Veteran broadcaster, popular actor O’Byrne dies

2013-12-06 00:00

PADDY O’Byrne, a familiar voice to thousands of South African radio fans, died at his home in Mullingar in Ireland on December 4 at the age of 83.

EyeWitnessNews reported that the veteran broadcaster’s health had been declining over the last few weeks because his lung capacity had diminished.

A qualified barrister, he swopped the world of law for the world of radio.

Fans will remember him as a star on the series No Place To Hide (1958 to 1970) in which he played the world’s strangest investigator, Mark Saxon.

The show — which also starred Adrian Steed, Dewar McCormack, Brian O’Shaughnessy, Stuart Brown and Bruce Anderson — was created by Monty Doyle and later scripts were written by Steed.

Speaking to John Robbie on 702 Talk Radio, Steed said he and O’Byrne had been longtime friends, from the time they both met while working for the old English service.

“He was a wonderful man in very many ways,” Steed added, “The measure of the man was his humanity, his generosity, and his warmth to the many friends he made via radio.”

Known for his love of rugby and the Springboks, he was, Steed said, fundamentally a family man.

O’Byrne’s radio career saw him working at the BBC and Capital Radio in the United Kingdom and at Springbok Radio in South Africa.

His was also the first voice to be heard on Talk Radio 702 when it launched 33 years ago as Channel 702 — The Rainbow of Sound.

He also worked on the hugely popular films The Gods Must Be Crazy, The Gods Must Be Crazy II and Crazy Safari.

After retiring, O’Byrne moved back to his native Ireland.

This Sunday, on Classic FM, conductor Richard Cock will present a tribute to Paddy O’Byrne on People of Note, which is broadcast from 6 pm to 9 pm.

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