Radio 2 DJ Steve Wright’s cause of sudden death disclosed

Radio 2 DJ Steve Wright’s cause of sudden death disclosed

Radio 2 presenter Steve Wright died from a ruptured ulcer in his stomach, according to his death certificate.

The much-loved BBC DJ died suddenly in February aged 69, prompting tributes from the world of music and entertainment.

While a cause was not disclosed at the time, his brother blamed “lifestyle choices” made by the Sunday Love Songs host, who died at home in his central London flat.

However, it is now thought Wright died as a result of an perforated gastric peptic ulcer and acute peritonitis, according to his death certificate.

Peritonitis is an infection of the lining of the stomach, while a perforated ulcer is a rarer complication when the lining of the stomach splits open.

The Metropolitan Police previously said Wright’s death was unexpected, but was not being treated as suspicious. No inquest was held into his death.

News of Wright’s death was first announced by a tearful Sara Cox on her Radio 2 show. She said: “It’s really hard to know what to say about the news of Steve Wright’s passing except that we are all absolutely devastated and shocked and blindsided by this news.”

Wright’s family in a statement: “It is with deep sorrow and profound regret that we announce the passing of our beloved Steve Wright.

“In addition to his son, Tom, and daughter, Lucy, Steve leaves behind his brother, Laurence and his father Richard. Also, much-loved close friends and colleagues, and millions of devoted radio listeners who had the good fortune and great pleasure of allowing Steve into their daily lives as one of the UK’s most enduring and popular radio personalities.

Steve Wright died suddenly in February 2024 (PA Wire)
Steve Wright died suddenly in February 2024 (PA Wire)

BBC director-general Tim Davie also paid tribute to Wright, saying everyone at the BBC is “heartbroken” at the “terribly sad news” of his death.

He said at the time: “Steve was a truly wonderful broadcaster who has been a huge part of so many of our lives over many decades.

“He was the ultimate professional – passionate about the craft of radio and deeply in touch with his listeners.”

Wright first joined the BBC in the early Seventies as a clerk before leaving to start broadcasting in 1976 at Thames Valley Radio. His big break came in 1979 when he got his own nightly show on Radio Luxembourg.

He then returned to the BBC in 1980, taking over a Saturday evening slot on Radio 1.

The show that would define his career and last more than 35 years, Steve Wright in the Afternoon, was launched in 1981. During its first iteration, which lasted until 1993, he introduced the “zoo” concept to British radio, featuring spoofs, comedy skits and wacky segments.

After a brief stint hosting the Radio 1 breakfast show, Wright left for two years at Talk Radio. He rejoined the BBC in 1996. Wright retained his afternoon show from 1999 to 2022.

Steve Wright’s brother blamed ‘lifestyle choices’ for DJ’s death (Getty Images)
Steve Wright’s brother blamed ‘lifestyle choices’ for DJ’s death (Getty Images)

The DJ continued presenting Sunday Love Songs – even after stepping down from the channel in September 2022. Michael Ball has taken over as presenter since Wright’s death, calling his predecessor’s legacy “immeasurable”.

He was made an MBE in the 2024 New Year Honours for services to radio.

Wright was married to Cyndi Robinson until their divorce in 1999 and has two children.