Capital breakfast host Roman Kemp paid a moving tribute to his late producer and “best friend” Joe Lyons.
The presenter and his co-hosts had to quit their breakfast show early last Tuesday after learning of his death.
Alternate presenters took over for the rest of the week, with Capital’s parent company Global giving Kemp and his team time off.
Back on Monday, Kemp explained their absence and paid tribute to Lyons who he said “taught me everything.”
“I never thought I should do this, ever,” said a tearful Kemp.
“Last Tuesday, very suddenly, we lost one of our best friends, my best friend and our colleague, producer Joe.
“He was not only part of the Capital Breakfast family, but also a beloved member of the entire team.
“Everyone who works here at Capital [is] obviously completely devastated and we’re trying to deal with it all together. ”
“A Little Del Boy”
Recalling his beginnings at the station, Kemp said, “He was the first person I met when I walked through the door, the very first person.
“I remember thinking, ‘who is this guy? This guy is a bit of a Del Boy! – a reference to the main character of Only Fools and Horses.
“He was with me from my very first show, he taught me everything,” Kemp continued, adding that it was “really weird to be sitting in a radio studio without him”.
Kemp, who is the son of Martin Kemp of Spandau Ballet, finished third last year in I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here.
His breakfast show, co-hosted by Sian Welby and Sonny Jay, draws an audience of around 3.3 million listeners, according to the most recent figures available from industry body Rajar.
Rob Howard and Lauren Layfield took over the hospitality duties for the remainder of last week after Kemp and his team had some free time.
‘Like a genius’
The host noted that any guest who had appeared on the show in recent years would have spoken with Lyons, who would greet them with a friendly “hello buddy” before putting them on the air.
“Every A-lister you hear on this show, they know who he is, everyone,” Kemp said. “He’s the person they spoke to first, and if you’ve ever called on this show, he’s the one who picked up the phone.
“He really couldn’t do enough for people. He was the nicest guy I know, hands down. ”
The host added, “The thing he loved the most was doing this show.
“He was like a genius who invented these ideas. He was motivated by the reaction from you [the listeners] everyday. “
Former Kemp co-host Vick Hope, who left the show earlier this year, also paid tribute to Lyons on Instagram.
“I really love you, mate, so much. We all love it. Hope you know, ”she said. “We are so lucky to have known you. The world is a better place to have had you.
“Your talent and creativity are so immense, but more than that, you are the nicest, most hilarious, caring, fun, fiercely loyal and spectacular person we have ever had the pleasure of meeting.
Another breakfast host, Greg James of BBC Radio 1, praised Kemp for his “unbelievably courageous” tribute on air.
“Really so sad to hear that. Incredible words. Thinking of all of you xx, ”added broadcaster Chris Stark.
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