23/4/1955 - 1/12/2014
Record updated 07-Apr-17
Better know as a televisiona nd radio presenter, Mike was a professional touring car & truck racing driver in the 1980s. In 1989 he established a BTCC team known as Trakstar with Robb Gravett.
Born in Horncurch, Essex in 1955, Mike Smith began his broadcasting career at Chelmsford Hospital Radio, Mike Smith made the move to London's Capital Radio in 1981 where he was the breakfast show host. Here he became the first person to be awarded Best Local DJ in the Sony Awards 1982.
Otherwise known as 'Smiffy', he presented a number of shows before moving on to become the Radio One Breakfast Show presenter 7.00 am to 9.30 am Monday to Friday, in May 1986 until he left exactly two years later.
He presented a live broadcast for a week in 1986 from Montreux, then the biggest rock festival in the world, interviewing the likes of David Bowie, Annie Lennox and Francis Rossi. All three days after taking over the breakfast show. Diana, Princess of Wales publicly stated he was her favourite DJ.
Mike is famous for presenting TV shows such as The Late Late Breakfast Show with Noel Edmonds and the classic Ghost Watch where Mike presented the phone-in and Sarah Greene was the reporter in the house itself.
In the February of 1988, no doubt having been spurred on, enjoying a few trips with Noel Edmonds, Mike concluded flying lessons and purchased a two-seater helicopter. On 10th September 1988, having been visiting friends in Cheltenham, Mike and his then partner, ex-Blue Peter presenter & host of 'Going Live', Sarah Greene were seriously injured in a helicopter crash in Gloucestershire. Sarah broke both legs and one arm, when the helicopter that Mike was flying hit some trees as he came in to land. Mike broke his back and an ankle. Pulled in a conscious state, from the wreckage by bystanders, who later remarked on a sudden loss of power before the helicopter crashed. Both went to a local hospital and after treatment, were quickly declared to be in a satisfactory condition. They stayed in hospital for a month, but Sarah returned to Saturday morning telly sporting her plaster cast, something which became a feature of the show. A subsequent Civil Aviation Authority investigation cleared Mike of any blame, the couple became engaged soon after recovering and were married in 1989.
Mike was a professional car & truck racing driver in the 1980s and in 1989, he established a BTCC team known as Trakstar with Robb Gravett. They ran 2 Sierra Cosworth's, which had been imported from the Australian Touring Car stable of Dick Johnson. Gravett went on to become runner up in Group A, but Mike struggled with his recovery from the crash. However, loss of a major sponsor in 1990 meant that only one car could be run, which was raced by Robb Gravett who became champion. Mike never raced competitively again.
Smith died on 1 August 2014 from complications following major heart surgery. His wife of 25 years, TV presenter Sarah Greene, survives him. In late December 2014 it was revealed that Smith left more than one million pounds from his personal estate to his wife.