Former Capital Radio and BBC Radio 1 breakfast presenter Mike Smith has died at the age of 59.
Friends and former colleagues paid tribute to the broadcaster, who died on Friday after complications from major heart surgery. His wife, broadcaster Sarah Greene thanked hospital staff who had treated him for their care and compassion.
Having started in radio via Chelmsford Hospital Radio, Mike joined BBC Radio 1 in 1975, then went to work for Capital Radio before re-joining in 1982, eventually taking over the breakfast show in 1986 for two years.
Mike also made a name for himself on television, working on Noel Edmonds’ The Late, Late Breakfast Show and That’s Showbusiness in the eighties. Before broadcasting, he was a keen racing driver who progressed to Formula Ford 2000, and became a qualified pilot.
Noel Edmunds issued a statement saying: “Mike introduced me to motor racing and I introduced him to radio. He was so much more than simply a presenter. Mike was that rare individual – the consummate broadcaster in an era when professionalism, dedication and hard work were truly valued. I am typing this through the tears. I wish I had told him more forcefully and frequently how much I admired his talent and valued his support.”
Simon Mayo tweeted: “Shocked to hear of Mike Smith’s death today. Condolences to Sarah and all his family. When we joined Radio 1 in 86, he was the guy who had it all. His breakfast show was a shiny, sparkly thing, a must-listen.”
Johnny Beerling, the former controller of BBC Radio 1, was on BBC News Channel and said Mike was a “very versatile broadcaster and a very original one. He was wonderful broadcaster, a good lad, and we will miss him.”
Paul Chanter tweeted a quote from Mike: “Radio has a contact with the audience in a very special way. It’s a privilege to be allowed into people’s lives.” – Mike Smith. RIP.
Presenter Paul Coyte: “Very sad news of Mike Smith. It was listening to his Capital Radio breakfast show when I was a kid that made me want to work on the radio.”
Steve Penk: “Really sad news about radio presenter Mike Smith, I’m genuinely shocked. Love to Sarah.”