Steve Wright should keep on Jockin’ after departure from BBC Radio 2 – Scotsman comment

Many of us will have shed a quiet tear as Steve Wright, presenter of his eponymous “big show” on BBC Radio 2, bowed out yesterday afternoon.

Steve Wright has bowed out after 37 years at BBC Radio 1 and Radio 2 (Picture: Jane Mingay/PA)
Steve Wright has bowed out after 37 years at BBC Radio 1 and Radio 2 (Picture: Jane Mingay/PA)

Our sadness was partly nostalgic. His relentlessly upbeat afternoon programme, with its “factoids”, news snippets, interviews and eclectic mix of music, has formed the soundtrack to all our good, bad and entirely mundane times for 23 years. And, of course, he had already spent 14 years on Radio 1, pioneering the zany “zoo” radio format that made his name.

His was a regular, unifying comfort across the country, through the decades, and his talents stretched far beyond simply introducing the music and cueing up the jingles.

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The values of populist, public service journalism lay at the heart of his work. This was comforting radio that always entertained, but also informed and educated, and did so for millions every day, through good times and bad. Wright could slip in discussion of the most serious current affairs between two pop records and the travel update, and follow it up with the lightest of showbiz news. This was the key to his appeal.

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Wright has, elegantly, made clear he was told his time was up; his is no retirement. He has fallen victim to the BBC’s relentless – and often misguided – quest for youth.

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We hope their loss will be the gain of a more enlightened station – one, perhaps, in Britain’s burgeoning commercial sector who, spotting Wright’s vast audiences and continuing energy, offers him a new home. Until then, we offer Wright our thanks. Loved the show, Steve.

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