ABC Radio farewells Tony Delroy

Today is Tony Delroy’s last day with ABC Radio.

The popular announcer revealed in July he would be leaving after 26 years presenting ABC Local Radio’s successful Nightlife program, and more than 30 years at the ABC, to explore his passion for travel.

“We’ve been doing travel spots over the past quarter of a century and boy do I have a hit list, it seems like the perfect time for me to kick start the dream,” he announced.

In an email to staff with the subject line quoting Tony’s regular opening line, ‘A Gracious Good Evening,’ Director of ABC Radio Michael Mason described Tony as “…envied across the radio community for his ability to bring people together in an exclusive listeners’ club.”


It’s difficult to believe that after 25(26?) years and barely a sick day, Tony Delroy is really leaving Nightlife and the ABC.
Not many people will realise what an incredibly different place Local Radio was when Tony started, and what an immense amount of effort and inspiration he’s put into building Nightlife.
In the days when the buildings and studios clanged shut at midnight, Nightlife was a brief spot following lengthy sessions from Federal Parliament. Tony’s imagination, commitment and sheer hard work have transformed it from a bit part on 702  to a major nightly national offering which regularly attracts a million listeners. He’s on air 20 hours per week, more than anyone else in our team.
The email inbox and postbag have been overflowing with messages since Tony announced that he was leaving in July. It says a lot for him that his audiences are prepared to go the effort of posting a physical farewell card for him – but we’ve had more than 1000 and they keep coming.
It’s wonderful to hear the sense of connection that Tony has with his audiences, but more than that the unique connection they have with each other. Tony is envied across the radio community for his ability to bring people together in an exclusive listeners’ club. And we weren’t really that surprised when two of his listeners connected so well through Nightlife that they ended up getting married. (Tony was of course invited to the wedding.)
And there are some other wonderful moments too
·         One Canberra police officer rang to say he had been sitting in his patrol car, listening to a discussion about heart disease. It prompted him to see his doctor the following day, which led to life-saving surgery. 
·         When Eileen of Cairns died, more than 400 letters of condolence were sent to the church from listeners.
·         Maureen of Bendigo fell asleep waiting on the phone to answer a quiz question.
·         Comedian Denise Scott revealed in her autobiography that in the midst of bitter marital arguments, she and her husband John Lane would call a truce each night to hear the midnight quiz. 
I know that Tony has always felt privileged to be part of his listeners’ lives at such an intimate time of day. I hope he understands how widely that feeling is reciprocated, by his listeners and by his colleagues, who this week farewell a colleague, a friend and an exceptional ABC broadcaster.
We wish him, truly, the very happiest of futures.

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