Michael Ball praises ‘immeasurable’ legacy of Steve Wright in Love Songs debut

Radio presenter Michael Ball has thanked Steve Wright and his “immeasurable” legacy during the debut of his Sunday Love Songs programme on BBC Radio 2.

West End star Ball, 61, has taken over hosting duties from the late DJ, who was the long-running presenter of the show up until his death in February at the age of 69.

Toward the end of Love Songs with Michael Ball, the TV and radio personality shared that the show’s first “last dance” would be a tribute to Wright.

The “last dance” is the last love song played on that week’s show, and Ball described it as “an opportunity to take a moment and maybe have a little dance along with me”.

“Now for this first week, the Last Dance is a very special song”, he said.

“It was one of Steve Wright’s favourites.

“So in memory of Steve, I want you to give someone a hug. Make that time for it now.

“Your partner, your friend, (your) child, parent, even your pet.

“And if you’re on your own right now, I’m embracing you with a virtual hug.

“And I want to take this opportunity to thank Steve, his legacy on Radio 2 is immeasurable.

Steve Wright death
George Michael pictured with BBC Radio 1 DJ Steve Wright (PA)

“You are missed friend and this is for you.”

Ball played the song Wichita Lineman by Glen Campbell, which is a song Wright often used as background music.

Wright had been a fixture on BBC Radio 1 before he moved to Radio 2, where he hosted Pick Of The Pops alongside Sunday Love Songs prior to his death.

He was most known, however, for presenting Steve Wright In The Afternoon, which had originally launched in 1981, with Wright presenting a revived version on Radio 2 between 1999 and September 2022.

Ball is now on air from 9am to 11am on Sunday and his previous 11am to 1pm slot is being hosted by Top Gear presenter Paddy McGuinness.

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