Steve Wright(Dj) Biography

Stephen Richard Wright is an English radio personality and disc jockey. He is credited with creating the zoo format on British radio, which is known for its goofy and multi-personality style. Wright was born on August 26, 1954 in England. At the moment, he is the host of the Sunday Love Songs weekend mid-morning show on BBC Radio 2, which is the most listened to radio station in the United Kingdom and one of the national radio stations that the BBC operates. His last afternoon show was broadcast on September 30th, 2022, which was also the day it ended. Home Truths, The Steve Wright People Show, Auntie’s TV Favourites, Top of the Pops, and TOTP2 are just few of the programs that Wright has hosted on BBC Television.  Wright has been recognized with a number of accolades, including being named the Best DJ of the Year by both the Daily Mirror Readers Poll and Smash Hits in the year 1994. Because of his work in radio, he was honored with the TRIC Personality of the Year award in 1998.

 

Early life and career 

Wright was the older of two boys in a working-class family and was reared in New Cross. He was born in Greenwich, which is located in South London. Since he was a child, he has dreamed of having a career in the entertainment industry. His father, Richard Wright, was a tailor and managed Burton’s store in Trafalgar Square. Richard Wright was also a tailor. Wright was a shy child who was never particularly bright academically. Eastwood High School for Boys, which is located in Essex and is close to Southend-on-Sea, was his educational institution of choice. Steve would sneak into the school supply closet and broadcast an early version of a radio show he was developing over the school’s public address system. When Wright first started working for the BBC in the early 1970s, he was employed as a returns clerk in the Gramophone Library in Egton House, which is located directly across the street from Broadcasting House in London. He remained with the BBC until 1976, when he left to begin broadcasting at Thames Valley Radio Radio 210 in Reading, Berkshire, alongside Mike Read. 1979 was the year when Wright received his big break at Radio Luxembourg, where he hosted his own nightly show, then presented a Saturday evening show, and finally presented a Saturday morning show.

 

 

BBC Radio 1 

In 1980, Wright became a member of the BBC Radio 1 broadcasting team, initially hosting a show on Saturday evenings before shifting his focus to Saturday mornings later that same year.

 

Steve Wright in the Afternoon (March 1981 to December 1993) 

After making the transition to daytime radio in 1981 with his show Steve Wright in the Afternoon, Wright was later responsible for bringing the zoo format to the UK.

In 1984, Wright took over a Sunday morning show called Steve Wright on Sunday, which meant that he presented weekday afternoons Monday through Thursday. The show that aired on Friday afternoons was co-hosted by Mark Page and Paul Jordan. Steve Wright on Sunday was first broadcast. In 1986, he stopped hosting his Sunday morning show and went back to hosting five afternoons a week instead.

The first version of the Steve Wright in the Afternoon program was broadcast on BBC Radio 1 from 1981 to 1993. When the program was broadcast on Radio 1, it became famous for the cast of telephone characters that Gavin McCoy, Peter Dickson, Richard Easter, and Phil Cornwell had devised and brought to life through their performances. Wright, following in the footsteps of his teacher Kenny Everett, went out of his way to be irreverent, including the use of tales obtained from the Weekly World News. I’ll Be Back, a popular single that was published under the name Arnee and the Terminators, was the result of the success of the band. In subsequent years, the concept shifted, and instead of having a variety of characters, it took on more of a “zoo” structure, complete with parody visitors and comedic skits. A “pose” of radio producers and other staff members joined in on the fun. This format was new to British radio and marked the beginning of the marginalization (and eventually departure) of several veteran DJs on Radio 1 throughout the years that followed. This format was introduced in the United Kingdom.

Wright played “I’m Your Man” by Wham! after he had shown news broadcast on the Chernobyl nuclear disaster on his show, which served as the impetus for The Smiths’ smash single “Panic,” which was released in 1986.

Johnny Marr and Morrissey, who had been listening to the program at the time, thought that this was a callous and rude thing to do.

Radio 1 Breakfast (January 1994 to April 1995) 

In 1994, Wright and his Posse relocated to become a part of the Radio 1 Breakfast Show. He was dissatisfied 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. As a result, he resigned from the Breakfast Show in 1995 due to differences with the management of BBC Radio 1. He was unhappy with the station’s falling listening figures.

 

Commercial radio 

In 1995, Wright was recruited by the fledgling radio station Talk Radio, where he later became the host of a Saturday morning show. On Sunday mornings, he hosted a variety of shows that were syndicated across a number of other commercial stations in the United Kingdom.

