Entertainment & Arts

Mike Smith: Tributes paid to former Radio 1 DJ

Mike Smith Image copyright PA
Image caption Mike Smith spent six years at BBC Radio 1 between 1982 and 1988

Tributes have been paid to former BBC Radio 1 breakfast show DJ Mike Smith, who has died aged 59 following complications from major heart surgery.

Phillip Schofield, who worked with Smith's wife Sarah Greene on TV show Going Live!, called him his "wonderful, bright, funny, thoughtful friend".

"There are no words. @RealSarahGreene I'm so so sorry my darling," he said.

Fellow former Radio 1 Breakfast Show hosts Mike Read and Simon Mayo were also among those who paid tribute.

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 live, Mayo said: "He was the first Radio 1 presenter who could do almost anything - you could put him anywhere and he would shine and sparkle.

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Media caption"Shiny, sparkly head boy who had everything": Simon Mayo remembers Mike Smith

"He was a great DJ, he knew precisely what he was doing and was always in control."

Read said: "The news is just devastating. Sarah and Mike were a wonderful couple - it is truly horrible to hear.

"Mike was a very affable guy, fantastically business-like. It's a real loss and has come as quite a shock."

'Consummate broadcaster'

Smith spent six years at Radio 1 between 1982 and 1988, and fronted editions of Top of the Pops and hosted the BBC's coverage of Live Aid.

He was also well known for his TV appearances in the 1980s on the BBC's Breakfast Time, and The Late, Late Breakfast Show alongside Noel Edmonds.

Edmonds said he was "totally stunned and heartbroken for Sarah and his family".

"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," he said.

"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."

Image copyright Twitter

In 2003 Smith founded his aerial filming company, Flying TV, which supplies aerial shots for UK broadcasters, in 2003.

Over the past decade, the firm was responsible for much of the aerial footage that appeared on British TV shows - often with Smith himself at the controls of the helicopter.

Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson tweeted: "Very sad about Mike Smith. He did all our helicopter filming on Top Gear and was a lovely, genuine man."

Others to pay tribute include the first Radio 1 Breakfast Show host Tony Blackburn who described Smith as a "nice man" and former BBC presenter Keith Chegwin, who praised him as a "great broadcaster".

A BBC spokesperson 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."

Greene, Smith's wife of 25 years, thanked hospital staff who had treated him for their care and compassion.

She asked for her family and friends to be allowed to mourn in peace.

Image caption Noel Edmonds and Mike Smith appeared together on the Late, Late Breakfast Show in the 1980s

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