Wiltshire

BBC Wiltshire presenter Sandy Martin dies

BBC Wiltshire presenter Sandy Martin has died at the age of 53.

He was taken ill at the beginning of November and diagnosed with a brain tumour.

The popular presenter joined the BBC in 1998 and hosted a range of shows. He was well-known to people across the county.

BBC Wiltshire editor Tony Worgan said his death was a "great shock" to everyone and described Mr Martin as a "great support and loyal ally".

"Although we've known for a few months that Sandy has been seriously ill, it still comes as a great shock to everyone at BBC Wiltshire," he said.

"One thing people always noticed about Sandy was his infectious, never-ending enthusiasm. He made thinking positively into an art form.

'Lovely persona'

"I appointed Sandy as a member of the BBC Wiltshire management team 10 years ago and since then he has been a great support and loyal ally and I shall miss him very much."

Mr Martin began his radio career with a weekly "Disco Trekkin'" programme on commercial station GWR, while still a successful nightclub DJ at Swindon's Brunel Rooms.

He joined the BBC, based in Old Town, in 1998, hosting a wide range of shows, including the World Tour of Wiltshire and a series of fund-raising concerts featuring artists such as Jamie Cullum and Justin Hayward.

Sandy also produced special programmes featuring locally-based stars such as explorer David Hempleman-Adams and musician and singer Midge Ure.

Midge Ure said of Sandy: "There was just something about him, a charm, and when he'd ask you to do things there was no saying no. He had a lovely persona."

Most recently he had been BBC Wiltshire's "Man with a Van", out on the streets of the county gathering interviews with ordinary people which were broadcast as Your Stories from Your Place.

David Holdsworth, controller of BBC English Regions, said: "Sandy's wonderful human qualities meant that everyone wanted to talk to him and to tell him their stories.

"He made a huge contribution to the BBC and to local life in Wiltshire, and he will be sorely missed."

Sandy is survived by his wife Sarah, two-year-old twins and grown-up daughter from his previous marriage.

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