Saturday, 2 August 2014

RIP Mike Smith

Shocking news of another sad passing; the DJ, TV presenter, pilot, racing driver and businessman Mike 'Smitty' Smith has died aged just 59 following complications from heart surgery.

A popular figure in the 80s and 90s, Smith worked at Radio 1 and hosted the prestigious Breakfast show from 1986 to 1988 when he was declared to be Princess Diana's favourite DJ. Smith also had a career on television working with friend and fellow helicopter aficionado Noel Edmonds on The Late Late Breakfast Show, co-hosting comic quiz Trick or Treat with Julian Clary and hosting the celebrity entertainment panel show That's Showbusiness with captains Gloria Hunniford and Kenny Everett. Smith was also something of a go-to guy for major live broadcasting events such as Live Aid and the 'Watch' series which included Rail Watch, Hospital Watch and Airport Watch. This was later spoofed by the now infamous Ghost Watch by Stephen Volk, a 1992 drama which purported to be, like those programmes, a live documentary thus conning a nation, gaining switchboard busting complaints and, if the press is to be believed, one suicide as a result. Smith appeared as himself, alongside his wife Sarah Greene, Michael Parkinson and Craig Charles in what remains one of the most controversial and downright shittifying broadcasts ever.

Smith effectively retired from presenting in the mid 90s to concentrate on his business interests. In the early 00s, Smith founded Flying TV a company providing aerial filming services for broadcasters and became responsible for the majority of aerial footage we see in programmes. Smith served as both managing director and occasional aerial cameraman.


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