Belfast Telegraph

'An incredible talent': Stephen Nolan and Arlene Foster lead tributes to Stephen Clements after death

Eimear McGovern

Tributes flooded in for popular BBC presenter Stephen Clements following his sudden death at the age of 47.

He was married to Natasha and dad to Poppy and Robbie.

After beginning his broadcasting career at City Beat, later Q Radio, in 2010, he joined Radio Ulster last year.

BBC presenter Stephen Nolan led tributes to Mr Clements, saying "we will miss you".

Mr Nolan had championed Mr Clements since his days at City Beat, stating he was destined for great things. He also appeared on Mr Nolan show in which he was setup for a prank to welcome him to the BBC.

"Your warmth on air was a true reflection of the real you - a kind, decent human being with so much natural talent," Mr Nolan tweeted.

"My heartfelt condolences to your family."

Stephen Clements with his wife Natasha and their children Poppy and Robbie
Stephen Clements with his wife Natasha and their children Poppy and Robbie
Dream job: DJ Stephen Clements with his son Robbie
Beach life: Stephen Clements, with his daughter Poppy, has fond memories of Barry’s in Portrush
Leading man: Stephen Clements taking part in The Royal Does Strictly with Brenda Creaney of the Belfast Trust in 2012
Sunday Life News brenda shankey, eamonn holmes, Q Radio Stephen Clements and Cate Conway recording the Christmas Special. Picture Colm O'Reilly Sunday Life 19-12-2015
Stephen Clements is set to present his own show on BBC Radio Ulster
Dream job: Stephen gets settled in
Stephen with wife Natasha
The RUA’s Annual Exhibition takes place at the award-winning Ulster Museum.
Great cause: Stephen Clements with Children in Need’s Pudsey
Stephen Clements with wife Natasha and children Poppy and Robbie
BBC Children in Need are presenters Holly Hamilton and Stephen Clements with Pudsey Bear.
Twitter postings: Stephen Clements
The BBC NI studio with presenters Stephen Clements and Holly Hamilton

DUP leader Arlene Foster said it was "absolutely devastating news". She once called into his Q Radio show introducing herself as "Arlene from Fermanagh" the day after she became DUP leader. She said she was a big fan of Mr Clements' show.

"Have been a fan since Q days. We were in touch over Christmas & New Year," Mrs Foster tweeted.

"An incredible talent who was always willing to help others. Please keep his wife, little children and wider family in your prayers."

Later she paid tribute while addressing the press during a break in the talks at Stormont. She said she last met him at a charity event last month and he was someone she "greatly admired".

Sinn Fein's Michelle O'Neill extended her condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the presenter.

"I am deeply shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of Stephen Clements today," she said.

“His radio shows on BBC Radio Ulster and Q Radio brought his legion of listeners joy through his music and humour.

“I would like to extend my deepest condolences to his wife, children and family, and his colleagues at this very sad and difficult time."

Broadcaster Eamonn Holmes asked: "how could you be gone?"

"No more chats," he tweeted.

"I'll miss you , your listeners will miss you. My Heartfelt condolences to your family.

"A lesson for us all to live life because we don't know how long it will last. Sad, sad times."

UTV's Frank Mitchell said it was a loss to Northern Ireland broadcasting.

"I can't believe we are not going to hear [him] again... a rising talent," he said.

Mr Clements' former co-presenter at City Beat Sara Neill said her "heart is so sad" upon hearing the news.

"A friend, a radio husband, and the man who taught me so much about broadcasting," she said.

His former Q Radio colleague David Hunter shared his favourite moment with the broadcaster on Twitter.

Boxer Carl Frampton also paid tribute to the presenter.

"Deepest condolences to his young family and friends," he said.

Northern Ireland actor Bronagh Waugh said she was shell-shocked.

"Heartbroken", she added.

"One of the kindest, sweetest, most generous person I've had the pleasure of working with. My pal. My sincerest condolences and love goes out to Natasha and the kids and the rest of the family."

Coronation Street actor Charlie Lawson offered his sympathies to the family.

"Life is to be lived with love and laughter, as much as you can," he tweeted.

"Don’t sweat the small things, and, note to self, don’t get so angry. Very few of those up on the hill are worth half of Stephen Clements. Love to yours."

Former Radio Ulster presenter Wendy Austin MBE said she was saddened "beyond belief".

"Lovely guy, had the privilege of working with him and becoming friends. So terrible for his much loved family."

Weather presenter Barra Best and sports presenter Stephen Watson also paid tributes both said they were "stunned".

Holly Hamilton who he co-hosted BBC Northern Ireland's Children in Need programme with in November 2019 said she was "struggling to find the right words".

Stephen was the patron of Autism NI. It said it was saddened to hear of his death.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his immediate family and friends. Stephen was a great supporter for autism across Northern Ireland."

He was also an ambassador for the NSPCC.

"We were very lucky to have his generous support for many years and I was very fortunate to call him a friend," the charity said.

UUP MLA John Stewart - who represents Mr Clements' hometown of Carrick - led the tributes from across the political spectrum.

"Absolutely devastated by news of Stephen Clements sudden passing," he said.

"Stephen was a truly wonderful person and unbelievable broadcaster. I am just in total shock. My heart goes out to his wife and lovely children at this heartbreaking time."

Alliance MLA Paula Bradshaw said she was saddened when she heard of Stephen's death.

"A true gentleman and incredibly talented broadcaster. A tragic loss," she added.

Former justice minister Claire Sugden said it was "desperately sad news".

"A young, vibrant and kind life gone too soon. My heart goes out to his wife, family, friends and all those who knew him."

The Northern Ireland national football team tweeted: "We’re deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Stephen Clements. A proud Northern Ireland fan, Stephen was MC at several of our home games. He will be sadly missed. #GAWA"

If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article, contact the Samaritans on 084 5790 9090, or Lifeline 080 8808 800

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