Academy FM family devastated at loss of breakfast show host Doc Atherton

Doc (left) on air with Academy FM co-presenter Craig Cowell

Radio colleagues and friends have paid tribute to “kind and helpful”  Thanet Academy FM Sunday breakfast show host Doc Atherton, who died in QEQM Hospital on Monday evening (24 June) after a short illness.

Ramsgate resident Damien, best known as Doc, was just 50 years old.

Doc had been with Academy FM since it launched in 2010 and he was a director and trustee of the station between 2016 and 2023. He also played an integral part in the team that saved Academy FM when a financial crisis left it facing closure in 2015.

Born and bred in Thanet, Doc attended Holy Trinity school in Ramsgate, St George’s school in Broadstairs, studied A levels at Chatham House in Ramsgate, and then went on to study at Canterbury Christ  Church University.

After having worked at a number of pharmacies, with the last ones being Pierremont and Newington, Doc was at the time of his death working for the NHS primary care network and had been among the covid vaccination team during the pandemic. Doc was one of those to meet former Prime Minister Boris Johnson when he visited the clinic at the Saga base in Ramsgate during 2021.

The PM with ‘Doc’ Atherton as part of the NHS (CARE) Primary Care Network Pharmacy & Medicines Team at Saga

A familiar voice on the Kent airwaves, he has worked at Invicta FM, TLR, KMFM, CTFM, Neptune Radio, Capital Gold and Mercury FM, and he has even been heard as far afield as Hong Kong.

Describing himself as “a bit of a sci-fi nut”, Doc loved  watching good movies, especially the Star Wars series. He was also a huge fan of Doctor Who.

Photo Frank Leppard

Having presented the Sunday morning show on Academy FM for the last 14 years, Doc will be sorely missed by his many listeners. He brought his own unique style of presenting, sharing his stories and interests, his one hit wonders and his own personal collection of dodgy discs.

Debbie Day, Station Manager of Academy FM said: “Doc was one of the first people I met when I joined TLR. He was kind, helpful and always ready to give advice, over the years he became a good friend. I’m devastated and like many others I’m still trying to come to terms with it.

“Doc was such a huge part of our Academy family and we are all going to miss him so much.

“Rest in peace our beloved Doc.”

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