Steve Wright (DJ)

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Steve Wright
Stephen Richard Wright

(1954-08-26) 26 August 1954 (age 67)
Years active1976–present
Spouse(s)Cyndi Robinson (1985–1999, divorced)
ShowSteve Wright in the Afternoon
Station(s)BBC Radio 2
Time slot14:00–17:00 weekdays
ShowSunday Love Songs
Station(s)BBC Radio 2
Time slot09:00–11:00 Sundays
CountryUnited Kingdom
WebsiteSteve Wright in the Afternoon

Stephen Richard Wright (born 26 August 1954)[1] is an English radio personality and DJ, credited for introducing the zoo format on British radio, with its zany, multi-personality approach. He currently presents his weekday mid-afternoon show Steve Wright in the Afternoon and his Sunday Love Songs weekend mid-morning show on BBC Radio 2, one of the BBC's national radio stations and the most popular station in the United Kingdom. On BBC Television Wright has hosted Home Truths, The Steve Wright People Show, Auntie's TV Favourites, Top of the Pops and TOTP2.[2] Wright has won awards, including Best DJ of the Year as voted by the Daily Mirror Readers Poll and by Smash Hits in 1994. In 1998, he was awarded TRIC Personality of the Year for his radio programmes.[2]

Early life and career[edit]

Born in Greenwich, South London, the elder of two boys in a working-class family, Wright was raised in New Cross. His childhood ambition was to work in the entertainment business. His father, Richard Wright, was a tailor and the manager of the Burton's store in Trafalgar Square. Wright was a quiet child, and never very scholarly.[3][better source needed] He was educated at Eastwood High School for Boys, near Southend-on-Sea, Essex. Steve occasionally broadcast a nascent radio show over the school speaker system from the school stock cupboard. He started broadcasting in 1976 at Thames Valley Radio Radio 210 in Reading, Berkshire alongside Mike Read. In 1979 Wright got his big break at Radio Luxembourg, where he presented his own nightly show, presenting a Saturday evening show, then Saturday morning.[citation needed]

BBC Radio 1[edit]

In 1980,Wright joined BBC Radio 1 taking over a Saturday evening slot before moving to Saturday mornings later that year.

Steve Wright in the Afternoon (March 1981 - December 1993)[edit]

Wright moved to daytime radio with Steve Wright in the Afternoon in 1981, later introducing the zoo format to the UK.[2]

In 1984, Wright took over a Sunday morning show entitled Steve Wright on Sunday, which meant he presented weekday afternoons Mondays to Thursdays only, with Mark Page and Paul Jordan presenting Friday afternoon's show. In 1986 his Sunday morning show ended, and he returned to five afternoons a week.

The original incarnation of Steve Wright in the Afternoon ran from 1981 to 1993 on BBC Radio 1. The show became known in its Radio 1 incarnation for its cast of telephone characters created and performed by Gavin McCoy, Peter Dickson, Richard Easter and Phil Cornwell. Like his mentor, Kenny Everett, Wright went out of its way to be irreverent, including stories taken from the Weekly World News. The success led to a hit single, I'll Be Back, released under the name Arnee and the Terminaters. In later years the style changed, dumping most of the characters and instead having a "zoo" format, with spoof guests and comedy sketches. A "posse" of producers and radio staff joined in. This format was new to British radio and marked the beginning of the marginalisation (and eventual departure) of several established Radio 1 DJs over the years that followed.[citation needed]

The Smiths song "Panic", released in 1986, contained supposed lyrical inspiration in reference to Wright's bizarre handling of a news report after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster on BBC Radio One. Following the report, Wright, with the world still reeling in shock, played the song "I'm Your Man" by Wham! Both Johnny Marr and Morrissey, who had been listening to the broadcast, viewed this as an insensitive and disrespectful act. This is partially the cause of the repeated lyric, "Hang the DJ" in the song.[4]

Radio 1 Breakfast (January 1994 - April 1995)[edit]

Wright and his Posse moved to The Radio 1 Breakfast Show in 1994. He resigned from the Breakfast Show in 1995 due to differences with the BBC Radio 1 management; he was unhappy with the plummeting listening figures of the station due to its restructuring under new controller Matthew Bannister, which led to many of the more established DJs leaving, or being sacked, around this time.

