Ex-Vandyke pupil and 3CR presenter Helen ‘would want you to celebrate her life’

Helen Legh
Helen Legh

Tributes have poured in for popular BBC 3CR presenter and former Vandyke Upper pupil Helen Legh, who died at Willen Hospice on Tuesday (June 18) after being diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2014.

Her widower, Paul Green, has asked her legions of friends, fans and ex-colleagues not to be sad. Writing on social media, he said: “Helen would want you to celebrate her life and how AMAZING she was.”

Her last afternoon was spent with family and friends by her bedside laughing and chatting, listening to her favourite group, A-ha – just as she would have wanted.

Helen, who was 44, lived in Bletchley with Paul and their much-loved daughter Matilda. She was best known for presenting the Sunday morning Breakfast Show on BBC 3CR.

She also did a weekly show for MKFM and worked for various other networks including Virgin Radio, Horizon, MKFM, The Wireless and Mercia FM.

She was brought up in Leighton Buzzard and moved to Milton Keynes when she was 18.

BBC 3CR managing editor Laura Moss said: “Helen was a wonderful, compassionate and inspiring woman. A warm and experienced broadcaster, she was a much loved colleague and I shall treasure my memories of working with her- as well as the cake and copious cups of tea we shared.”

Helen’s love of the sweet stuff was legendary – her Twitter handle was @helencakefiend.

She often spoke to local media about living with a brain tumour and told the LBO last year: “It’s weird having a life-limiting illness, especially one with no outward visible signs.

“You never know how you’re going to react until it happens to you. And I know it affects other people - my family and friends – more than it affects me.”

She was particularly concerned about the effect on her adored daughter Matilda, born 15 weeks premature after years of heartbreaking IVF treatment, and explained: “After all she’s been through, it’s hard.

“I don’t want her to forget me but I don’t want her to be so sad she doesn’t get over it.”

So Helen set about putting together a postcard collection of her favourite places. She also opened an email account for Matilda when she was born to write down little notes and random thoughts. No doubt these will give the cherished little girl much comfort in the years ahead.

Fellow BBC 3CR presenter Mike Naylor – who took over Helen’s Sunday morning slot – described her as “the best kind of person you would ever wish to meet and know.

“She was the same on air and off air... she liked people, what made them tick, why they did what they did. A perfect blend for being a radio presenter and interviewer.”

Helen mentored many aspiring young radio professionals, helping and encouraging them as they climbed up the ladder.

Mike said one of the most moving tributes after she died came from a listener who commented: “You felt you were in the same room when she was on the radio.”

He added: “That shows how Helen connected with her audience and with life.

“I am deeply privileged to have known her and worked with her and miss her loads.”

The family have requested no cards or flower but donations to Willen Hospice in her memory. Go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/helenlegh