Chris Needs Death – The news of the demise of a legendary BBC radio broadcaster, Chris Needs, 68, has left the BBC Radio Wales in a mourning mood.
His demise happened on Sunday, July 26, after a brief illness-heart condition.
Mr Needs, joined BBC Radio Wales in 1996 and hosted his nightly show for 18 years. He was also a classical pianist and actor, and was awarded an MBE in 2005.
BBC Radio Wales editor Colin Paterson while paying tribute to Mr Needs said, he was a “giant of Welsh radio”.
“Chris was an amazing character – a one off and an all-round entertainer. A giant of Welsh radio, he spent years with the commercial sector before moving to the BBC, where he broadcast in both Welsh and English, on television and radio,” Mr Paterson said.
“His contribution to Radio Wales can’t be underestimated, not least in recent months when he has provided comfort and companionship to our listeners.”
Mr Needs radio career started with Touch AM, before moving to the BBC, where he started hosting The Friendly Garden Programme in 2002.
The night-time show developed a loyal following over the years, with listeners able to subscribe to an on-air membership club known as The Garden.
Each member of The Garden was issued with a membership number and received a starter pack, badge and goody bag upon joining.
“For almost 20 years, the Friendly Garden has brought people together from across Wales and the world, from every walk of life,” says Mr Paterson.
“The ability to bring people together was one of his many strengths and I know the Garden team, along with all of us at Radio Wales will miss him. But our thoughts today are with Chris’s husband Gabe, his family and his friends at this incredibly sad time.”
From the Listeners tribute on social media:
“Such sad news – he was so bubbly on air and kept a lot of the elderly at home company every night,” said one.
Another said: “RIP Chris, you kept my dear Mum company for years through your radio show”.
Radio One DJ Greg James, opera singer Paul Potts, TV producer and newspaper columnist Carolyn Hitt and comedians Mike Bubbins and Mike Doyle have paid tribute as well to him on Twitter.