Vale: Arthur Wyndham

Vale: Arthur Wyndham

Pioneering ABC program director Arthur Wyndham, one of the last veterans of Australian broadcasting from the pre-television era, has died, aged 98.

He passed away in Sydney on October 6 according to an obituary now penned by daughter Susan Wyndham for the Sydney Morning Herald.

Although he began his 38-year career with the ABC in 1947 as a radio announcer and newsreader with the obligatory BBC-inflected voice, he declared he would not hire anyone who sounded like him.

His work behind the microphone included news reading and introducing music. he broadcast parliamentary sittings before later being was seconded to the BBC for four months to learn television production.

In 1956, he oversaw opening programs for ABC around the country. As the first producer trained in outdoor broadcasting, he covered the Melbourne Olympics, and trained many others. He had a string of firsts in television including first cricket telecast, football match, and orchestral concert from the Sydney Town Hall.

He was acting program director for each state as ABC television was rolled out and spent six years as program director in Melbourne. During the Vietnam War he was sent as an adviser to Radio Saigon to train local broadcasters in reporting rather than propaganda.

He also oversaw the introduction of the youth station 2JJ (now Triple J) with funding from the Whitlam government.

Wyndham remained friends with Gary Reilly and Tony Sattler, creators of The Naked Vicar Show and Chuck Chunder and the Space Patrol, before they went on to commercial success in TV.

Actor-presenter Lex Marinos said: “He unfailingly had a sparkle in his eye and a witty observation, and he always showed an interest in what I was doing.”

Source / Photo: Sydney Morning Herald