Fans flood airwaves paying tribute to 'one-off' Stephen Clements on Radio Ulster show
Tributes to Stephen Clements poured in on his BBC Radio Ulster show mid-morning slot on Wednesday.
The sudden death of the BBC Radio Ulster star, at the age of 47, was announced by the corporation on Tuesday.
Speaking during the 10.30am programme stand-in presenter Steven Rainey spoke of his own sadness over the death. He described the father-of-two as a “one off”.
“I know that I am not the voice any of us are expecting to hear this morning," he said opening the show.
"So many of us were affected by the terrible news we heard yesterday.
“Stephen Clements was truly a one off, he was a brilliant broadcaster who I know brought so much to so many of us here."
Mr Rainey said Radio Ulster was "like a family".
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"While Stephen was only part of that family for a short time I think I speak on behalf all of my colleagues here to say that he had become a really special part of what we do," he said.
“It is so awful that we won't get to know him even better.”
The 90 minute show was inundated with tributes for Stephen Clements from listeners, praising his humour and sense of fun.
One listener, Charlie from Carrowdore said he loved the show and the banter.
"Ninety minutes wasn't long enough. He (Stephen Clements) will be greatly missed by us all.”
Another, Peter from Downpatrick said: “So sorry to hear of Stephen's passing. He was something new and so good to listen to.”
Tanya in Bangor added: “He took time to reply to posts, comments, and tweets I felt like he was family nearly. I followed him from City Beat all the way through. May he rest in peace and may his family feel the love of the whole country.”
A message from a listener called Sonia said: “You knew when people in the car beside you at traffic lights were listening to him too, as they were laughing at the same time.”
Paul from Banbridge recalled phoning in on the first show: “He played my request and I immediately knew he was going to be a big hit with his wit and sense of fun. Just what we needed in this wee country of ours.”
Steven Rainey said the number of people contacting the show was "overwhelming".
“The messages that we are getting through today are heartbreaking and heart-warming at the same time. He hadn't been with us for a long time but he made such an impact," He added.
“One thing that I think is really coming across is how much he brightened up people's mornings. It is something I think none of us here at Radio Ulster can deny.
“He certainly was a cheeky character and he just loved doing stuff on air to make people laugh and to make them smile.
“We might not have ever been face to face with the man himself, but listening to him on the station you felt like he was just there chatting to you personally, like he was your best pal or something."
There was an outpouring of grief following the announcement of his death.
Earlier one woman who contacted the Stephen Nolan show just before 10.30am on Wednesday struggled to contain her emotions as she spoke of having called into Mr Clements show and spoke to him only on Monday.
She said she could not believe he had died when it was announced on Tuesday.
Presenter Stephen Rainey added: “So many people have come to Radio Ulster because of Stephen and we want to thank you all for listening to us and I want to thank him for bringing them to us.
“It has been a very emotional day for us to be honest and I think everybody is very sad. We were just getting to know him and he was taken from us so suddenly. We will treasure the time that we spent with him it was very important to all of us.”
Belfast Telegraph Digital