Steve Wright (DJ)

For other people named Steven Wright, see Steven Wright (disambiguation).
Steve Wright
Birth name Stephen Richard Wright
Born (1954-08-26) 26 August 1954
Greenwich, London,[1] England
Show Steve Wright in the Afternoon
Station(s) BBC Radio 2
Time slot 14:00–17:00 weekdays
Show Steve Wright's Sunday Love Songs
Station(s) BBC Radio 2
Time slot 09:00–11:00 Sundays
Country United Kingdom
Website Steve Wright in the Afternoon

Stephen Richard "Steve" Wright (born 26 August 1954 in Greenwich, London[1]) is an English radio presenter. He presents the afternoon show on BBC Radio 2. He rose to prominence in the early 1980s while working with Peter Dickson on BBC Radio 1.[1]

Early career

The son of a company director, Wright was educated at Eastwood High School, near Southend-on-Sea, Essex. In the early 1970s he worked behind the scenes at Radio 2, as a Gramophone Librarian. He started broadcasting in 1976 at Thames Valley Radio Radio 210 in Reading, Berkshire alongside Mike Read. In 1979 he joined Radio Luxembourg, and then BBC Radio 1 in 1980, presenting a Saturday evening show, then Saturday morning before moving to Steve Wright in the Afternoon from 1981.

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.

Steve Wright in the Afternoon 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. The show 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.

Steve Wright on Radio 1

Characters and sketches

Characters and sketches created for the show included:

The BBC Radio 1 Breakfast show and beyond

Wright and his Posse moved to The Radio 1 Breakfast Show in 1994. He also presented a BBC TV series, The Steve Wright People Show, from 1994–95.[2] He resigned from the Breakfast Show in 1995 due to differences with the BBC Radio 1 management after the station was restructured by new controller Matthew Bannister, which led to many of the more established DJs leaving, or being sacked, around this time. He was picked up by the new commercial station Talk Radio, where he presented a Saturday morning show and also presented a syndicated show on Sunday mornings on various commercial stations in the UK.

He returned to the BBC in 1996, when he joined BBC Radio 2, presenting Steve Wright's Saturday Show on Saturdays 10 am-1 pm and Steve Wright's Sunday Love Songs on Sundays 9–11 am. In July 1999, Steve took over Radio 2's weekday afternoon show (from Ed Stewart) and he was also the voice of and writer for the retro pop show on BBC television, 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.

Current work at BBC Radio 2

Steve Wright is on BBC Radio 2 weekday afternoons from 2 pm until 5 pm presenting 'The Big Show' 'Steve Wright in the Afternoon' and on Sunday 9–11am presenting 'Steve Wright's Sunday Love Songs'. He presents the former with Tim Smith and Janey Lee Grace (DJs often heard as relief presenters on Radio 2), plus traffic reporter Bobbie Pryor and "The Old Woman", played by Joyce Frost. On 10 November 2016 the BBC announced that Frost had died the previous week.[3]

Wright is said to earn £440,000 a year at Radio 2.[4]

The Steve Wright in the afternoon show features:

A popular feature that disappeared in summer 2007 with the start of the BBC investigation into 'rigged' contests (there was no suggestion Wright's show was involved) was "The Big Quiz", a general knowledge quiz in which a challenger took on the current champion (referred to as the 'champnio' or 'champine') to win prizes. Each had a time limit to answer questions, the round ending with the first incorrect answer. Winners were given a selection of prizes, building up if they remained 'champnio', whilst the loser gained a 'Sustificate of Muppetry' if they did poorly.

Sunday Love Songs, which Wright presents on his own, between 9 and 11, features items including Contact, I Just Met, Getting Hitched and Chocolate and Flowers. The music played has a romantic feel. Wright occasionally features dedications and requests for partners in same-sex relationships.

"Love the show"

A feature of Wright's radio shows are letters or emails from listeners. Almost all feature the phrase "Love the show". Wright's initials have been adapted into "SWs to you", an abbreviation used by correspondents of fellow Radio 2 presenter Sarah Kennedy. It means "Love the show". Other Radio 2 presenters have parodied it: Terry Wogan bemoaned the lack of such encouragement in his correspondence, occasionally reading listeners' letters which said "Love Steve Wright's show", while listeners of Chris Evans once added "Love the snow" to messages. During a stint sitting in for Wright, Mark Radcliffe jokingly told off listeners who started messages by saying how much they loved the show. Overnight presenter Alex Lester's listeners end their correspondence with "Love the shoe". Listeners to Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo's film reviews on Radio Five Live frequently end correspondence with "Love the show, Steve". Correspondents to Colin Murray's Talksport show frequently end with "average show, Colin".

Personal life

Wright was married to Cyndi, an American and mother to his two children. They are now divorced. Wright currently lives in a central London flat and a house in West Sussex.[5] Wright is allergic to feathers and also baked beans.[6]



  1. 1 2 3 "Radio 2 – Presenters – Steve Wright". BBC. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
  2. The Steve Wright People Show, IMDb, accessed 23 June 2011.
  3. "'Old Woman' on Radio 2's Steve Wright show dies". 10 November 2016. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
  4. Daily Telegraph – Wogan is number one in BBC radio rich list
  5. Parry, Ryan (4 August 2011). "Steve Wright: inside the weird world of the Radio 2 legend".
  6. Steve Wright in the Afternoon, BBC Radio 2, 4 April 2016 at 3:40pm
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