Tributes to BBC presenter Bill Hunter

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TRIBUTES have been paid to a broadcaster whose voice graced the airwaves of local radio for more than 20 years.

Bill Hunter, who worked for the BBC station in Middlesbrough when it was known as Radio Teesside and later Radio Cleveland, died in Hartlepool & District Hospice on Wednesday. He was 87.

Bill Hunter, former BBC Radio Teesside presenter, who died on January 7 2015.

Bill Hunter, former BBC Radio Teesside presenter, who died on January 7 2015.

Bill, who lived in Jacques Court on the Headland, presented the station’s Housecall programme and the late 1980s and was also a member of the team affectionately known as ‘The God Squad’ which put out religious programmes.

Bill’s former colleague Stan Laundon paid tribute to his pal after he lost his battle with cancer.

Stan said: “Bill was a well respected and knowledgeable gentleman. I was with him at about 12pm on Wednesday, then I got a call to say he had passed away just a couple of hours after that. I couldn’t believe it.

“I first me Bill in 1970 when the station launched, and we got on well with our Hartlepool links. He made himself known to me when he heard I was from Hartlepool, and we clicked straight away.

“He was very popular, not just with the listeners but with his colleagues as well.

“I lived in Spain for a while, and when I came back I ended up living in old Hartlepool near where he was and we used to bump into each other regularly and have a catch up.

“Obviously we used to chat about the old days on the radio, we had some happy memories.”

Bill, who lived on his own, had been suffering with cancer and spent his last few weeks in the Hospice.

Stan added: “He was very poorly, obviously, but it was still a shock to hear he had died. He was a very kind man, he was an excellent professional and he had a lot of friends who are saddened by the news of his passing.”