Former NEWSTALK1010 host of "People Helping People" has died

The former host of a popular show on NEWSTALK 1010 has died.

Mark Elliot hosted the call-in program People Helping People on Saturday nights from 2001 until December of 2016. After experiencing a battle with addictions himself, the call-in show was aimed at helping others in similar situations. 

"To take his pain of addiction and turn it into recovery, and turn it into hope for other people in a radio show that was so unique, that had never been done before - it was really something," host Jim Richards told us Saturday evening. "He was really passionate about it."

Elliot, whose real name was Nils Johanson, was also the host of The Night Side from 2003 through 2007. Leading up to his shows on NEWSTALK1010, he had a successful career in Ottawa in the 1980s and worked in many other cities across Canada. 

Elliot, who was openly gay, will also be remembered for coming out on air.

"He was openly gay on the radio when nobody else wanted to be in that lane, and fiercely fought for same-sex marriage when that was actually battle on talk radio," Richards added.

A family member posted to Twitter that Elliot became ill just before New Years, was put into a medically induced coma and died after a short battle with pneumonia on Friday.

Elliot had turned 65 years old on Christmas Eve.