HEREFORDSHIRE celebrity Richard Hammond has paid tribute to radio broadcaster Steve Wright, calling him 'his hero'.

Wright was a fixture on BBC Radio 1 and then Radio 2 for more than four decades, attracting millions of listeners

He also fronted television programmes for the BBC, including Top of the Pops.

But his family confirmed his death at the age of 69 yesterday (Tuesday). 

Posting on X (formerly Twitter), former Top Gear presenter Hammond, who lives in Weston-under-Penyard, near Ross-on-Wye, and has a car restoration business in Hereford, said: "I've lost my hero.

"Steve Wright has left us. Heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.

"He was the reason I started my career. Steve, you changed radio and thus broadcasting for us and shall be very, very sadly missed. Go well."


Life of Steve Wright

Wright last appeared on air on Sunday, hosting a pre-recorded special Valentine’s Day edition of his Love Songs programme on Radio 2.

The broadcaster joined BBC Radio 1 in 1980 to host a Saturday evening show before moving on to host Steve Wright In The Afternoon a year later until 1993.

Hereford Times: Richard hammond described Steve Wright as 'his hero'Richard hammond described Steve Wright as 'his hero' (Image: PA Wire)

Wright then fronted the Radio 1 Breakfast show for a year until 1995, and completed a stint at commercial radio stations before returning to BBC Radio 2 in 1996 to host Steve Wright’s Saturday Show and Sunday Love Songs.

In 1999, he recreated Steve Wright In The Afternoon every weekday on Radio 2, with celebrity interviews and entertaining trivia featured in his Factoids segment, before stepping down in September 2022.

Former BBC Radio 1 host Scott Mills took over the afternoon slot as part of the station’s schedule shake-up.

Wright continued to present Sunday Love Songs on BBC Radio 2 and since October last year, he presented the long-running show Pick Of The Pops, which had previously been fronted by acclaimed radio DJ Paul Gambaccini.