ABC Perth Host and Journalist Russell Woolf Dies

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ABC Perth Host and Journalist Russell Woolf Dies

By Perth National Review

ABC journalist Russell Woolf has died, aged 57.

The death of the popular Perth radio host was announced by his colleague Geoff Hutchison on Tuesday.

“We’ve got some really sad news to share with you this morning that our beloved friend and colleague Russell Woolf died earlier this morning. It’s come as a huge shock to us,” he said.

“You leave a very big hole in our hearts.

“Today is a sad day.”

Woolf presents ABC Perth’s Breakfast program and has had a long career with the network after first starting with the network at its Karratha bureau in 1997.

Hutchison said his colleagues were in shock at his sudden passing. They are understood to have been told two hours before the news was announced on air.

Russell Woolf has had a long radio and TV career in WA.
Russell Woolf has had a long radio and TV career in WA.

While the cause of Woolf’s death is not yet known, Hutchison told ABC listeners he had died in his sleep. Hutchison said he was contacted by the family to break the news on air.

Hutchison said he would remember Woolf for being “larger than life and big and fun and welcoming” who made friends wherever he went.

“He knew he was loved but the thing I used to find amazing with him… we tease him about his ratings sometimes but he had more friends than all of us put together,” he said.

Hutchison fondly recalled his first day on working with Woolf in June 2006.

“Standing where I’m standing now, giving my first performance as the morning show host, doing a … fairly awful job, and I saw this big lumbering galoot come up the stairs at about 11.50am, cause we went to 12pm then,” he said.

“He was carrying a single stubby of Coopers pale ale and he brought it straight into the studio to me and he said ‘have that, you deserve it’.

“And that was pretty much the first day I met Russell Woolf in person and that to be has said plenty about who he is, who he was and how we’ll remember him, just the most beautiful, beautiful friend.”

ABC Regional and Local communications staffer John Woodward said the news came as a “sudden shock” to Woolf’s colleagues.

“We’re in a state of disbelief for our ABC family and the people who worked with Russell,” he said.

“Our thoughts are with Russell’s family right now.

Russell Wolfe pictured in 2008.
Russell Wolfe pictured in 2008. 

“It’s something that you don’t expect,” Mr Woodward said. “It’s so unexpected. Everyone’s still processing the information.”

Premier Mark McGowan took to Twitter to say how he was “deeply saddened” by the news and paid tribute to his “long and storied career” in WA journalism.

“His unique and iconic voice, wit and and personality made him beloved by countless Western Australians. For many of us, whether we knew him personally or not, it will feel like we’ve lost a friend today,” he said.

Woolf is remembered for being ‘larger than life’.
Woolf is remembered for being ‘larger than life’.

“My thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues during this difficult time.”

Woolf is perhaps best known for his four years as ABC TV’s weather presenter from 2007 to 2011. He was also a political candidate for a West Australian Senate seat in 2014.

Devastated listeners are calling into the show to express the heartbreak at the news.

“He was such a character. It’s just going to be really, really difficult to not wake up and hear Rusty in the morning,” listener Shane from Albany said.

Radio and television production lecturer Andrea Burns said she’d seen Woolf just last week when he gave his annual lecture to her students at Edith Cowan University.

“He came with is good thongs on, his shorts and a gingham shirt. He had the students enthralled for the better part of two hours,” she said.

“What a devastating loss for all of us. He was kind and generous and hilarious and God we loved him.”

Woolf is survived by his wife Kylie and daughter Bronte.

ABC Perth has experienced tragedy in the past with the death of beloved breakfast presenter Eoin Cameron, 65, in 2016 after a heart attack.

ABC Sports broadcaster Wally Foreman also died after suffering a heart attack in 2006.

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*Note We Deliberately Miss Spell Some Words or Add Capital Letters To Get Around Big Tech Censoring.

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