'Zany, crazy' radio star dies in Lismore
RADIO and TV personality Malcolm T Elliot passed away in Lismore yesterday, aged 73.
The Goonellabah resident was well known for making breakfast radio funny and edgy in the 1970s, as he worked in national stations 2GB, 2UE and 2UW over decades.
Mr Elliot, who started on radio in 1967, underwent five heart by-passes in 2004 and was in poor health at his Lismore home in recent years.
His body was found in a Lismore motel on Thursday and a coroner's report is pending.
Breakfast radio presenter Ruth Woodhams from 2LM, remembered Mr Elliot.
"I only met Malcolm T. Elliot recently, but he told me radio can be a brilliant career and to keep sounding happy on air," she said.
"He was generous with coffees and I did like his blue Daffy Duck jumper.
"He was loud and eclectic, and he wasn't scared to tell it how it was.
"His rich voice came over so well, (it was) a big friendly voice now lost. RIP," she said.
According to 2GB, Alan Jones paid tribute to his old friend, saying it's "a sad note in the world of broadcasting".
"He had an impact on a lot of people and made a very significant contribution."
Radio presenter Ray Hadley said he was "an avid listener" to Malcolm T before they became colleagues at 2UE and then 2GB.
"I know in latter years his contribution was mired in controversy, but he revolutionised breakfast radio in Australia back in the 1970s," Mr Hadley said to 2GB.
"He turned breakfast radio into a formula of fun and satire, aided by the late Tony Dickinson and Peter Shanahan.
"He was zany, he was crazy but it was successful."
In 1975, he was voted The Most Popular Radio Personality in NSW by TV Week and awarded a Logie.
He was Marketing Director of News Limited, Westfield, RCA Records, Domino Computers, and CMS Computer Enhancements.
On January 14,1974, he pretended to cut the electric locks on the 2UW studio doors and locked himself in the studio for 24 hours, while the other presenters adjourned to the local City Hotel.
Thousands of people filed through the studios to see him, and people all over Sydney turned off their television sets and "watched" the radio.
The public seemed to readily accept the "lock-in" as the gag it was, whilst management at other stations local and interstate believed that he had taken over the station. It resulted in a spike in the next ratings figures which took 2UW to its highest ever breakfast rating to that time.
In May 2005, in an exchange with a caller to a Sydney radio program he was hosting about a law case in Bali involving Australian drug smuggler Schapelle Corby, Elliott caused controversy when he racially vilified the Indonesian judges hearing the case, as well as then Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and former Indonesia President Megawati Sukarnoputri.