BBC broadcaster and Observer columnist Steve Hewlett has died of cancer after being told he may only have “weeks, possibly months” left to live earlier this month.
Hewlett, 58, married his partner Rachel in his room at the Royal Marsden Hospital in Chelsea, west London, in an hour after being told his treatment for oesophagus cancer could not continue.
The presenter of BBC Radio 4’s The Media Show died this morning while listening to Bob Dylan with his family.
In a statement, Hewlett’s family said: “Over the last year, we have been overwhelmed by the support of friends, colleagues and Radio 4 listeners.
“The messages helped Steve enormously, especially over the last few months. The Royal Marsden have been amazing throughout the journey and we are indebted to all the wonderful staff there.
“We’d like to thank Eddie [Mair] and all the PM listeners, and if people are still keen to help, then we’d like all donations to go towards the brilliant care the Marsden provide.”
Hewlett had discussed his treatment with Mair on PM, Radio 4’s evening current affairs programme, alongside writing a cancer diary for The Observer.
Mair shared the news of Hewlett’s death on his show today.
The BBC’s Director General, Tony Hall, said: “Steve Hewlett was an exceptional journalist. His analysis of the media industry was always essential listening.
“Steve was a trusted voice that embodied everything positive in public service journalism. He was hugely popular not just with viewers and listeners, but with BBC staff.
“When I saw him last week, I told him how much I have admired his brave interviews with Eddie Mair about his treatment which he did with a candour and sense of inquiry that was typically Steve.
“Our thoughts are with his family and many friends.”
Radio 4 controller, Gwyneth Williams, said: “Steve Hewlett will be much missed as an outstanding journalist.
“He was rational and informed, hard-nosed and witty, never taking himself too seriously but unpicking the stories he covered with great seriousness.
“We will certainly miss his weekly presence on Radio 4, and I will miss him personally as a longstanding colleague from the days when we worked together in News.
“We send our deepest sympathy to his family.”
On Wednesday afternoon The Media Show will pay tribute to Hewlett’s “remarkable stewardship of the programme defined by his wit, tenacity and his encyclopaedic media expertise,” a BBC spokesperson said.
“He was a clever, warm and funny colleague who will be greatly missed,” they added.