Why is Steve Wright leaving BBC Radio 2 ? What has popular radio host said - is he retiring?
Steve Wright signed off from his popular BBC Radio 2 show for the last time after taking up hosting duties in 1999
Radio DJ Steve Wright has signed off from his popular radio show for the final time with an emotional farewell.
Listeners have turned into ‘Steve Wright in the Afternoon’ for the past 23 years, and the show has been one of the channel’s most popular for the past two decades.
Despite giving a heartfelt speech to listeners on his final show, Steve had promised that it isn’t the last fans have heard of him. Here’s everything we know about what’s next for Steve Wright.
What did Steve Wright say on his final show?
Steve Wright signed off from his show for the final time on Friday 30 September. Speaking at the end of his slot, Steve gave his gratitude to loyal listeners who have tuned in throughout the past two decades, saying: “Thank you if you’ve ever seen your way to listening to us over 23 years at any time. Thank you, thank you and thank you again.”
The 68-year-old’s emotional goodbye continued. He said: “Corny though it sounds, I quite like the way that we’ve all helped each other get through some of our ongoing problems together - the pandemic, the financial downturns, the ups and downs of life in the UK. Sometimes it’s been very difficult for everybody.
“[We] tried on this programme to bring just a little bit of light relief, a good genuine atmosphere, uplifting tunes, good conversation, a little bit of satire. We tried to make the show unique and just be good company. I can only hope that we’ve done that some of the time.
“I’m also really aware there are more things to think about than a radio show ending so I don’t want to be too self indulgent.”
Why has Steve Wright left BBC Radio 2?
The decision to leave the show came as sweeping changes came to BBC Radio 2. Steve revealed that the head of the channel, Helen Thomas, told him that they wanted to do “something different” with the timeslot”. Steve graciously took the news and told her that he was “OK” with the changes.
It was announced earlier this year that former BBC Radio 1 host Scott Mills would be making the switch to the channel. Scott will take over part of Steve’s slot, airing from 2pm until 4pm and is due to premiere later this year. DJ Sara Cox will host the new extended drivetime slot - from 4pm until 8pm - solo after Simon Mayo and Jo Whiley announced they were vacating the slot.
In a statement on the BBC Radio 2 website, Steve said: “Please do listen to Scott Mills and Sara Cox when they take over afternoons. They are both brilliant broadcasters and I truly wish them well when they start.”
Is Steve Wright retiring?
As one of the most popular voices on the channel, BBC Radio 2 viewers were shocked to hear that Steve was leaving his show. However, fans will not have to fear for too long, as the DJ revealed that just because he is leaving his show, he is not retiring from the BBC.
He told listeners during his final show: “What I do want to do is celebrate the show’s success and long run, and also mention that I’m not retiring!”
Steve will continue to present the Sunday Love Songs show on the channel. He is also set to release a new podcast series on BBC Sounds, titled ‘Serious Jockin’’. The show will launch on 4 November.
The veteran broadcaster will also return to present a special programme on 15 October to celebrate National Album Day. The BBC have also confirmed that he will return around the Christmas period to host some special programme, the details of which will be released closer to the time.