Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 9°C


Essex: Former Radio 1 DJ Mike Smith dies

19:49 02 August 2014

Mike Smith

Mike Smith

Friends and former colleagues of BBC Radio 1 presenter Mike Smith have described their “heartbreak” after the 59-year-old died in hospital.


Breakfast Show alumni including Noel Edmonds, Mike Read and Simon Mayo joined others from the world of entertainment in mourning Smith’s death.

Essex-born Smith, who started his career at Chelmsford hospital radio and has family in Ipswich, was married to fellow television personality Sarah Greene. He died in hospital on Friday from complications connected to his recent major heart surgery.

The couple, who married in 1989 and were childless, lived in London.

Edmonds, a long-term friend of the couple, said in a statement: “I am totally stunned and heartbroken for Sarah and his family.

“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.”

Mayo, who took on the Breakfast Show when Smith left in 1988, wrote on Twitter: “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.”

A BBC spokesman said: “We are saddened to hear of Mike’s passing. he was a talented presenter and a brilliant Radio 1 Breakfast Show host, and our thoughts are with his family.”

Smith’s career began at hospital radio before joining BBC Radio 1 in 1975.

In 1983, Smith took over the weekday lunchtime show and he took on the Breakfast Show in 1986, succeeding Mike Read.

Smith was a key figure in the early years of Comic Relief but largely stayed away from the limelight after a helicopter crash which injured both himself and Ms Greene in 1988.

The qualified pilot and his then-girlfriend Ms Greene were injured when the helicopter he was piloting crashed in Gloucestershire.

Both passengers survived, although Ms Greene broke both legs and an arm, and Smith suffered a broken back and ankle.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch concluded that “... examination of the helicopter (including flight control, fuel, engine control, dynamic systems and the engine itself) revealed no failure or unserviceability that could have resulted in a loss of rotor speed”.

Smith proposed to Ms Greene just weeks later and they were married the following year.

A few fleeting appearances on BBC television shows aside, Smith spent much of his time working as managing director and aerial cameraman for Flying TV.

In a statement released through Smith’s aerial filming company Flying TV, Ms Greene said she would “like to offer enormous thanks to the staff at the hospital for their care and compassion”.

A Flying TV spokesman said: “Mike founded Flying TV ten years ago and the company says his legacy will be FTV continuing to go from strength to strength.”



Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ipswich Star visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ipswich Star staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ipswich Star account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

The church is launching its fight back against gangs targeting places of worship for lead. St Mary's Church, Combs Road, Combs. Left to right is Assistant Chief Constable Rachel Kearton and Ipswich Bishop Martin Seeley.

The public have been asked to help the church and the police combat thieves targeting medieval churches across the country.

Aqua 8, Lion Street, Ipswich

An Ipswich chef-entrepreneur has achieved his dream of opening up his own restaurant in London’s Chinatown.

Stock image. Photo: PA

Suffolk police have strongly denied officers have used a Taser against a 91-year-old man after being accused of doing so by a BBC investigation.

Theatre Square artists impression

Construction work to tidy up the former Civic Centre site in the heart of Ipswich – and to create a new public square in front of the New Wolsey Theatre.

Residents have been campaigning for a by-pass for the four villages for decades.

Suffolk County Council is to contribute £450,000 towards building a case for the construction of a new by-pass around four villages on the A12 in the north of the county.

Matt Gaw strikes up a conversation with commuters in London

I’m standing in a queue at a large supermarket. A woman in front of me has long since packed her shopping into carrier bags, writes Matt Gaw.

More than 30 vehicles were stopped as part of the operation

More than 30 drivers of lorries, light goods vehicles and coaches were stopped by police last week in an initiative aimed to target and disrupt criminal activity.

The church of St Peter and St Paul in Lavenham

Supporters of one Suffolk church targeted by lead thieves have rallied round to raise the necessary funds to repair the damage caused to it – and help prevent it from happening again.

Robert Morton

MPs have warned the region’s new ambulance chief they will keep a laser like focus on the turnaround of the service when they came face-to-face in parliament.

Community transport, like Dial a Ride, faces financial cuts.

Funding for on-demand transport in Suffolk is to be cut in half – but there was a furious reaction after the Conservative cabinet at the county council ruled out any new debate on the subject.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages