Like so many listeners to BBC Radio Shropshire, I am shaken to hear of the sudden death of Vicki Archer at the age of 41. She would normally be broadcasting to our county as I type this. Tributes are pouring out on social media and on air. They are richly deserved.
There is something special about radio. Especially local radio. It worms its way into your ears. It becomes part of the fabric of your life. It is not just entertainment. It is not just about the sometimes grim news of the day. Local radio is part of the fabric of our community. It is part of what makes a community like ours tick.
Local radio doesn’t create celebrities in the way that TV strives to. It builds a bond of friendship with its local community. It works to support it.
That’s no truer than with BBC Radio Shropshire. Many of us regard the presenters, even if we have never met them, as our friends.
That’s why our reaction to the announcement today of the death of drivetime presenter Vicki Archer, aged just 41, is heartfelt.
Our feelings today can be nothing compared to the pain and sorrow being experienced by Vicki’s family, closest friends and her colleagues at BBC Radio Shropshire.
But today, the county of Shropshire has lost a good friend. We should all cry a few tears for that.