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Tributes to radio presenter Pete Mitchell


Broadcaster, Pete Mitchell, a champion of the Manchester music scene, has died.

With a career spanning more than 30 years, Manchester-born Mitchell began in the late 80s as a cricket commentator for Red Rose Radio in Lancashire.

A year later he joined Piccadilly Radio, which would rebrand as Key 103, here he presented both the breakfast and afternoon slots and developed, wrote and produced his specialist music show IQ.

IQ would champion some of the up-coming bands of the early 90s, including Oasis, James and Badly Drawn Boy.

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Steve Penk wrote on Twitter:

“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 times.

“Thoughts and much love to Pete’s family at this time. X”

In the mid 90s, he teamed up with comedian and broadcaster, Geoff Lloyd and the pair got a cult following for their shows, which went on to win a Sony Radio Award in 1998.

That drew the attention of Virgin Radio, and they took over the weekday evening show in 1999. They also covered for Chris Evans on the Breakfast Show, before taking over the show full-time in 2003.

Mitchell left Virgin for the BBC, where he presented across the Radio 6 Music network as well as Sunday mornings on BBC Radio 2.

“Very sad news about Pete Mitchell. Love and respect x” said Gideon Coe.

In 2009, he returned to commercial radio, firstly with the Radio X breakfast show, then Absolute Radio, where he hosted shows across Absolute Radio 60s and 90s.

Absolute Radio paid tribute this afternoon:

“Pete was an incredibly talented broadcaster, highly-respected colleague and much-loved friend.

“He was a huge part of the One Golden Square family and his passion for music always shone through in every programme he presented and produced. We send our love and thoughts to his family.”

Two years ago he returned to Virgin Radio, with the station commissioning a series called Revolutions in Music, which covered subjects as varied as the Rolling Stones; Amy Winehouse; and the story of the Hacienda (where he had DJ’d.).

He both produced and presented the hour-long shows.

Family friend, Jo Houlcroft, released the following statement:

“It is with incredible sadness that I have to report the sad passing of Virgin Radio Presenter, Pete Mitchell, who died very suddenly on Thursday 12th March aged 61. Pete 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. His 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.”

Mike Cass, Content Director for Virgin Radio UK, added:

“It’s incredibly difficult to think about Pete in the past tense. He was a great radio talent, a skilled interviewer, a true part of the Virgin Radio spirit and a wonderful man.”

“Our thoughts are with all of those close to Pete at this difficult time. We will be broadcasting a tribute at a later date.

“Rest In Peace, Pete.”

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