Vale: Murray Nicoll

Veteran journalist and broadcaster Murray Nicoll, who had a career in print, radio and television, has died after a battle with leukaemia. He was 66.

Nicoll worked in print for The News, in Melbourne radio, ABC radio in Adelaide and for Channel Seven as a reporter for the final five years of his life.

He was best known for a tearful radio broadcast in front of his burning house in the 1983 Ash Wednesday bushfires.

He won a Walkley Award for doing so.

“The air is white with heat and smoke and it’s red and there are women crying and there are women here and we are in trouble,” he said in the broadcast.

He won a second Walkley Award for a Mount Everest expedition, broadcast on radio. reports Nicoll was diagnosed with leukaemia in September last year and died at home on Sunday morning.

Seven’s Adelaide news director Terry Plane said Nicoll was a unique story teller across all three mediums.

“Murray was more of a story-teller than a reporter,” Mr Plane said.

“He told people’s stories and through people he let us into greater issues. The plight of the Murray was a classic example.”

South Australian Premier Mike Rann tweeted, “Great journo. Great bloke. Honest. Liked a story with a twist but never twisted the story.”

Nicoll’s death comes on the same day Seven News won a Logie Award for a report in which Seven Melbourne reporter Norm Beaman broadcast on air while not knowing the fate of his wife and home in the Black Saturday bushfires.

He is survived by his wife Frankie and daughters Tia and Peta.



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