PAUL Dix, Australia’s longest-running radio breakfast host, has fallen silent after 52 years of 5am starts.
Dix, who began anchoring the early morning shift on Deniliquin’s 2QN station in 1961 when Sir Robert Menzies was prime minister and Hawthorn won its first VFL premiership, died on Friday at the age of 80.
The grandfather, who had been diagnosed with cancer after his radio show on August 6 and was unable to return to the air waves, had also hosted an afternoon program on Wangaratta’s 3NE in recent years.
Manager of 2QN and 3NE Frank Davidson paid tribute to Dix, who told The Border Mail when he turned 80 in March that he had no plans to retire.
“He was a true gentleman, well-loved and well-respected by everyone who met him or heard him,” Mr Davidson said.
“He had been on air for 50 years but this age wasn’t reflected by his on-air style.
“He didn’t sound like he was 80.”
Dix, who migrated from England in 1953, had capital city job offers but preferred the country lifestyle.
“My wife Margaret keeps saying, ‘Why do you keep working?’ and I say, ‘I enjoy myself’,” Dix said in March.
Dix’s funeral will be held from 1pm tomorrow at St Michael’s Catholic Church in Deniliquin.
Eulogies will be given by 2QN manager Gino Ciarlo and one of Dix’s friends, real estate agent Lester Wheatley.
Dix is survived by his wife Margaret and three children Michael, Rebecca and Gabrielle.