RIP John Blackman


Australian radio is mourning another huge loss today, with news that John Blackman has died at the age of 76.

In recent years, The Hey Hey it’s Saturday favourite opened up about his harrowing battle with cancer, including a 12 hour operation in 2018 to remove his jaw.

Blackman began working in radio in 1969, joining 2GN Goulburn as an announcer, newsreader, copywriter, salesman and record librarian.

He would later move to 2CA Canberra and then Melbourne’s 3AW, where – as an evening announcer – he worked with the Reverend Alex Kenworthy for several years on the Nightline program.

Stints at 3AK, 2UE and 3UZ (now RSN Racing and Sport), Magic 1278 and Triple M Adelaide would follow.

But it was the pairing of Blackman with Bruce Mansfield on 3AW that would become one of the most successful combinations in Australian radio history, with 3AW Breakfast topping the ratings for 5 consecutive years until 1986.

Outside radio, Blackman was well known for the cheeky character Dickie Knee on Hey Hey.

Smooth FM host and Channel Nine’s Richard Wilkins is among those to pay tribute:

“I had the pleasure of working on Hey Hey, many times over the years, and John was an integral part of the family.”

A statement from Nine and 3AW reads: “Today, Nine and 3AW join in mourning the loss of John Blackman, a cherished voice in Australian media. John, renowned as the iconic voiceover artist for “Hey Hey It’s Saturday,” brought joy and laughter into countless homes every weekend. His distinctive voice and quick wit became a hallmark of the show, endearing him to generations of viewers. His remarkable talent brought characters like Dickie Knee, The Angel and Mrs Macgillicuddy to life, making him a household name and an integral part of the show’s legacy.
John’s contributions to Australian entertainment extended beyond television. As co-host of the top-rating breakfast program on 3AW in the 1980s, he became a morning companion for many, offering warmth, humor, and insightful commentary to start the day. His ability to connect with listeners, combined with his natural storytelling prowess, made him a beloved figure on the airwaves.
Throughout his illustrious career, John demonstrated an unwavering commitment to his craft. His remarkable versatility and enduring presence in the industry underscored his exceptional talent. Colleagues and fans alike admired his professionalism and the genuine kindness he exuded both on and off the microphone.

John Blackman’s legacy is one of laughter, dedication, and a profound impact on Australian media. As we remember his remarkable journey, we celebrate the indelible mark he left on our hearts and the entertainment landscape. He will be deeply missed, but his voice will continue to echo in our memories.

Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with John’s wife Cecile, family, friends, and all who had the privilege of knowing him.”

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Jason From Mooroolbark Victoria
5 Jun 2024 - 2:26 pm

My girlfriend Melissa and I were talking about John Blackman and she told me that she remembers ha ha he said as I o when. Blackers played Dicky Knee And I used to speak to him when he was on 3AK Breakfast. God bless your soul John Blackman and may rest in peace much loved and sorely missed but everyone who loved him and worked for him so those who him and he and those to him and those who called him on radio as well

J. Print
6 Jun 2024 - 9:03 am

A brilliant showman and inspiration to many. The 3AW Breakfast show with Blacker’s and Uncle Roy was legendary. Vale John Blackman your what the business is made of.


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