Veteran radio DJ Pete Mitchell, who championed a generation of indie bands, has died aged 61.
The former BBC Radio 2 and 6 Music broadcaster, originally from Crumpsall in Manchester, collapsed while walking near his home in Stockport on Thursday.
A statement from family friend Jo Houlcroft confirmed the father-of-two’s death.
Across a 34-year career, Mitchell championed dozens of acts from his home city, as well as The Charlatans.
“Pete collapsed whilst out walking near his home in Stockport, the cause of his death is still unknown but he was not thought to be displaying any signs of illness,” Ms Houlcroft said.
“He was knowledgeable and passionate about music of all genres, discovering and supporting many bands and was a huge part of the Manchester music scene.
“His wife Helen and two grown-up sons Adam and Sean are devastated by their loss.”
The Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess tweeted that Mitchell was “one of the first DJs to play and champion The Charlatans”.
Mitchell, who began his career as a cricket commentator at Red Rose Radio in Lancashire, held posts at stations including Manchester’s Piccadilly Radio, Radio X and Absolute Radio, and was one half of the duo Pete And Geoff, with Geoff Lloyd, on Virgin Radio.
IQ, his specialist weekend programme on Key 103 in the 1990s, became an important platform for rising acts such as Oasis, 808 State and Happy Mondays.
BBC Radio 6 Music presenter Chris Hawkins said: “Pete Mitchell was not only a brilliant and passionate DJ but a really honest bloke and a lovely, supportive person.”
A statement from BBC Radio 2 said: “We are saddened to hear of the passing of the much respected music radio presenter Pete Mitchell.”