Go well Old Boy

We have already tragically lost so many friends. For me Bernie Keenan, Gary Ticehurst, Paul Lockyer and Beano. Sadly today we add to that growing list of fallen comrades in arms.

Sean Flannery was a character in the truest sense of the word. A larrikin in the ultimate Australian sense.

A bloke who loved a beer, he was the epitome of the old school journo from the days of copy boys, cadets and hard-drinking, hard-playing journos - a bloke who was just full of life.

I first met Sean when he had been hired by Channel Ten in Adelaide to co-anchor the news. My line-up producer Peter Nichols had worked with Sean in the ‘big smoke’ of Sydney.

Our first meeting occurred in the front bar of the Adelaide Hilton Hotel where Sean was being put up as he settled into his new role. He was like a swirling dervish.

My god, the stories, jokes and laughs had me in stitches. His craggy face and smoke-affected, gravelly voice was a testament to his years and experience.

Over the years I got to know Sean well. We worked together and shared time on Adelaide radio, and had more than a lifetime of laughs crammed into months. When Adelaide channels Ten and Seven did their ID swap in the early 1980’s Sean found himself fronting the news for SAS 7.

When I moved to Sydney, Sean was back again. Together we worked at Channel Ten, where his son John was News Chief of Staff.

Like his dad, Johnny had inherited the quick wit, and a no-nonsense approach to journalism, together with love of a good time. He proved, like his father, to be a good salt and good bloke.

For many years Sean has suffered from a long illness, battling stoically from his Blue Mountains home. He fought hard, just as he played. This morning, finally, Sean decided to rest.

My thoughts are with his family. Sean is another from a long tradition of old-school journalists to leave us. He will be missed.

But I have no doubt he is currently sitting down with a beer in one hand, a ciggie in the other, telling god a joke.

Go well Old Boy.

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