Chris Moyles pays emotional tribute to legendary radio DJ Steve Wright and opens up about private friendship

14 February 2024, 12:54 | Updated: 14 February 2024, 12:57

Chris Moyles pays tribute to Steve Wright

By Jenny Mensah

The Radio X presenter has given a tearful tribute to his friend and mentor following the news of his passing, aged 69.

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Chris Moyles has delivered a heartbreaking tribute to Steve Wright, who he's described as "a genuine sweetheart," while opening up about their private friendship.

Tributes have continued to pour in for the legendary radio DJ and voice of the BBC, following the news of his passing, aged 69.

Speaking on The Chris Moyles Show this morning (Wednesday 14th February), the Radio X DJ has shared a tearful dedication to his friend and mentor, who he encountered very early on in his own career.

Speaking about the first time he became a fan of the broadcaster and how they first met, he began: "So when I was a kid and I used to put the radio on. I used to get back from school and this man was on called Steve Wright, doing his afternoon show with this range of characters and people shouting stuff in the background and people on the phone and I'd not heard anything like it in my life. I just thought it was the most amazing thing."

"And he went off to be a consultant at the company I worked for," he added. "I was working at Milton Keynes at the time at that point. We got on straight away and we talked about radio and we talked about what I was doing and what he was doing at Radio 1 and then we swapped numbers and we stayed in touch.

"He would ring me and would leave messages on my phone. He wouldn't say 'Hello'. He wouldn't say 'Hey, it's me'. I would get home and press my answer machine and he'd say, 'Yeah I like the bit you did about the washing machine today. That was good,' and then he'd put the phone down. Sometimes a goodbye, never a hello and he would leave me these little Steve Wright shows and leave me little critiques and it was always really positive."

Chris Moyles has paid tribute to his mentor and friend Steve Wright
Chris Moyles has paid tribute to his mentor and friend Steve Wright. Picture: Getty/ Radio X

Moyles also recalled how he met Wright for a cup of tea when he was offered a role at the BBC and shared the advice he gave him. Moyles went on to work in Wright's old time slot, adding: "I got a real kick out of that."

The pair lost touch for a number of years, but Moyles revealed that he had renewed his friendship with the legendary DJ in recent years and the pair would meet and talk on the phone.

"One day I called him up when I was here in the early days of me being at Radio X and this will be hard for me to get through," he began. "I basically rang him up and said, 'I wanna ask you something.'

"He rang me back and said: 'Right. So you want my job when I leave? [I replied] "No I don't.'[He said] 'You want me to do something for your show on Radio X?'

"I went, 'No I don't'. He goes, 'Well then, what do you want?' And I said: 'None of us are getting any younger. You and I have lost touch and I'd really think you and I could be friends.' And he said, 'Wow. I wasn't expecting that. I'd love that.'"

Tearing up, the Radio X DJ added: "The reason I'm getting upset is because I said, 'People are dying. We should hang out more' and we did. And I didn't tell many people about it because he said to me one day: 'This is for us by the way. This isn't for the show. This is you and me.' [...] So I didn't talk about it very much. A couple of my friends found out about it later..."

"We would go for dinner, we would chat on the phone, we would meet up, we would have some hilarious conversations," he went on. "He was a quirky man, but a lovely genuine sweetheart and he wasn’t eccentric at all, he was so sharp and so clued in. He had thoughts about radio, television, music and art and was aware of everything. Knew what was in the charts, knew what the big films was, the big TV shows, knew what everyone was doing on the radio, flicked around to different stuff. You could talk to him about the industry."

He added: "He was just awesome, just brilliant, lovely and private so I felt very flattered that he would let me into his life a little bit. He even made it onto this show when it was my thirty years of radio, he sent a message which I absolutely adored and there you go. Cheers Steve to everything, we lost you too soon, and he’s left me with so many amazing memories."

"He was, an absolute pro, a gentleman, a lovely, lovely guy. He was a very positive guy. How me and him got on I have no idea. We were very different. He was a big supporter. Listened to this show, knew everybody who worked on this show. Love him."

Choking up, he added: "I can't... I can't quite comprehend I'll never talk to him again."

Going on to play Steve's iconic show theme song, he declared: "How brilliant. The perfection of his show that this was his theme, which is like 50 musicians recorded in two different countries and made by the brilliant Anthony James and I used to sing it every often to him..."

The news of Steve Wright's passing was confirmed by his family on Tuesday 13th February, who said in a statement: "It is with deep sorrow and profound regret that we announce the passing of our beloved Steve Wright.

"In addition to his son, Tom, and daughter, Lucy, Steve leaves behind his brother, Laurence and his father Richard.

"Also, much-loved close friends and colleagues, and 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."

Wright hosted shows on BBC Radio 1 and Radio 2 for more than four decades and was last on air hosting a pre-recorded Valentine's show on Sunday, the BBC said.

He died on Monday 12th February.