Vale Bill Ali

Staff Writer

News overnight that Bill Ali has lost his battle with cancer. Bill was on drive through the 80’s on the original 96fm.

He was also the original face and voice of FMTV in Perth . It launched a successful block in Perth against MTV in the 80’s. But Bill’s career goes way back to the Funtastic Days at Brisbane’s 4BC and also at Melbourne’s 3XY.

Here are some words that Fred Botica shared with us: 

“It’s been a very sad weekend with the news of the death of a great mate and former radio colleague, Bill Ali.

Bill’s voice was the first I ever heard on 96fm, on the day I arrived in Perth, on the 10th of February 1986. I had arrived from Auckland to join the line up on one of the best music stations in the Southern Hemisphere.

Bill was the “Drive Jock”, and he and I hit it off from the beginning.

He was one of the nicest people I have ever known. A true gentle soul. A good dude. A man you were proud to call your friend.

He was great to listen to ‘on air’, sounding just like the person he was.

Some of us have great faces for radio, Bill had a great face for anything, with a smile that would light up a room, which made him the perfect host for “FMTV”, a great show that 96fm simulcast with Channel 7, Perth. It ran for quite some time, and was another bow in Bill’s quiver.

When Bill decided to leave radio, he went on to be very successful in business. 

Our thoughts are with his wife Helen, and their family.

This is what Helen posted:

“My great love, my husband and the father of my children passed away early this morning. Never seen such sorrow as through my children’s eyes! I love you darling for ever more” 

There’s not much more to say at this time.

RIP Bill. You will be sorely missed.

Freddy Botica



Scott Muller:

This is very sad news, and my thoughts are with Bill’s wife, Helen, and his children, family, and friends.

For anyone who was in their teens or twenties in WA in the ‘80s, Bill Ali – back then already a legend of the original 96fm and the star of FMTV – was our generation’s local embodiment of ‘cool’. 

And, looking back, what a privilege it was for our generation, growing up in our corner of the world, to have had such a uniquely ‘cool’ role model – one who wasn’t dark and distant, but instead one who was warm and fun, generous and positive. 

As Fred said: one whose smile lit up the room. 

One who shone. 

The last time I saw Bill and caught up for a coffee was about five years ago. I wish I could go back and thank him again for being so welcoming, generous and inclusive to the skinny nineteen-year-old kid in 96fm’s production team – the gangly kid who I was back in the late ‘80s.  Bill, you may have not even noticed the difference you made because you were just being yourself, but you made a big impression on me.

Thank you, Bill.  RIP.   Keep shining.


Scott Muller


Des Shaw – former 96fm Program Director:

I was the Programme Director at 96fm from 1983 to 1995 and really enjoyed working with Bill, who was a fantastic bloke.

In March 1993, Bob Geldof was in Perth as guest presenter with Bill Ali for a week.

Bob’s visit coincided with Paul McCartney’s concert at Subiaco Oval as part of his New World Tour.

Bob rang Paul and invited him in to the studio for what turned out to be a fascinating and riveting few hours of radio.

Bill anchored the programme as Bob and Paul discussed a range of subjects from Global Warming to Vegetarianism – and of course played some of their favourite songs.

This photograph  (above) was taken at the end of the programme and features (L to R) 96fm Programme Director Des Shaw, Bob Geldof, Paul McCartney, 96fm Station Manager Jack Tedrick and 96fm Drive presenter Bill Ali. The photographer was 96fm Promotions Manager Kylee Payne.

Des Shaw


We will publish details on Bill’s funeral once they are announced.

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