Commercial radio[edit]

Wright was picked up by the new station Talk Radio in 1995, where he presented a Saturday morning show. He presented various syndicated shows on Sunday mornings on a number of other British commercial stations.

BBC Radio 2[edit]

He joined BBC Radio 2 in March 1996, where he began presenting Steve Wright's Saturday Show (1996–1999) and Steve Wright's Sunday Love Songs (1996–present), and his afternoon show beginning in July 1999. Wright is said to earn £440,000 a year at Radio 2.[5]

Steve Wright in the Afternoon (July 1999-present)[edit]

In mid 1999, following a shake-up at Radio 2, Steve Wright in the Afternoon was revived, with Wright taking over this slot from Ed Stewart. Jonathan Ross took over Wright's Saturday morning slot.

Wright presents his Radio 2 version of Steve Wright in the Afternoon on weekday afternoons from 2pm to 5pm, alongside Tim Smith and Janey Lee Grace (who have both also occasionally appeared as relief presenters on the station), as well as traffic reporter Bobbie Pryor. Another frequent contributor, "The Old Woman", was played by Joyce Frost who died in November 2016.[6]

Sunday Love Songs (March 1996-present)[edit]

Sunday Love Songs, which Wright presents on his own, between 9 and 11, with a blend of classic love songs, dedications and real-life romance stories, features items including Contact, I Just Met, Getting Hitched (known as Getting Hitched Later during the COVID 19 pandemic of 2020-21) and Chocolate and Flowers. The music played has a romantic feel.

In 2013 it was revealed that the show was recorded on a Friday afternoon. The BBC Trust's editorial standards committee said the failure to inform listeners properly breached guidelines on accuracy and interacting with the audience.[7]

Career outside radio[edit]

Wright presented a BBC TV series, The Steve Wright People Show, from 1994 to 1995.[8] His next stint in television was as the narrator and writer of the retro pop show Top of the Pops 2 between 1997 and 2009. The last episode of TOTP2 he presented was the Michael Jackson special broadcast on 27 June 2009; Mark Radcliffe presented the next episode, which was the 2009 Christmas special broadcast on 23 December 2009.

Personal life[edit]

Little is known about Wright's personal life. He was married to Cyndi Robinson until they divorced in 1999, and is allergic to feathers and penicillin.[9]


  • Steve Wright Steve Wright's Book of Factoids, HarperCollins Publishers (UK), (2005) ISBN 0-00-720660-7


  1. ^ a b "Radio 2 – Presenters – Steve Wright". BBC. Archived from the original on 14 November 2011. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
  2. ^ a b c "Steve Wright". BBC. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  3. ^ Parry, Ryan (4 August 2011). "Steve Wright: inside the weird world of the Radio 2 legend". Archived from the original on 25 October 2016.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Daily Telegraph Archived 15 April 2010 at the Wayback Machine – Wogan is number one in BBC radio rich list
  6. ^ "'Old Woman' on Radio 2's Steve Wright show dies". 10 November 2016. Archived from the original on 9 November 2016. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
  7. ^ reporters, The Telegraph (28 May 2018). "Steve Wright tells Sunday Love Songs listeners to leave requests for prerecorded show". Retrieved 28 May 2018 – via
  8. ^ The Steve Wright People Show Archived 29 March 2015 at the Wayback Machine, IMDb, accessed 23 June 2011.
  9. ^ "BBC Radio 2 - Steve Wright in the Afternoon, Paul McKenna and Jon Culshaw". BBC. Retrieved 13 February 2020.

External links[edit]

Media offices
Preceded by
Mark Goodier
BBC Radio 1
Breakfast Show Presenter

Succeeded by
Chris Evans