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Radio 2 listeners break down in tears as Steve Wright’s Sunday Love Songs returns following the legendary DJ’s ‘sudden death’ aged 69


Radio 2 listeners broke down in tears as Steve Wright’s Sunday Love Songs returned to air days after the presenter’s sudden death. 

Steve, one of the most familiar voices on the airwaves in the UK, died suddenly at the age of 69 on Tuesday February 13.

The legendary DJ’s friend Liza Tarbuck took over hosting the episode in which she encouraged fans to get in touch with memories of Steve.

She said: ‘Good morning to you we are live in Wogan House.

‘This is is Steve Wright’s Sunday Love Songs without the chief… without our genius friend.

Radio 2 listeners broke down in tears as Steve Wright's Sunday Love Songs returned to air days after the presenter's sudden death.

Radio 2 listeners broke down in tears as Steve Wright’s Sunday Love Songs returned to air days after the presenter’s sudden death.

Veteran broadcaster Steve, one of the most familiar voices on the airwaves in the UK, died suddenly at the age of 69 on Tuesday February 13 (pictured 1980)

Veteran broadcaster Steve, one of the most familiar voices on the airwaves in the UK, died suddenly at the age of 69 on Tuesday February 13 (pictured 1980) 

The legendary DJ's friend Liza Tarbuck took over hosting the episode in which she encouraged fans to get in touch with memories of Steve

The legendary DJ’s friend Liza Tarbuck took over hosting the episode in which she encouraged fans to get in touch with memories of Steve

‘So while you’re getting a tissue I think it would be lovely if you lit him a candle. I make no apologies if I get upset during the next two hours and you shouldn’t either.’ 

Fans became emotional listening to the tribute, with one penning on X: ‘I’m not a big radio listener but my parents are and Sunday love songs was a regular feature in the house/car when I was growing so listening to the tribute show is emosh’

Another penned: ‘Listening to the tributes pour in for Steve Wright and I’m gone’

Steve’s friend of 40 years, publicist Gary Farrow, said he believes Steve ‘died from a broken heart’ after he was ‘devastated’ to lose his popular Radio 2 afternoon slot in 2022.

Speaking to The Sun, he said: Steve lives for the show, he absolutely loved it – and the listeners loved him. My view is that he died from a broken heart.’

It comes after Radio 2 boss Helen Thomas sparked outrage behind the scenes at the station for issuing a statement paying tribute to Steve less than 18 months after axing his show.

BBC staff are said to be ‘enraged’ at her for describing the late legendary DJ as being ‘second to none’ despite moving him from the 2pm until 5pm slot which he held for 24 years to Sunday mornings where he hosted Sunday Love Songs.

She said: 'This is is Steve Wright's Sunday Love Songs without the chief… without our genius friend.'

She said: ‘This is is Steve Wright’s Sunday Love Songs without the chief… without our genius friend.’

Fans became emotional listening to the tribute, with one penning on X: 'I’m not a big radio listener but my parents are and Sunday love songs was a regular feature in the house/car when I was growing so listening to the tribute show is emosh'

Fans became emotional listening to the tribute, with one penning on X: ‘I’m not a big radio listener but my parents are and Sunday love songs was a regular feature in the house/car when I was growing so listening to the tribute show is emosh’

Sources at the station insisted that Ms Thomas ‘should have just kept her mouth shut’ and that her statement was ‘shameless’ and ‘tone deaf’ after she replaced Wright with Scott Mills.

Shortly after Steve’s sudden death was announced in a statement by his family yesterday afternoon , Ms Thomas said the radio veteran understood the connection and companionship that radio engendered better than anyone ‘and we all loved him for it.’

She added: ‘He was a consummate professional whose attention to detail was always second to none, and he made his guests laugh, he was fair, and he wanted to showcase them and their work in the best possible light, bringing brilliant stories to our listeners.

‘Steve was the first presenter I ever produced, more than 20 years ago, and I remember the pure amazement I felt, sitting opposite this legendary broadcaster whose shows I had listened to and marvelled at whilst growing up in Hull.’

But employees at BBC HQ were left raging, with one telling MailOnline: ‘It is unbelievable that Helen has just come out and said this, she must have forgotten that she moved him from a job he had held for 24 years.

‘It was utterly disgraceful. She was also behind getting rid of Ken Bruce and Paul O’Grady. It really would have gone down better if she had said nothing at all.’

It comes after Radio 2 boss Helen Thomas sparked outrage behind the scenes at the station for issuing a statement paying tribute to Steve less than 18 months after axing his show (pictured BBC R2 boss Helen Thomas)

It comes after Radio 2 boss Helen Thomas sparked outrage behind the scenes at the station for issuing a statement paying tribute to Steve less than 18 months after axing his show (pictured BBC R2 boss Helen Thomas)

Their views were shared by hundreds of listeners who took to social media to share their dismay at Ms Thomas moving him from the afternoon slot.

One wrote on X: ‘Ironic hearing all the tributes for the late, great Steve Wright.

‘Pity R2 controller Helen Thomas didn’t show him the same respect when she stripped him of his fantastic afternoon show.

While another said: ‘I wonder how Helen Thomas feels about the number and the magnitude of people posting about Steve Wright? She really didn’t get how massive the man was.’



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