Newcastle 'legend' Frank Wappat dies

Frank Wappat Frank Wappat retired from the BBC in 2010

Frank Wappat, a Radio Newcastle presenter for 40 years, has died at the age of 84.

Wappat, who retired from broadcasting four years ago after suffering a stroke, was well known across the north of England for his nostalgia music shows, which used to be networked across a number of BBC stations.

He joined Radio Newcastle in 1971, having started his career at pirate station Radio 390 in London.

The Hebburn-born presenter went on to front nine shows a week for Radio Newcastle in the seventies. In his last years on air, he hosted the Sunday morning Inspirational Show and the Frank Wappat Music Show.

He was 'a legend', said BBC Newcastle editor Andrew Robson.

'I didn't get the chance to work with him for too long but his name was synonymous with this radio station for decades,' he added.

'Frank retired due to ill health four years ago. Our thoughts are with his wife and family and friends at this difficult time.'

Wappat won two prestigious Sony awards, one for his programme about thirties music hall star Master Joe Peterson, a second for his investigation into the death of 1940s singer Chick Henderson.

The presenter - who was the focus of a three hour tribute show on Radio Newcastle when he retired - died of heart failure on Monday.

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