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Radio Suffolk presenter left show abruptly due to fire at home

PUBLISHED: 11:40 27 October 2020 | UPDATED: 15:58 27 October 2020

BBC Radio Suffolk presenter Luke Deal left his show early on Saturday after a fire broke out at his home Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

BBC Radio Suffolk presenter Luke Deal left his show early on Saturday after a fire broke out at his home Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

BBC Radio Suffolk presenter Luke Deal had to make a dramatic early exit from his breakfast show on Saturday after discovering his house was on fire.

Sarah Lilley who stepped in for Luke Deal when he had to leave his show because a fire had broken out at his Colchester home PIX PHIL MORLEY 1/4/05
EADT 2 04 05Sarah Lilley who stepped in for Luke Deal when he had to leave his show because a fire had broken out at his Colchester home PIX PHIL MORLEY 1/4/05 EADT 2 04 05

Luke was nearing the end of his show on Saturday morning when he began to receive a series of phone calls from his daughter, Hannah.

Around 20 minutes before the show’s finish, Luke discovered the severity of the situation suddenly disappeared from the airwaves.

BBC colleague Sarah Lilley, who was fortunately in the studio at the time, stepped in for the presenter ahead of the start of her own show at 10am.

Luke said he informed his co-workers before leaving the Ipswich studio in a panic and driving along the A12 to his home near Colchester.

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After a short pause amid the confusion, Sarah told the show’s listeners: “It’s Sarah here. Luke’s had to leave the studio for a slight emergency - but we will carry on.”

Luke arrived at his home to discover the blaze had fortunately been contained to the garage attached to the house - but said he was fearful for the safety of his wife, children and pets at home.

He also praised his neighbours for their help ensuring the family could leave the house safely and calling the fire service.

Luke said: “I was three-quarters of the way through the Gardening Hour.

“I have a rule with my kids that no one rings me while I am presenting. But the next thing I get was that my garage was on fire. My heart just sank.

“I got out of the studio, grabbed my car keys and belted down the A12. Fortunately Sarah Lilley was able to step in.

“It was that feeling of driving knowing it’s your home that’s on fire.

“Firefighters think it was an appliance, an electrical fire. I’m now just waiting for the insurance.

“In this, you learn who your friends are and how brilliant your neighbours are.”

Luke also paid tribute to his colleague for stepping in to present the show while he made his urgent escape from the studio.

He said: “I couldn’t thank Sarah enough. No one wants to step in to a show with moments to spare.”

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