just talking to you.”