Vale Bob Francis

Adelaide Broadcaster Bob Francis has died suddenly but peacefully at his home, aged 77.

In a statement, his wife of 12 years, Anna, said her marriage to Bob had been “a fabulous ride.”

“Sometimes like being on a bucking bronco, at others like riding an old nag,” she said.

Marking Bob’s passing, Neil O’Reilly, NOVA Entertainment’s Adelaide General Manager said:

“We are deeply saddened to hear of the news of Bob Francis’ passing. He was a highly respected member of FIVEaa’s on air family for 28 years and played an integral role in the station’s success. On behalf of Cathy O’Connor, myself and the NOVA Entertainment team, our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with his family and friends at this difficult time.”

Bob Francis signed off from FIVEaa three years ago, after 57 years in broadcasting.

The controversial Adelaide talk jock, who was inducted into the Commercial Radio Hall of Fame, began his career as a music announcer in the early days of top 40 radio, and moved to talk when times and formats changed.

Known for his outspoken language and opinions, Francis has had many run ins with the regulator and listeners, including various ACMA code breaches. He was also known for giving his producers and newsroom colleagues a taste of his sharp tongue. In 2006 he was found guilty of contempt of court.

There are many references to Bob’s career on radioinfo over the years. Below, he tells his life story to Nic Nolan, where he describes the first days of talkback radio as “magic land,” and remembers his time as a station manager most because he was paid “shit money.”


As a young music jock at 5AD, Francis suggested 3000 signatures would be enough for the state government to consider building a suitable pop music venue. Within three days he received 80,000 signatures, that led The Beatles management to add Adelaide to the group’s Australian Tour itinerary.

Friends, old sparring partners and colleagues are paying tribute to Bob on his facebook page and social media, including broadcaster Keith Conlon.


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