'An incredible talent': Stephen Nolan and Arlene Foster lead tributes to Stephen Clements after death
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."
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.
— UTV (@utv) January 7, 2020
"It's a loss to every person who felt comfortable listening to him..."
Fellow broadcaster Frank Mitchell (@frank_broadcast) pays tribute to Stephen Clements, amid shock and sadness at his sudden death at the age of 47.
See more here: https://t.co/lBXuLDqrnJ pic.twitter.com/pPl0bMSO9J
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.
— David Hunter (@davidhunter7) January 7, 2020
My fave ever Stephen Clements moment on QRadio breakfast. Showed his humour and talent all in one go. We all wish we could give him hugs today! @radiostephen - You’d love all the messages people are sending in to say they love you!! RIP pic.twitter.com/3dK419p3tL
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".
— Holly Hamilton (@HollyHNews) January 7, 2020
Stephen. �� pic.twitter.com/AKLN7Frgfv
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."
— Northern Ireland (@NorthernIreland) January 7, 2020
�� 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 pic.twitter.com/dBtzHkua0h
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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