Janice Long, who enjoyed a long, influential career as a radio DJ with Greatest Hits, BBC Radio One and BBC Radio Two, has passed away aged 66
Celebrated radio DJ Janice Long has died at the age of 66, her agent has confirmed.
Long, best known as a presenter on BBC Radio 1, Radio 2 and Top of the Pops, passed away following a short illness at home on Christmas Day surrounded by her family.
The much-loved DJ is believed to have died after contracting pneumonia, which ultimately led to multiple organ failure.
Her death was said to have been sudden and came as a particular shock after her condition appeared to be improving.
Her agent, Nigel Forsyth, confirmed the sad news in a statement: “Janice was a wonderful, warm human being and exceptional broadcaster.
“She told a brilliant story and always made you roar with laughter with her sharp wit. She will leave behind her husband Paul and two children who she thought the world of.”
The mother-of-two’s career spanned five decades and she was the first woman to have her own daily show on Radio 1.
BBC director general Tim Davie described her as a “stellar presenter” who was loved across the industry.
A spokesperson for Greatest Hits Radio said “We’re incredibly saddened to hear of the passing of Janice Long.
“Throughout her illustrious career, Janice played a significant role and contribution to broadcasting, most recently as an integral part of the Greatest Hits Radio line-up.
“She was one-of-a-kind and will be greatly missed by all of us and her treasured listeners.
“Our deepest condolences are with her family and loved ones at this time.”
Long presented Top of the Pops for five years – again, the first woman to do this – and had a late-night slot on Radio 2.
She was also one of the main presenters of the Live Aid charity concert in 1985.
Long was born in Liverpool and grew up there alongside her brother Keith Chegwin, who passed away in 2017.
Following the news of Janice’s sad passing, tributes have been pouring out this Boxing Day.
Lorna Clarke, who is the controller of pop music at the BBC, also paid tribute to the late star.
Roger Goodgroves / Avalon)
“Everyone in pop radio was saddened to hear of the passing of Janice Long,” her gushing post began.
“She was long admired for her role as a talent spotter and new music champion, giving Frankie Goes To Hollywood and Amy Winehouse their first radio sessions, as well as lighting the way for female radio and TV presenters throughout the industry.
“We send our deepest condolences to her family and friends at this sad time.”
Musician Midge Ure also shared his deepest sympathies.
“Dreadful news,” he penned.
“Janice stood with us on the pitch at Wembley stadium as we announced Live Aid. A broadcast legend and absolute music lover.”