TV & Movies

Janice Long dead: Tributes pour in for radio DJ as Carol Vorderman hails 'vibrant trailblazer' who died aged 66

TRIBUTES have continued to pour in for late radio DJ Janice Long, who died yesterday aged 66.

The BBC star and former Top of the Pops host passed away after a brief illness, it was revealed yesterday.

Carol Vorderman called her a "lovely, vibrant trailblazer" saying: "Janice is a huge star in our BBC Wales tight knit family ❤️.

"As a woman in the industry, I truly admired her as the first woman ever to have a daily show on Radio One. We're in a state of disbelief to be honest."

Coronation Street legend Sally Lindsay tweeted that she was "a trailblazer for women on telly".

She wrote: "We all stand on the shoulders of giants like Janice. Rest in peace you legend xx."

Another Corrie favourite, Craig Charles, tweeted: "Shocked to hear about the death of Janice long.

"I started my broadcasting career with her in the early 80’s.platform 9 on radio 1. She was an amazing woman with one of the best voices on radio RIP Jan."

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Who was Janice Long and what illness did she suffer from?

Elsewhere Les Dennis said he would "miss our chats" calling her a "shining and innovative talent".

Long Lost Family star Nicky Campbell called her simply "just a lovely human being".

Meanwhile musician Paul Weller wrote: "We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Janice Long.

"There are few people that championed new music as much as Janice did and her passing is a massive loss to the music industry. Rest in peace Janice."

Janice – who was sister to the late TV star Keith Chegwin – was best known for her appearances across BBC radio, including Radio 1 and Radio 2.

The star, who grew up in Liverpool, originally trained as a flight attendant with Laker Airways before turning her attentions to telesales and insurance.

We all stand on the shoulders of giants like Janice

She became a station assistant at BBC Radio Merseyside in 1979 where her clear hosting talent was spotted – and she was eventually given her own show.

Janice hosted Streetlife on Sunday mornings – where she interviewed Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Paul Gambaccini as part of a local show.

She was later recommended to BBC Radio 1 by broadcaster Paul before she made her debut with a Saturday-night show in 1982.

Chart show Top of the Pops then welcomed her as the first female presenter in 1983, where she co-presented the show alongside John Peel.

Janice returned to co-present the final show in July 2006 after decades of working with Crash FM, BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 6 Music.

She also presented four night a week on BBC Radio Wales right up until her death, as well as the Saturday afternoon slot on Greatest Hits Radio.

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