“I think it was just his body that said, ‘I’m sick of this.'”

Cecile Blackman and Daryl Somers reflect on the late, great John Blackman.

On Sunday Night 3AW’s Remember When paid tribute to the late, great John Blackman who died of a heart attack last Tuesday.

Calling into the programme were Daryl Somers plus Cecile Blackman, who thanked so many for their kind thoughts as she shared on her most difficult week.

“I am truly overwhelmed … it was all so quick and so sudden and so unexpected.,” she said.

“I mean, he wasn’t a candidate for dying. I mean, sure he had skin cancers, and they were always looked after really well by his skin surgeon. There was absolutely no way that I would (have) imagined that he would have died from it. I mean, obviously he didn’t die from it.

“I think that what happened was his body had just went ‘Sick of this’… sick of not being able to eat properly, drinking through a straw… sick of looking at my face all disfigured with all these lumps and bumps everywhere. None of them were fatal. He hasn’t had any kind of cancer at all, except for skin cancer. He hasn’t even had a heart problem. I’m still coming to grips with it, really… I don’t know why. I think it was just his body that said, ‘I’m sick of this. I just can’t deal with it anymore.'”

Cecile recalled the night ‘Blackers’ passed away at home.

“He came down the stairs and said, ‘Darling. I thought the worst pain in my chest, so dreadful.’ And I said, ‘Come and lie down on the couch.’ I took him to the couch and he lay down. As soon he lay down, he died, and by that time, I had already rung Emergency. They were so quick. They were so fabulous, but there was nothing they could do. His body had just told him ‘That’s it.'”

Daryl Somers also paid tribute to Blackman and recalled how he first ‘met’ Blackman as a happy accident.

“He was in the booth. I was on the host set doing Hey Hey. It probably was around ’73. We started on the 9th of October, 1971 Ernie (Carroll) and myself. We had like a 12 foot flat behind us, and we were throwing to cartoons, Lancelot Link Secret Chimp, Shirley Temple movies, and Jane Withers Theatre and we would do, reasonably short segments in between those things. In 1973 I found that John was rostered on to do voiceovers and record them from the booth.

“So I knew that John was up there, and I hadn’t really met him … I think it was raining that morning, and I said, ‘I wonder what the what the weather was like outside. Anyone upstairs can tell us what it’s like outside?’ John was in the booth, and he flipped the switch and said, ‘Still a bit of rain’ and whatever. So it was almost an introduction, and I was told afterwards it was John.”

Blackman would work alongside sound effects wizard Murray Tregonning where the two would improvise together to create comedy.

“John would say, ‘Ring the phone on the desk.’ I’m not sure quite why we had a phone on the desk, maybe to ring home! Anyway, the phone would ring, and I picked it up, and it was John, obviously doing one of the many characters and many voices and imitations that he did over the years.”

You can hear more here.

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