BBC Radio Cumbria presenter Simon Yaxley was passionate about many things, from broadcasting to amateur theatre.

During his time in South Cumbria, working for Lakeland Radio, 'Yakkers' was involved in theatre productions for Grange Drama. He even made two stage appearances at Victoria Hall in 2013 and 2015. 

Simon died last month at his home in Carlisle. Many small businesses and theatre companies across Cumbria have been taking the time to remember his acting and how he promoted local amateur theatre during his broadcasts. Grange Drama is no exception. 

The Westmorland Gazette: The cast of The Life of Riley. Simon is sat on the far right The cast of The Life of Riley. Simon is sat on the far right (Image: Grange Drama)

Members of Grange Drama issued a tribute to Simon, which said: "The news of his recent and sudden death has given us cause to reflect on our own memories of him. He took the role of Simeon, a farmer & widower, in the production of Alan Ayckbourn’s play Life of Riley directed by Kath Bolton & a couple of years later returned to work with her, taking the part of Felix Humble in Humble Boy, a play by Charlotte Jones."

When Simon moved north to Carlisle Grange Drama said that his 'presence on stage was missed but we remained in touch.' 

They said that the members tuned into local radio to not only hear his reporting but because 'he always continued to spread AmDram news on air on Cumbria.'

The tribute continues: "He promoted our most recent productions,  interviewing directors Carol Williamson and Deborah Powell whilst many of his former fellow cast members recall the commitment he gave to our pre-production photo-shoot work.

"We will not be the only small company looking back with pleasure on their connections with Simon Yaxley and would like to take this opportunity of sending  our farewells & condolences to his friends, family & colleagues."

Graham Yaxley, Simon's brother, said: "We have been overwhelmed and very moved by all the messages from his colleagues, friends and listeners, some of which have never met him or us, and it is comforting to know he was so well loved by all whose lives he touched.

"We may be his next of kin, but each and every one of you were his "family". Thank you for taking him to your hearts."