BBC radio presenter Janice Long dies aged 66 after 'short illness'

BBC radio presenter Janice Long dies aged 66: First regular female host of Top of the Pops died on Christmas Day after a ‘short illness’

  • Radio presenter Janice Long died on Christmas Day after short illness, agent said
  • Long, aged 66, had a career spanning five decades across radio and television
  • She was best known as a presenter on BBC Radio 1 as well as Top of the Pops 

BBC radio presenter Janice Long, who was the first regular female presenter on Top Of The Pops, has died at the age of 66.

During a 40-year career, she hosted shows across flagship BBC stations including Radio 1, as well as the breakfast show on Greater London Radio and XFM.

Her agent Nigel Forsyth said Long died at home on Christmas Day following a short illness.

His statement said: ‘Janice was a wonderful, warm human being and exceptional broadcaster.

‘She told a brilliant story and always made you roar with laughter with her sharp wit. She will leave behind her husband Paul and two children, who she thought the world of.

‘Janice loved the BBC and started her career as a station assistant at BBC Radio Merseyside in 1979, to complete it with the magnificent people at BBC Radio Wales.

‘Janice wanted it known she was so thankful to the NHS and all who looked after her there.’

BBC radio presenter Janice Long has died aged 66 following a short illness, her agent said

Long was the first woman to have her own daily radio show and was also the first woman to present Top of the Pops, which she did for five years. 

BBC director general Tim Davie described her as a ‘stellar presenter’ who was loved across the industry. 

Lorna Clarke, controller of pop music at the BBC, was among those paying tribute to Janice Long.

She said: ‘Everyone in pop radio was saddened to hear of the passing of Janice Long.

‘She was long admired for her role as a talent spotter and new music champion, giving Frankie Goes To Hollywood and Amy Winehouse their first radio sessions, as well as lighting the way for female radio and TV presenters throughout the industry.

‘We send our deepest condolences to her family and friends at this sad time.’

Musician Midge Ure also shared a tribute to the former BBC radio presenter.

He said on Twitter: ‘Dreadful news. Janice stood with us on the pitch at Wembley stadium as we announced Live Aid. A broadcast legend and absolute music lover.’ 

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