BBC Radio 2 host gives ‘heavy hearted’ tribute to Paul Cattermole

Nicki Chapman, 56, said she had a “heavy heart” as she paid tribute to the late singer Paul Cattermole, who has died at the age of 46.

The presenter, who was filling in for Zoe Ball on her BBC Radio 2 breakfast show this morning, spoke about working with Paul and the iconic pop group S Club 7 in its early days.

On Thursday, a statement from Paul’s family and the pop group confirmed he had unexpectedly died and that, while the cause of his death is unknown, the circumstances were not suspicious.

The tragic news came just weeks after the band had excitedly announced their comeback tour.

“I’m sure many of you heard the really sad news about Paul Cattermole from S Club 7, who sadly passed away last week,” Nicki said on BBC Radio 2 this morning.

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“Now, some of you may know I was involved with putting the band together in the late 90s, holding so many auditions across the UK for young, dynamic and enthusiastic people that could sing, act and dance.”

Nicki worked with British entrepreneur and artist manager Simon Fuller during the 1990s, joining his management company 19 Entertainment in January 2001 as Creative Director.

She went on to work with acts including The Spice Girls, Annie Lennox, Will Young and S Club 7.

Speaking about the latter, she continued: “My earliest memories of Paul was a lovely young guy who adored being part of this really exciting new pop group that we were putting together.

“I’m going to say he also loved his rock music as well. And I had just such a brilliant, amazing time with them.

“We travelled the world, we launched a brand new drama called Miami 7 on BBC One – I’m sure many of you are going to remember it…

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“And within five years, they’d sold millions of albums, they’d won two BRIT Awards, they’d toured to help raise a ton of money for Children In Need and had success with their TV shows, as well as their music, around the globe.

“S Club 7 inspired a whole generation of young people to reach for the stars,” she continued in reference to the group’s best-known song. “And weren’t we all delighted when we heard they were officially reforming and going back on tour later this year?”

Nicki went on to confirm the band were all “truly thrilled to be together again” and that they “couldn’t quite believe” the sheer volume of positivity and joy they received in response to the news.

“So it is with a heavy heart,” Nicki admitted. “And I thought we’d play one of our favourite S Club tracks here at Radio 2 to remember Paul.

“We send our love to his mom and his family, as well as to the rest of the band.

“To Bradley, Jon, Jo, Rachel, Tina and Hannah – here it is for Paul and S Club, Reach for the Stars,” she concluded, is the legendary track began to play.

Last week the statement from Paul’s family read: “It is with great sadness that we announce the unexpected passing of our beloved son and brother Paul Cattermole.

“While the cause of death is currently unknown, Dorset Police has confirmed that there were no suspicious circumstances.

“Paul’s family, friends and fellow members of S Club request privacy at this time”.

On social media, his bandmates said they were “truly devastated”, writing: “There are no words to describe the deep sadness and loss we all feel.

“We were so lucky to have had him in our lives and are thankful for the amazing memories we have.

“He will be so deeply missed by each and every one of us.”

The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show airs on weekdays at 6.30am on BBC Radio 2.

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