Broadcaster Mike Smith has died after complications during heart surgery. He was 59 years-old.
Best known to a generation of radio listeners as the voice of BBC Radio 1’s Breakfast Show, he presented the flagship show between 1986 and 1988.
Smith was also a regular face on television, presenting Top of the Pops during the 1980s, and was one of the team that fronted the BBC’s ambitious worldwide coverage of the Live Aid concert in 1985.
He was a regular on a number of light entertainment formats in the 1980s and 1990s, including That’s Showbusiness and Friday’s People – although he is probably best remembered on television alongside Noel Edmonds on the Late, Late, Breakfast Show between 1984 and 1986.
An accomplished racing driver and pilot, Smith hit the headlines in September 1988 after he and fellow TV presenter Sarah Greene were both seriously injured in a helicopter accident in Gloucestershire. He proposed a few weeks later, and the following year the pair married and remained so until Smith’s death on Friday.
In the past decade, Smith has seldom been seen on television or heard on radio – instead he put his energies into building his successful business Flying TV, a company that provides aerial shots to television companies.
Born in Chelmsford, Essex, Smith began his career on hospital radio in his home county before moving into freelance production and presenting, and then working for the BBC. He moved to Capital Radio in 1980 to present the Breakfast Show, but shot to nationwide fame when he returned to Radio 1 in 1982 to work on a number of morning and lunchtime slots before inheriting the Breakfast Show from Mike Reid in 1986.
Smith’s wife Sarah Greene released a statement through his company saying she would “like to offer enormous thanks to the staff at the hospital for their care and compassion,” and asked that she and their family be allowed to mourn in peace.