British TV star Jonathan Ross has formally apologised to late radio DJ JOHN PEEL's family for begging the presenter to stay alive - just weeks before his death.

Comic Ross sent his pal Peel a humorous birthday card shortly before the Radio One legend died of a heart attack while holidaying in Peru last month (OCT04) - and in his message he urged the DJ not to "die soon".

But the fast-tongued chat show host now regrets his flippancy.

Ross says, "That was a big mistake. It was meant as a joke and I do apologise but I actually wrote, 'John, I can't believe how old you are, please don't die soon.'"

10/11/2004 14:03