Stephen Clements' colleagues 'will treasure the time they had with him'
Colleagues of Stephen Clements from Q Radio and the BBC paid poignant tributes to the star yesterday on emotional shows dedicated to their lost friend.
Mr Clements spent eight years at Q before moving to Radio Ulster last summer to present The Stephen Clements Show.
On the stations yesterday, the usual levity that the much-loved broadcaster brought to both shows was absent, replaced by a sombre mood as colleagues shared their memories.
On Radio Ulster, stand-in presenter Steven Rainey spoke of his sadness over his friend's death.
"I know that I am not the voice any of us were expecting to hear this morning," he said.
"So many of us were affected by the terrible news. Stephen Clements was a one-off, a brilliant broadcaster who brought so much to so many of us."
The 90-minute show was also inundated with tributes from listeners.
The choice of music was at times sombre, including the U2 ballad One and David Bowie's Heroes.
One listener, Charlie from Carrowdore, said he loved Mr Clements' banter.
"Ninety minutes wasn't long enough. He will be greatly missed by us all," he said.
Mr Rainey said the number of people getting in touch was overwhelming.
"The messages that we are getting through are heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. He hadn't been with us for a long time, but he made such an impact," he added.
"It has been very emotional and everybody is very sad. We were just getting to know him and he was taken from us.
"We will treasure the time that we spent with him. He was very important to all of us."
On Q Radio there was also a deep sense of sadness.
As was said many times yesterday, Stephen was listeners' "best friend, who travelled with them in the car to work in the morning, keeping them laughing and sending them to work with a smile".
Yesterday's morning show was dedicated solely to him, with morning presenters Ryan Annett and Jordan Humphries taking a hugely emotional hour-long trip down memory lane.
The pair, who took over from Stephen and Cate Conway, said it was a huge privilege to be able to pay tribute to a friend who "lit up every room".
From his comedy sketches about Peter and Iris Robinson in their caravan in Millisle to stories from his own family life, the presenters reminded listeners of Mr Clements' talent.
In a montage of some of his moments, listeners heard him tell a story, set to dramatic music, of rescuing his wife's new cushions from a downpour in his underwear while shouting to his neighbours, "Sorry about the boxers, but it's an emergency".
On the hour newsreader Hannah Spratt read a story detailing the death of her dear friend and colleague, during which 'on-air wife' Cate poignantly referred to him as her "soulmate, best friend and brother" and said her heart was "broken into a million pieces".
Ryan told listeners, thousands of whom texted about their sorrow over Stephen's death, that he was devastated.
His co-presenter Jordan, meanwhile, said Stephen was a "special man".