In Memory of an Exceptionally Funny Bloke... | radioinfo

In Memory of an Exceptionally Funny Bloke...

Sunday 14 August, 2016

A tribute to Peter O’Callaghan by Kevin John.

radioinfo has been advised that the funeral will most likely be held early next week. We will confirm details when they are available.

"You’re on the XYZoo, good good good morning to you….you’re on the XYZoo, good good morning to you!"

“1422 3XY Stereo – it’s Pete in one ear, Dick in the other – Monday morning on the XYZoo”

Of course, the Pete was Peter O’Callaghan, and the Dick, Richard Stubbs (no offence). The show; Hot Hit 3XY’s XYZoo.

Powerful, clever, entertaining Brekky Radio. The one everybody else in the industry listened to, wanting to emulate.

It was the mid 80’s and P’OC was on fire. Making the most of every minute doing the thing he loved the most, being on the radio.

The reason I’m able to recall the lines Pete used while on the Zoo is as a result of those infamous air-checks he insisted playing to his friends.
He got great satisfaction from sharing his genius with anyone who’d listen. And we always did.

Pete started his radio career in the early 70’s at 4WK Warwick in Queensland, moved to 3UL Warragul, became Peter Kelly at 7EX Launceston next, then to 2KO Newcastle before returning to Launceston by 1977.

His move to Melbourne came in 1979 with a gig at 3KZ, a move that saw the beginning of a 35-year period of sustained success at a number of stations.

At KZ Pete admired the talents of many people including Rhett Walker, Ian Major, Brian Lehman, Moya O’Shea, Robert Hicks and Steve Price.

It’s here I first worked with Pete. We ended up at four Melbourne Stations together, so I got very used to saying “and coming up after the news,
Peter O’Callaghan”

It didn’t matter at which position on the dial Pete did his thing, he always rated higher than station average.

It was his on-air presence that did it – his quick and clever wit, the puns, the jokes, the innuendos and his incredible knowledge & love of music.
But above all, he cared and was devoted to his audience. He was fastidious in his consistency, with every break as good or better than the one before.
P’OC was also a master at interviews and ended up doing hundreds. All the biggest music artists, movie stars and comedians. 

From KZ Poco joined 3MP where he made more lifetime friends, Mark Riddout, Dean Matters and Brendan and Di McGreal.

In 1986 it was time to unleash his wild side with that amazing stint on the Zoo. At XY he had enormous respect for Garry Suprain, Brad McNally, Mark Beever, Goeff Croucher and worked with Jane Holmes for the first time.

Their paths crossed again with a friendship that endured to the very end. Joining the D-Gen on EONFM for Brekky was Pete’s next opportunity to entertain a new audience. More fun, clever humour and ratings success.

Heading back to the easy format of 3MP over the next couple of decades really suited him. It gave him the chance to play more of The Beatles and his favourite artist Elvis Presley. He knew every Beatles song inside out, particularly every drum beat from Ringo. John was his favourite singer of the four, and no other song out-rated Imagine.

When it came to Elvis he was an expert and hosted listeners on numerous trips to Nashville, Memphis, Graceland, Tupelo and Las Vegas. Viva!

During this MP run he shared the Brekky Show with Jane, he was PD and MD.

Pete’s final station was Magic 1278 where he hosted mornings. It was my last time of saying ‘after the news, Peter O’Callaghan’.

Words were everything to Poco. They were his craft. He would hear a comment and have the ability to instantly turn it into something clever and amusing.
And his genius never rested. It was always on.

Since his passing everyone who knew Pete has a P’OC story. I’ve shared in many of those and feel very fortunate to have had Peter O’Callaghan as a constant friend for 36 years.
He was an exceptionally funny bloke.

As a radio professional, Pete will be remembered for his dedication, communication, cheekiness and that smooth, comforting voice. And as a person, it will be his warmth, genuineness, sense of fun and loyalty.

Peter is survived by his 2 children Simon & Emma and 3 grandchildren Liam, Sean and Caitlyn.

We’ll all miss you mate.


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Bernie Brittain
15 August 2016 - 3:14pm
That was a great read KJ thanks.
I had a lot of laughs with Pete and you'll recall you were present for most of em! (I met Pete, along with KJ and Jeff Thomas, as they shared an apartment in Carlton in 86).
As a kid in the 70s I'd listen to him on KZ and think this guys a music jock and I'm peeing myself laughing. What's going on? Did Peter Harrison have a viable competitor? Indeed he did. Both Petes heavily influenced my decision to join the game in 1981.

Rest in Peace Poco old friend.
16 August 2016 - 12:55am
I remember POC who was doing brekky on KZ in 1979 - I was doing mid dawns - we were all hired by Rhett Walker. He was always friendly, down to earth and it was such a pleasure to announce 'coming up after 5, POC.' You could tell when he opened that mic for the first time after 5 how much he loved doing brekky on KZ. He was super supportive to us up and coming announcers. RIP Peter, you were amazing.
Cherie Romaro
16 August 2016 - 8:25pm
Kevin, beautifully written.
I never had the pleasure of working with Peter however reading all the tributes I wish I had.
Deepest sympathy to his family
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