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Tributes pour in after death of Thanet DJ Howard Evans

By Mary Louis
AcademyFM DJ Howard Evan with Thanet South MP Laura Sandys

Tributes continue to pour in following the unexpected death of well-loved radio presenter and ardent Thanet supporter Howard Evans.

News of his death sent a shockwave through Thanet where he had thousands of friends and fans.

The day after it was announced, about 200 of them gathered the following evening to pay their heartfelt respects to Mr Evans, 48, at the bandstand in his home town of Broadstairs.

Among those present were “Mr Ramsgate” Ralph Hoult, the Mayor of Broadstairs and St Peters Cllr Rosalind Binks, Mayor of Ramsgate Cllr Pat Moore, entertainer and singer Mandy Winters, and councillors Mave and David Saunders.

Music was performed by local bands.

Mr Evans’ early radio career included time with TLR (Thanet Local Radio) which was taken over by the KM Group in 1999 and was rebranded as KMFM Thanet in 2003, the first station to be fully owned by the Thanet Extra publishers.

In his early radio days, Mr Evans met Pete Willson, Mike Stevens, Doc Atherton and Horace Hotman, with whom he was reunited at Academy FM, based at Marlowe Academy in Ramsgate.

He started there in 2010 after poor health forced him to give up his work at Godden’s amusement arcades in Thanet.

Mr Evans worked on several Kent radio stations, travelled all around east Kent broadcasting “live” and hosted many Thanet events.

He was a great supporter and promoter of local bands striving for a musical career, providing them with airtime on his show.

With Cllr David Saunders, Mr Evans had been instrumental in launching the annual Broadstairs fireworks display. He used to run the town’s water gala and was instrumental in bringing the Red Arrows back to the event. Mr Evans was also a former chairman of Broadstairs and St Peters Chamber of Commerce.

His close friend Mary Ninnim described Mr Evans as “passionate about Thanet, radio and people.”

Warning bells sounded on July 25, when he was due to go on air at 6pm for Sunday Night Live after Horace’s Palace of Fun, presented by close friend Mr Hotman.

Mr Hotman, who organised the bandstand tribute, said there was great concern when Mr Evans did not appear. He was normally there well ahead of the show.

“I will look back on the time I have known Howard with a tear but with an even bigger smile as he was a mate, a colleague and a true community champion.”

Mr Evans, a diabetic, had suffered health issues for a while.

Mr Howard was single and shared his home with his beloved dog Candy.

A post-mortem into his death took place on Friday.

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