BBC World Service 

On January 5, 1999, Wright became a presenter for the BBC World Service, where he was responsible for a program called “Wright Around The World.” This show was broadcast each and every Saturday afternoon up to its last broadcast on October 25, 2003. Because of this, he was now featured on BBC Radio each and every day of the week.

 

BBC Radio 2 

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. In 2006, Wright was said to earn £440,000 a year at Radio 2.

Steve Wright in the Afternoon (July 1999 to September 2022) 

A reorganization that took place at Radio 2 in the middle of 1999 resulted in the revival of the Steve Wright in the Afternoon program, with Wright succeeding Ed Stewart as host of this time slot. Jonathan Ross is now hosting the Saturday morning show that was formerly hosted by Wright.

Alongside Tim Smith and Janey Lee Grace, who have both also occasionally featured as relief presenters on the station, as well as traffic reporter Bobbie Pryor, Wright hosts his Radio 2 version of Steve Wright in the Afternoon on weekday afternoons from 2:00 to 5:00. Another regular participant, “The Old Woman,” was brought to life by the late Joyce Frost, who passed away in November of 2016. [8]

On the first of July 2022, Wright made the announcement that the show would be cancelled in September and that it would be succeeded by a new show co-hosted by Scott Mills. Wright would continue to serve as the host of Sunday Love Songs on Radio 2, in addition to launching a new Serious Jockin’ podcast, hosting seasonal specials, and working on other initiatives. [9] The last show was on September 30, 2022, and it was broadcast.

Sunday Love Songs (March 1996 to present) 

Sunday Love Songs is a solo show that contains a variety of classic love songs, dedications, and real-life relationship stories. It is presented by Wright between the hours of 9 and 11 on Sunday mornings.

In 2013, it was discovered that the show’s episodes were often recorded on a Friday afternoon. According to the editorial standards committee of the BBC Trust, the failure to alert listeners constituted a violation of the criteria pertaining to the accuracy of the reporting and the interaction with the public.

Career outside radio 

Between the years 1994 and 1995, Wright hosted a television show on BBC called The Steve Wright People Show.  His subsequent job in the television industry was as the narrator and writer for the vintage music show Top of the Pops 2, which he held from 1997 to 2009. The Michael Jackson special was the final edition of TOTP2 that he hosted, and it was televised on June 27, 2009. The following episode, which was the 2009 Christmas special, was broadcast on December 23, and Mark Radcliffe was the host of that episode.

 

UK Chart Hits 

While working as a radio presenter on BBC Radio 1, Wright was involved in a number of UK chart hits with members of his Afternoon Posse (the drive-time radio team). One of these hits was the UK Top 10 hit “I’ll Be Back,” which was performed in character by Mike Woolmans as “Arnee,” and which featured Wright as one of his backing band, “the Terminaters.” This performance took place on the 29 August 1991 episode of BBC One’s Top of the Pops.

  • Young Steve & The Afternoon Boys – “I’m Alright” (RCA Records 1982, single) UK Singles Chart number 40 
  • Steve Wright And The Sisters Of Soul – “Get Some Therapy” (RCA Records 1983, single) UK Singles Chart number 75 
  • Steve Wright – “The Gay Cavalieros (The Story So Far…)” (MCA 1984, single) UK Singles Chart number 61 in December 1984.
  • Mr. Angry With Steve Wright – “I’m So Angry” (MCA 1985, single) UK Singles Chart number 90 in August 1985.
  • Arnee and the Terminaters – “I’ll Be Back” (Epic Records 1991, single) UK Singles Chart number 5 

In addition to these records, Mr Food’s number 62 single from 1990 “And That’s Before Me Tea!”,  was based on a jingle by Dave Sanderson recorded for Wright’s afternoon show.

Personal life 

About Wright’s private life, not much is known to the public. He is a father to two children and was formerly married to Cyndi Robinson until the couple split in 1999. Both feathers and penicillin cause him to have an allergic reaction.

Bibliography 

  • Steve Wright Steve Wright’s Book of the Amazing But True: Trivia for the Connoisseur, Pocket Books (1995) ISBN 978-0671854829
  • Steve Wright Just Keep Talking: Story of the Chat Show, ‎ Simon & Schuster (1997) ISBN 978-0684816999
  • Steve Wright Steve Wright’s Book of Factoids, HarperCollins Publishers (UK), (2005) ISBN 0-00-720660-7
  • Steve Wright Steve Wright’s Further Factoids, HarperCollins Publishers (UK), (2007) ISBN 978-0007255191