Friends mourn after 'Stewpot' dies at 74.
TRIBUTES have been paid to former DJ and Crackerjack presenter Ed "Stewpot" Stewart, who has died aged 74.
Presenter David Hamilton hailed his BBC colleague for his versatility.
"Like all of us, radio was his first love," he said. "But also, he did very well on television. He was one of the hosts of Crackerjack for a long time, he did Top Of The Pops and he had his own programme.
"He was a really good guy and I really will miss him."
Stewart was one of the first presenters on Radio 1 when it was launched in 1967.
The following year, he began presenting children's show Junior Choice, which became his trademark radio show.
On television, Devon-born Stewart was best known for children's favourite Crackerjack. He hosted the show from 1973 to 1979.
Noel Edmonds also tweeted heartfelt messages about the man he called his "mentor". Johnnie Walker, who joined BBC Radio 1 in 1969, tweeted to say Stewart had left "in style" after recording a special Junior Choice broadcast at Christmas.
"Very shocked and so saddened at the death of Ed Stewart. So many pirate radio memories of Red Lion, Curzon Street. He was such a great guy," he tweeted.
"Ed Stewart sounded fantastic on BBCRadio2 at Christmas. What a great last show and one that will always be remembered. You left in style Ed".
Rocky Taylor, a friend of 40 years, said Stewart died in hospital in Bournemouth.
Former BBC presenter Phillip Schofield tweeted: "As a kid the Radio 1 DJ's were my idols.
"They say never meet your idols ... Ed Stewart didn't let me down, terrific broadcaster & lovely man." Stewart, who was divorced, is survived by his two children and grandchildren.
<BEd "Stewpot" Stewart, far right, with fellow DJs (from left) Jimmy Young, Tony Blackburn, Peter Murray and Terry Wogan in 1971. They were described by the controller of Radio 1 & 2 as the BBC's 'strikers of the 1st eleven'