BBC presenter Richard Cartridge has died after a short illness.
The 72-year-old left his job at BBC Radio Solent, the local station for Hampshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight, just a few weeks ago.
The sad news was confirmed by the station, who posted on Twitter : “We are deeply sad to announce that our dear friend Richard Cartridge has passed away following a short illness.
“Richard entertained the south on-air for over 46 years. Thank you Rich.”
Richard had joined the station in 1972 and was one of its best-loved presenters.
The show’s breakfast presenter Louisa Hannan also paid tribute.
She wrote: “The saddest news. Rich, you were a complete gentleman. Proud to have known and worked with you. You will be so greatly missed. x”
The station also shared a behind the scenes video of Richard at work.
They added: “Richard Cartridge first joined BBC Radio Solent in 1972 An iconic voice across the South
“Here he gave us a behind the scenes look of his show in 2015”
Former Strictly Come Dancing star Mike Bushell called Richard one of his mentors.
The presenter said: “Oh no. One of the greats is gone. So sad to read this. He was one of my mentors and inspirations when I first started at the BBC at @BBCRadioSolent in 1990. A true natural with such a cheeky wit. I still have on tape the time he inadvertently interupted @GethynJones RIP Rich.”
“He was the voice of my Sunday afternoons. Chilling with THAT voice on in the background. A true loss,” one fan posted.
While another wrote: “Sorry to hear this news. A lovely man with the most mellifluous voice. My thoughts are with Richard’s family and friends.”
During his career, Richard also worked for Classic FM and Bournemouth-based 2CR FM, as well as writing a column for the Southern Daily Echo.
He was one of Radio Solent’s longest-serving presenters and a huge favourite among listeners.
Richard, who retired in June, referred to the station as his “spiritual home”.
The star suffered a huge tragedy in 2005 when his son James was found dead outside of his Dorset home.
He had just returned home from work and his body was discovered lying at the bottom of the steps leading up to his flat.
Richard had another two children with his first wife Carol, and two younger children with his second wife, TV presenter Jane Wyatt, who he later split from.
The star briefly left Radio Solent in 2010 following a cull of presenters but he was reinstated after a petition demanding his return.
Richard had also been open with his fans about his mental health battles.
In 2013, he spoke out about how he had fought and won a battle with mental illness.
He had been unaware that he was suffering from bipolar disorder.
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