Steve Wright – zany outside, sad inside

The unexpected death of hugely successful BBC radio personality and DJ Steve Wright has brought an outpouring of accolades about his talent and warmth.  He won huge audiences with his ‘zoo-crew’ and a gallery of characters played by Wright himself, notably Mr Angry, ranting on the phone from Purley. He was zany, mischievous and highly entertaining. Yet despite it all his friend Jeremy Vine writes: ‘The great mystery of Steve was that the three hours of radio was the only time when he showed off. You would never pick him out of a bus queue. He avoided showbiz parties. He was humble, even shy. He undercut all his own achievements. I wonder if, as a colleague has recently offered, he had made it his mission to spread joy to others because he had known sadness himself.’ Even his close friends knew little about how he spent his time outside his studio.

 He was certainly obsessive about his work, flying to New York, before the internet, to spend the weekend in his hotel room listening to US radio shows. His preparation and work ethic meant he would arrive at 9am for an on-air start at three.

  After his wife suddenly left him he became known as an eccentric loner, sleeping during the week in a small flat round the corner from Broadcasting House and living meagrely, despite a reported salary in excess of £500,000, on a diet of microwave TV dinners, mini bottles of white wine, crisps and chocolates. Over the years he struggled to control his weight, which at times ballooned to 18 stone.

  He was born 26 August 1954 Greenwich, England, no birth time, and was a quiet, unacademic child who always wanted to go into entertainment, had a show while still at school, and joined the BBC in the gramophone library in the early 1970s. He moved around between the BBC and other outlets settling in two decades ago to Radio 2’s afternoon slot where he remained until moved in 2022.

  He had a chart divided into two halves. His workaholic, perfectionist and communicative Virgo Sun and Mercury were trine Mars in Capricorn and sextile an obsessively conscientious Saturn in Scorpio. That would make him determined but not exactly light-hearted. His mischievous, oddball streak came from a lucky Jupiter Uranus in Cancer in a square to a creative, musical and kindly Neptune Venus in Libra. His emotional life would be troubled with Venus Neptune Uranus and his Leo Moon probably square Saturn.

  His Sun and Pluto fell in the BBC’s 4th house with his Sun opposition the BBC’s 10th house Uranus so it would be a strong though not always easy connection and his musical Venus Neptune and Saturn fell in the BBC’s entertaining 5th house.

 The relationship chart has a successful Grand Trine/Kite of Uranus trine Neptune Jupiter trine Mars, with Uranus opposition Venus.

  When Steve Wright’s afternoon show was summarily moved by the BBC, which according to friends devastated him, tr Saturn in Aquarius was square his Pluto, and tr Pluto was opposition his Uranus so it would represent a considerable upheaval. His Solar Arc Neptune was also conjunct his Mars bringing a sense of failure. Plus tr Pluto square his Mars/Pluto midpoint which would feel like a catastrophic blow.  With his entire workaholic life focused on his show he was always going to be in trouble when events moved him on.

  Like many a zany comedian his quirkiness hid a good deal of inner desolation.   

5 thoughts on “Steve Wright – zany outside, sad inside

  1. His brother has now spoken out, connecting Steves death to his poor diet. He described his beloved brother as a “stoic” man who “didn’t complain and kept his family in the dark about his health.”
    Fits in with the Saturn / Leo signature in his chart. What a classy man Steve was.

  2. Very sad. I was listening to the tributes on BBC radio yesterday. One DJ mentioned how Steve had phoned him a couple of weeks ago just to tell him how much he enjoyed listening to his show. He was always encouraging younger talent, which demonstrated his innate kindness and generosity of spirit reflected in that Venus/Neptune in Libra. That aspect is interesting because he became known for his Sunday Love Song show in his later career. What struck me about his chart is that as a pioneer, he has a Cardinal emphasis and that it was a chart of two halves as Marjorie says. Jupiter/Uranus would give comedic talent. The workaholic Saturn focussed mini grand trine involves a driven and perfectionist Virgo Sun and Cap Mars. But the lonely Moon in Leo square Saturn tells a sad story I feel.

    Apart from the SAs Marjorie mentions, for much of last year transit Saturn was sitting in those early degrees of Pisces, putting pressure on the Virgo Sun. Given his almost reclusive lifestyle I would expect Neptune to be in the 12th

    I’m reminded of Kenny Everett, a Capricorn Sun opposition Saturn who also pioneered the zany radio show, full of comic characters, but who struggled with his sexuality and insecurities around his looks.

  3. Really very saddened to see him go at a relatively young age. Only this past Sunday I listened to his “Love Songs” show as I usually do. But, as others say, he was the soundtrack to my younger years starting with the Radio 1 afternoon shows, roadshows, Top of the Tops (and TOTP2) plus the breakfast show in 93-94. Always enjoyed his sense of humour which was often a little deprecating but never unkind.

    Noting he has five planets across cardinal signs which explains why he was the instigator of the zoo format and, along with the Leo moon, something of the circus ringmaster. Seems like a very good example of someone who managed to use their Leo/Virgo planets for the betterment of everyone.

    But lacking any planets in aries/taurus to focus purely on his own wants and needs. I wouldn’t be surprised if this noon chart is actually quite similar to the true one with all the planets in the 9th (broadcasting) to 12th house although I wouldn’t have him down as a Saturn on the ascendant. Maybe a little earlier in the day moving the Libra neptune-venus into the 1st, the Saturn into the frugal 2nd and his moon into the 10th. Just guessin’

  4. Fantastic write up, Marjorie. Good to learn more about this brilliant man.
    Given his work/life balance approach, I wonder if he embraced his Capricorn north node (egged on by mars in Cap) a little too much, at the expense of his Cancer south node But he gave so much of his brilliant self to others (Virgo/Cancer) but maybe that was too much for his body/spirit to take.

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