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Mike Smith

23.04.55 - 01.08.14



Mike prepares for Montreux (1986)

Live from Monreaux with

Producer Chris Lycett

Mike Smith (R) with wife

Sarah Greene & Alan Freeman

Early Days

Born in Horncurch, Essex in 1955, Mike Smith began his broadcasting career at Chelmsford Hospital Radio, Mike Smith made the move to London's Capital Radio in 1981 where he was the breakfast show host. Here he became the first person to be awarded Best Local DJ in the Sony Awards 1982.


Radio 1

Otherwise known as 'Smitty', he presented the early show (1982) lunchtime (early 1983 to late 1984) before taking over the reigns from Mike Read to become the Radio One Breakfast Show presenter 7.00 am to 9.30 am Monday to Friday, on May 5th 1986.

He presented a live broadcast for a week in 1986 from Montreux, then the biggest rock festival in the world, interviewing the likes of David Bowie, Annie Lennox and Francis Rossi. All three days after taking over the breakfast show. Diana, Princess of Wales publicly stated he was her favourite DJ. During 1986 he also took part in the UK touring car championship driving a car sponsored by Ilford.

Mike's breakfast show was a winner with the listeners, who heard current chart hits, oldies mixed with humour, news items, competitions, listener phone-ins and travel info. He fronted the show until May 1986, leaving to spend more time with his partner, Sarah Greene.


In 1988, Mike and his then partner, ex-'Going Live' and Blue Peter presenter Sarah Greene were seriously injured in a helicopter crash which Mike was piloting around Gloucestershire. Happily both fully recovered and Mike went on to marry Sarah the next year.


Mike Smith was a motor racing enthusiast. He built his own cars and drove in several British Touring Car Championship races in the '80s.


Mike is famous for presenting TV shows such as The Late Late Breakfast Show (1982-1986) with Noel Edmonds, a BBC live show on Saturday evenings presented by Noel Edmonds, with Mike and John Peel. The series featured comedy, pop music & regular features including "The Hit Squad", with a hidden camera and "The Golden Egg Awards", featuring out takes. "Give It A Whirl" found a member of the public calling to have the "Whirly Wheel" spun to select a stunt, which would be performed on the next show. The popular show was cancelled following the untimely death of BBC worker Michael Lush.  

Mike co-hosted the critically acclaimed BBC production of Ghost Watch (1992) where he presented the phone-in and Sarah Greene was the reporter in the house itself.  The BBC gave a whole evening to an 'investigation into the supernatural'. Four presenters and a camera crew attempted to discover the truth behind 'The most haunted house in Britain'.



Mike died on 1st August 2014 from complications during heart surgery.


Noel Edmonds, said: "I am totally stunned and heartbroken for Sarah and his family. He was so much more than simply a presenter. Mike was that rare individual - the consummate broadcaster in an era when professionalism, dedication and hard work were truly valued. I wish I had told him more forcefully and frequently how much I admired his talent and valued his support."

Ex Radio 1 Sybil Ruscoe said Smith was "a generous colleague" who encouraged so much while reading the news" on his breakfast show.


Phillip Schofield, said "There are no words. My wonderful, bright, funny, thoughtful friend Mike Smith has passed away"


A BBC spokesperson said: "We are saddened to hear of Mike's passing. He was a talented presenter and a brilliant Radio 1 Breakfast Show host, and our thoughts are with his family."

2014 news: bbc




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Audio BBC



Mike starts a show 1986

Mike having problems in '86  64kbps 32kbps

Starting Mike's Breakfast Show 1986

Mike's Milkman Alan Perkins 20kbps

Mike asks you to try 104.8FM in London 32kbps

Factasia Competition (1986) (2 mins)

Newport 98.7 FM_trail

Breakfast Show clip - Mike  (1987)

Breakfast Show Countdown (May 1988)

Comments (8)

0/5 (0)
Ged Burke (Necastle) says...
I was 10 years old when Mike was on Radio 1 doing the breakfast show but would listen to him before school in the morning. Very talented broadcaster used to watch on Top Of the Pops aswell and he was on many many other shows. He will be a miss and it was so sad to hear.
27th September 2014 7:48pm
Ayaz Sheikh (Leicester) says...
Mike was a brill Radio 1 DJ-and breakfast show host-used to love his "Factasia" game on air-as well catching the new Top 40 Top of the Pops and various other TV sad at 59.................
11th August 2014 11:30am
alan fox (herts) says...
i used to hear mike smith on radio1. i remembered the last day he did the breakfast show simon bates popped in and they send up the ads on tv of the records that are not available in any shops. he had good singing skills. the last time he was on radio 1 was doing a anthlogy of all the prevous breakfast show hosts on the 40th anniversary of radio 1 with vernon kay. the tv one was done with chris moyles.that was the last time i saw him on the television. he also was on tv with top of the pops. ... Read More
6th August 2014 5:27pm
Lenny Richardson (Essex) says...
Very sad to hear of the death of mike smith ,very good presenter of breakfast show on radio 1 ,RIP thoughts are with sarah and his family
3rd August 2014 10:08pm
Paul Foster (Worcester) says...
Very Sad & Shocked To Hear The Passing Of Mike
Smith I Used To Enjoy His Breakfast Show On
Radio 1 When Getting Up For School I Can't Begin To Think What His Wife Sarah Greene Is Going Through Without Him At This Difficult Time R.I.P.
3rd August 2014 2:01pm
Fred Marden (France) says...
Extremely sad to hear of the death of Mike Smith. I feel he was often underrated in the catalogue of Radio One breakfast presenters.
3rd August 2014 6:28am
Paul Robinson (London) says...
I am so sad to hear of the premature passing of Mike Smith. He was a huge force on Capital Radio, instantly making an impact when he took over the UK Top 30, 2pm Sunday show from Roger Scott. By 1980 he was on Capital's weekday breakfast show. He was fresh, funny, warm and a great listen. When he let Capital to go to Radio 1 (and Graham Dene took over again for his second 5 year stint) it was a loss for Capital but a brilliant signing by Radio 1. Mike Smith got breakfast by 1986 and remains ... Read More
3rd August 2014 12:14am
Tom (Middlesbrough) says...
R.I.P. Mike Smith.Thanks for all your shows on R1.
2nd August 2014 10:27pm
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