December 10th, 2006 at 07:48am
Can somebody slow down the newsmill please? I’m having trouble keeping up.
Stan Zemanek has announced that he will retire from radio (and possibly television, althought that’s a tad less clear) at the end of the year to focus on beating his brain tumour and spend more time with his family. The news came as a surprise when John Kerr anounced it earlier this morning, but it was hardly a shock as it is quite clear that Stan is still unwell.
I’ll miss Stan, his unique radio show, and his loopy callers, but I get the feeling that with Stan’s fighting spirit, and his passion for radio, he’ll be back in a year or so.
But until then, best of luck Stan…perhaps I should ring you before you go.
From the Townsville Bulletin (republished from The Sunday Telegraph):
‘Mellower’ Stan Zemanek to quit radio
By Sandra Lee
A SELF-confessed “mellower” Stan Zemanek is turning off his 2UE microphone after 17 years of “shock jock” radio to spend more time with his family as he fights a debilitating form of brain cancer.
“I decided that I have had enough of night-time radio and I am going to concentrate on getting my health back in order and fight this dreadful disease,” Zemanek, 59, told The Sunday Telegraph in an exclusive interview yesterday.
“My health comes first and so does my family and I want to give them every opportunity to see me around for the next 20 years.”
Zemanek was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour in May and within days underwent radical surgery by neurosurgeon Dr Charlie Teo. He was released from hospital three days after the operation, survived a subsequent three-week course of radiation therapy and is currently undergoing chemotherapy.
“It knocks me about a bit,” he says. “I’m not out of the woods yet. I am a long way from out of the woods but my doctor and oncologist have given me the best advice on what to do and how to do things and I’m pleased with that.”
Zemanek’s radio career will end when he broadcasts his final show on December 22.
He said he was pleased to leave 2UE as the presenter with the biggest audience increase in the final ratings survey of the year.
Zemanek’s decision was based on his love for his wife, Marcella, with whom he has two daughters, Gabriele, 33 and Melissa, 30.
“It’s easier on the patient than it is on the carer and my wife, Marcella, who has done a sterling job in keeping me on the right track,” he said. “She is the one who dishes out the pills, makes all the medical appointments and talks to the doctors.
“I really think I need to give her a little bit more time at home, helping her. If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be here today. She has been a rock to my whole being, and so have my two daughters.”
Zemanek built his radio career as a pugnacious personality who savaged his interview guests and listeners with a lacerating tongue.
But he admits battling an aggressive form of cancer for the past seven months has mellowed him – “a bit”.
“I have become more reasoned but I am still the bad boy of television and radio and still won’t take a backward step if I believe I am right and people want to argue with me,” he says.
“I still enjoy an argument with people but maybe not as much as before.”
Zemanek has not lost his sense of humour, either.
“The other day I said to one listener, ‘Please don’t yell at me, don’t you know I am sick?’ I played my sympathy card,” he joked.
However, Zemanek is not quitting professional life totally. Tomorrow he will film three more episodes of Foxtel’s Beauty And The Beast, and he has just done a deal to sell the film rights of the Warren Fellows book, The Damage Done – 12 Years Of Hell In A Bangkok Prison.
And he has firm plans for the future. “One of my aspirations of getting through this is that I want to dance with Marcella at my grandson Hamish’s 21st birthday. That’s in 19 years.
“That’s the main aim in life now. I want to be dancing with Marcella in my old age.”
Entry Filed under: TV/Radio/Media