By Kevin Young
Entertainment reporter, BBC News
Kevin Greening worked on several BBC and commercial radio stations
Former Radio 1 DJ Kevin Greening, who has died suddenly aged 44, used to tell how his broadcasting career began when he was "briefly a tape editor for door-stepping reporter Roger Cook".
"He hated me," Greening stated on his biography on the website of London-based Smooth Radio, where he had been working before his death.
He started his career as a BBC studio manager in 1985 and went on to do a stint at BBC Radio Solent. He was given his first break at the BBC's local station for London - then known as GLR - in the late 1980s by Trevor Dann, who went on to become the DJ's boss at Radio 1.
Cambridge-educated Greening chose to take the presenting job instead of an offer of a position as studio manager at the BBC World Service.
He later moved on to became part of the launch line-up of Virgin Radio in 1993.
Within a year, however, he had transferred to Radio 1. There he hosted a number of weekend shows, and was a regular stand-in on daytime slots.
He brought a tongue-in-cheek style to the station, and introduced comedy sketches to his programmes through a series of fictional characters, including a hapless DJ called Raymond Sinclair, and "jingles" which had been re-recorded.
He and Zoe Ball teamed up on the prestigious Radio 1 breakfast show as replacements for Mark Radcliffe and his sidekick, Lard, in 1997.
The BBC heralded their introduction with a great fanfare and they were cover stars on Radio Times magazine to coincide with their first week on air.
They added 230,000 listeners to the audience of Radcliffe and Lard, according to figures quoted in the BBC's annual report in 1998.
BBC Radio 5 Live presenter Simon Mayo, who used to work for Radio 1, said: "When he and Zoe got the breakfast show together, all the photographers would take the pictures of them together and then ask him to stand to one side and just take the pictures of Zoe.
"He understood that was the way it was. All he wanted to do was be on the radio."
Colleagues say Greening was never interested in becoming a celebrity.
Dann said: "He was a terrific presenter. I think he was one of the most creative of his generation.
"I think he would have been a lot more famous if he had been a lot more pushy."
Greening's stint on the breakfast show lasted for only a year, and he returned to a weekend slot while Ball continued as a breakfast solo host until 2000.
After leaving Radio 1, Greening was heard on BBC Radio 5 Live and the BBC World Service.
He also appeared on London stations including Jazz FM and Heart 106.2, before taking on the mid-morning show at indie broadcasters XFM.
Before his death, he was presenting the afternoon show at Smooth Radio.