Tributes have been pouring in on social media following the news that Manchester DJ and presenter Pete Mitchell has died aged 61.
News that the much-loved presenter had passed away broke earlier today.
According to a statement released by sources close to him, Pete died very suddenly on Thursday 12th March. He collapsed whilst out walking near his home in Stockport.
The cause of his death is still unknown but he was not thought to be displaying any signs of illness.
Pete was a veteran broadcaster, whose career in radio spanned thirty four years. He was knowledgeable and passionate about music of all genres, discovering and supporting many bands and was a huge part of the Manchester music scene.
Before moving to slots on Virgin and Radio 2, he first started his career on Manchester’s Piccadilly Radio (now Key103) and is credited with discovering bands like Oasis and Inspiral Carpets.
He championed the indie bands of the early 1990s Madchester scene, often featuring the likes of James, Badly Drawn Boy, 808 State and the Happy Mondays on his specialist Key103 weekend music programme IQ.
He and co-presenter Geoff Lloyd entertained listeners for nearly a decade on Virgin Radio before Peter made the move in 2013 to host two shows on Radio 2, a late-night show and a breakfast one.
And over the years he also presented for BBC 6 Music, Radio X, and Absolute Radio as well as writing for publications like the Radio Times, the Daily Express, the MEN and Q magazine.
Mike Cass, content director for Virgin Radio UK, said in a statement released today: “It’s incredibly difficult to think about Pete in the past tense. He was a great radio talent, a skilled interview, a true part of the Virgin Radio spirit and a wonderful man.”
Absolutely crushing to hear of the sad death of Pete Mitchell
A gentle man, a wicked sense of humour and an encyclopedic knowledge of, and utter love for, music
An honour to fill your huge boots at XFM Manchester. And to work alongside you at @VirginRadioUK
A Mancunian legend. pic.twitter.com/Wd47CcNfuf
— Tim Cocker (@cocker) March 13, 2020
Tim Cocker was one of the first to pay his respects, tweeting: “Absolutely crushing to hear of the sad death of Pete Mitchell A gentle man, a wicked sense of humour and an encyclopedic knowledge of, and utter love for, music An honour to fill your huge boots at XFM Manchester. And to work alongside you at @VirginRadioUK. A Mancunian legend.”
BBC Radio 6 Music Presenter Chris Hawkins also tweeted his respects, calling Pete a “really honest block and a lovely supportive person,” and adding “he will be missed by so many.”
Pete Mitchell was not only a brilliant and passionate DJ but he was a really honest bloke and a lovely, supportive person. He will be missed by so many
— Chris Hawkins (@ChrisHawkinsUK) March 13, 2020
Tim Burgess, frontman for The Charlatans, tweeted: “Oh man, so sad to hear that Pete Mitchell has died. He was a friend of ours for thirty years. One of the first DJs to play and champion The Charlatans. Always a pleasure to catch up with him, such fond memories of our times together. My thoughts are with Pete’s family and friends”
And Paul Coleman, writer of Peter Kay’s Car Share, said: “Really sad to hear Pete Mitchell has died. An outstanding radio presenter and fun to work with.”
Shocked and deeply saddened to hear of the death of Pete Mitchell.
Our time together at Key 103 was something I always remember as happy and lots of fun.
Thoughts and much love to Pete’s family x #RIPPeteMitchell
— Steve Penk (@StevePenk) March 13, 2020
Radio producer Paul Sheehan said: “Really devastated to hear the news about Pete Mitchell. He was one of the most fun presenters I have ever worked with, some of the stuff we got away with pre iplayer amazes me to this day. I’ll be having a curry and a red wine in his honour this weekend x”
And fellow presenter Steve Penk said: Shocked and deeply saddened to hear of the death of Pete Mitchell. Our time together at Key 103 was something I always remember as happy and lots of fun. Thoughts and much love to Pete’s family x #RIPPeteMitchell”
Pete’s wife Helen and two grown up sons Adam and Sean are devastated by their loss. His family have asked for privacy at this very difficult time.