Tributes have started rolling in for veteran Perth TV and radio personality Peter Dean, who died last night at the age of 74 after battling motor neurone disease.
Mr Dean’s career in broadcasting spanned five decades and featured famous stints on 6IX, 6PR and Channel 7.
SEE A SPECIAL TRIBUTE TO PETER DEAN IN SEVEN NEWS AT 6PM
From his record-breaking partnership with John Fryer on 6IX’s morning show Can We Help You, to his integral role in the history of Telethon, Mr Dean was, by all accounts, one of Perth’s broadcasting greats.
Mr Fryer, 79, spoke to 6PR about his good friend this morning, telling host Paul Murray he was devastated, but thankful he had reached out to him in recent months.
“Last year, I could see Peter wasn’t going too well and the two wives got together and we decided that we’d have a bit of a reunion,” he said.
“We came back from a cruise from Singapore to Hong Kong, we came back about three weeks ago and it was just absolutely fantastic.
“He had this terrible motor neurone disease...I’d never heard of it. It’s a terrible disease and there’s no cure for it.
“But we were able to relive some of those unbelievable days and I’m just so glad we did it.”
Mr Fryer reminisced about his 14-year partnership with Mr Dean in the 1960s and 1970s, when they worked on 6IX’s top-rating morning show, Can We Help You.
“In that time, we were very successful in our ratings - it was just like a marriage,” he said.
“We just had an unbelievable understanding between the two of us; it was just something you couldn’t explain.
“We had mail and messages coming from all over the place, including America, wanting to know what the format was, and we couldn’t give it to them, because it just happened.”
Struggling to maintain his composure, he said Mr Dean would also be remembered for his roles on Telethon and the Logie-winning Channel 7 program, Anything Goes.
Another veteran Perth TV and radio presenter, Gary Carvolth, 70, paid tribute to Mr Dean’s character and “illustrious career.”
One of the founding producers of Telethon, Mr Carvolth described his former colleague as “effervescent, full of beans, very funny and extremely professional.”
“He became an integral part of Telethon, particularly at the end of the show when he would give the final wrap-up,” he said.“I only recently found that he might have been ill. He’s just someone you expect to be around. He was bright, breezy and just a character to work with.
“He’s a broadcasting legend.”
Former 6IX breakfast announcer John Cranfield, 64, said Mr Dean had enjoyed a successful period as a disc jockey before his talkback career took off.
“He immediately made an impression with his wonderful voice. He started out as a big hit with the teenagers,” he said.
“They used to record a lot of programs to be played later, just so he could be heard on air day and night“Personally, he was a very, very nice person, who always made you feel welcome. I started working at 6IX in 1969 and he helped me a lot.
“He was one of the greats.”
Seven West Media chief executive Chris Wharton said Mr Dean was a pioneer of television in WA.
“Peter was one of the stalwarts of TVW7 in the pioneering days,” he said. “He worked tirelessly for many, many years for Telethon and everyone who knew him can only mourn his passing.”Mr Dean is survived by his wife, Delys, and their four children.
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