My inspiration, my hero, my brother. I am broken: Stephen Clements' brother pays tribute following shock death
The brother of Stephen Clements paid tribute to the BBC Radio Ulster presenter, who he described as his "inspiration" and "hero", saying he has been left broken over his sudden death.
Stephen Clements passed away on Tuesday. He was 47-years-old, married and a dad of two.
He began his broadcasting career full time at City Beat, which later became Q Radio, in 2010 and had joined Radio Ulster replacing Sean Coyle in the mid-morning slot in September last year.
He described the move as his "dream job".
His brother Gavin, in a statement, said the family were devastated by the death and struggling to come to terms with it. He asked the family's privacy be respected.
"My inspiration, my hero, my brother. I am broken," he tweeted.
BBC Northern Ireland director Peter Johnston said: "We are sorry to bring you the sad news of the passing of our colleague Stephen Clements.
"Our thoughts are with Stephen's family, friends and colleagues, at this difficult time."
With the BBC he presented the television series Open for Summer during the Open Golf Championship in Portrush in 2019.
He also co-hosted BBC Northern Ireland's Children in Need programme in November 2019 with Holly Hamilton.
On Monday the Carrick man signed off his Radio Ulster show as normal telling listeners he would "see them again tomorrow at around the same time," but was not on air on Tuesday morning. Instead presenter Stephen Rainey introduced the show saying he was standing in for Mr Clements.
On Monday night he posted a photo collage of various pictures of him with his family - wife Natasha and young children Poppy and Robbie.
Q Radio said the announcement of the death was "heartbreaking".
A spokesperson for the station said staff had been left shocked and saddened by the sudden death of their former colleague, and their thoughts were with the Clements family at this difficult time.
— Q Radio News (@qnewsdesk) January 7, 2020
We are heartbroken today to learn that our former Q Radio Breakfast show host, colleague and friend Stephen Clements has died suddenly at the age of 47 �� pic.twitter.com/eUWmG0ZOLj
In an interview with the Belfast Telegraph shortly after he joined the BBC he spoke of how he was told he would never make in radio - only to go on and have one of the most successful commercial breakfast radio shows in Northern Ireland and head-hunted by the Radio Ulster bosses.
"You don’t go to the BBC, you can’t go to them and say, ‘Employ me’ … they have to come to you,” Stephen said.
“Fortunately, they came to me. I could hardly believe it."
The broadcaster's decision to replace Sean Coyle with Mr Clements sparked controversy. However, since taking over listeners would often get in touch to say his unique style - and music selection - had won them over.
Before joining "radioland" as he put it, he had a varied career including loading lorries, selling conservatories, bartending and teaching English abroad. He worked as a salesman for Unilever before being offered a part-time post with City Beat.
The geography graduate had spoken of how he had a good job at the time, his wife was pregnant and initially told the bosses at the station "you can't afford me".
“I just thought it was too big a gamble, plus I was going to have to take a pay cut. We’d only just got a new house”
“My wife said, ‘Please take this job because your face is tripping you and it’ll work’. I think she was worried, but she knew it was my dream to work full-time in radio."
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
Belfast Telegraph Digital