Radio star Ernie Sigley dies aged 82

Beloved radio and TV presenter Ernest ‘Ernie’ William Sigley has died aged 82.

Sigley was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2016 and passed away peacefully in residential care on Sunday, according to a statement from his family.

Entering the industry as a turntable operator for Melbourne’s 3DB (now KIIS 101.1) in 1952, Sigley briefly worked as the host of Teenage Mailbag before moving to London to work as a disc jockey for the BBC and Radio Luxembourg in 1957.

After returning to Australia, Sigley famously interviewed The Beatles on the Adelaide leg of their 1964 tour before joining Adelaide Tonight as host in the early ’70s.

In 1974, he was appointed as the host of Nine’s national variety show The Ernie Sigley Show, winning the Gold Logie Award for Most Popular Personality on Australian Television in 1975.

However, the program was abruptly axed in 1976 after Sigley made an off-air outburst directed at Kerry Packer’s management of the program, with Don Lane replacing him on the show.

Sigley made his return to radio in 1981 as host of 3DB’s breakfast program before joining News Talk 3UZ with Paul Jennings, and left the station in 1984 after it switched to a music-based format.

After presenting Wheel Of Fortune, Six Tonight and Pot Luck  and reuniting with Denise Drysdale to host Nine’s In Melbourne Today throughout the ’80s, Sigley joined 3AW as an afternoon host in 1996, remaining at the station until his retirement in 2008.

In addition to his career in radio and television, Sigley also enjoyed a brief stint as a singer-songwriter, with his single ‘Hey Paula’ featuring Drysdale reaching #2 on the Australian charts in 1974.

Sigley is survived by his wife of 47 years, Glenys, and four children: Matthew, Guy, David and Emma.

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