Belfast Telegraph

He was knitted into fabric of Radio Ulster: BBC presenters stunned over Stephen Clements' death


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

Eimear McGovern

Stephen Clements' death sent shockwaves through BBC Northern Ireland with Radio Ulster presenters talking of the sadness that enveloped Broadcasting House following the announcement of the 47-year-old's passing.

Presenters talked of how he "knitted" into the fabric of Radio Ulster and was a "very good friend" to so many despite his short time at the station.

Many of the broadcaster's staff took to social media to express their surprise and shock.

Listeners flooded the station with calls of sympathies and condolence.

"We're going to think and reminisce," said Hugo Duncan on opening his show, "Our thoughts and prayers are with the man's wife and two children."

The BBC confirmed the death of the popular presenter during the 1pm bulletin.

"We've had some very sad breaking news within the past few moments," Talkback presenter Mark Carruthers said later.

"Sad for his colleagues here at the BBC and of course his family and friends."

He was joined by education and arts correspondent Robbie Meredith. He said staff had just been informed of the death in a statement by BBC NI director Peter Johnson.

"He would have been part of many people's days across Northern Ireland, a distinctive and hugely popular broadcaster," he said.

"He'll be sadly missed by all of us."

Hugo Duncan opened his programme with the song Blowin' in The Wind by Dolly Parton.

He described as "very sad day" at Radio Ulster and Radio Foyle, "with the loss of Stephen Clements, our very good friend and a person who has been here four four or five months. He made so many friends here."

"He just knitted into everything going on here at BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Radio Foyle, so we're going to miss him big time.

"We're going to think about and reminisce and our thoughts and prayers are with the man's wife and two children.

He said scores of listeners were calling the station offering their condolences following the death.

On Evening Extra, Conor Bradford opened the show describing the news as "unbelievably sad".

The show featured comments Mr Clements made on air during his second day at the BBC.

"So yesterday was my first day and I have to say I was very nervous. I'm just so grateful - this is like a dream come true for me since I was very young," he said.

"I always wanted to work on BBC radio and I used to pretend to be on the radio back in the day."

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