TRIBUTES poured in yesterday from throughout the Coffs Harbour community following the death of well-respected radio announcer Alex Hilling.
Star FM general manager, Peter Doherty, described Mr Hilling as 'a wonderful guy'.
"He really was loved by his workmates and he was very passionate about his work," Mr Doherty said.
"He saw it as his station and worked tirelessly to produce quality radio for his listeners.
"It's obviously a tragic loss.
"Alex worked for two separate periods at Star FM, most recently for the past three years.
"He was a very much-loved and talented announcer. He will be dearly missed by his workmates and family."
Close friend Rob Rae joked that Alex was a lousy singer 'but you couldn't get the microphone away from him'.
"We used to go skiing together down at Perisher and you wouldn't find a more uncoordinated skier if you tried, but gee we had a lot of fun," Mr Rae said.
"He had a great personality and a big heart."
Mr Hilling was born for radio, according to local entertainment promoter John Logan.
"He was the life of the radio station. People knew him and loved listening to him for many years," Mr Logan said.
"He will be very, very sorely missed. His death is a great loss.
"We worked with him closely, and he was closely associated with many of our promotions over the years including the Hot House parties and bands who've come here like silverchair, INXS and Savage Garden.
"He would always put the right creative skew on a promotion when it was needed."
Coffs Coast Advocate editor Lee McDougall said Coffs Harbour had lost 'one of our best and brightest'.
"It makes it even sadder when we lose someone who was so well-liked, and so well-loved, like Alex was," Mrs McDougall said.