BBC Radio Wales presenter Chris Needs dies aged 68

Legendary BBC Radio Wales presenter Chris Needs MBE has sadly died at the age of 68.

The broadcaster died on Sunday (26 July) after battling a short illness.

Sharing the sad news, a statement from BBC Radio Wales said: ‘It is with enormous sadness and regret that we confirm the death of Chris Needs MBE following a short period of ill health.

‘Through his Friendly Garden, Chris brought pleasure and comfort to thousands of listeners, from all over the world, who treated him like a true friend.’

Tributes have poured in with BBC Radio Wales editor Colin Paterson stating: ‘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.

‘His contribution to Radio Wales can’t be underestimated, not least in recent months when he has provided comfort and companionship to our listeners.

‘For almost 20 years, the Friendly Garden has brought people together from across Wales and the world, from every walk of life.

‘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.’

Broadcaster Kev Johns MBE paid tribute and said on Monday: ‘Sad to hear the news that Chris Needs has passed away.

‘When it looked like things weren’t going to go well at Swansea Sound just weeks ago Chris was the 1st to call with support and kind words Welsh radio has lost a unique talent, life has lost a kind man Love and prayers to Gabe.’

Radio Cardiff presenters Nathan Wyburn and Wayne Courtney added: ‘RIP Chris Needs. The radio airwaves and Wales, have lost a legend.’

Musician Rhydian Roberts said he was in contact with Chris recently, and recalled: ‘My best friend in broadcasting Chris Needs has passed away.

‘I spoke to him last week to see how he was doing after his heart attack and he told me he was frightened.That broke my heart. I’m in bits that I never got to see him just one more time alive.He was my everything.’

Chris, who hailed from Cwmafan, Neath Port Talbot, joined BBC Radio Wales in 1996 and hosted The Friendly Garden programme nightly for 18 years.

He was also a trained pianist and actor, and was awarded an MBE in 2005.

The presenter is survived by his partner Gabe Cameron.

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