Alan Wilkie, former Sydney TV weather presenter, has died at the age of 94,
He died peacefully with his three children, Andrew, Katrina and Michelle by his side
Growing up in Queensland, Wilkie worked at the Bureau of Meteorology at various posts during the 1950s.
When ABC started its first television services in 1956, it seconded meterologists from the bureau to present its nightly weather forecasts. Wilkie became one of ABC’s first television weather presenters, presenting in rotation with Ron Sheard and the appropriately-named Allan Rainbird, for the Sydney 7.00pm news.
Despite the lights and glamour of television, Wilkie’s on-screen debut was less than gracious. Recalling in a 1977 interview, he said: “It was in the very first week of (ABC) television. They made my ears blue. They covered me in thick make-up rouge, lipstick, eye shadow, the whole bit. I was a dreadful mess. I was so frightened. I don’t remember a single thing I said, but it must have been all right.”
He presented the weather at ABC in Sydney for four years before taking a break from meteorology. He worked in the engineering field before starting a weather forecasting service for business organisations.
In 1968 he returned to television at ATN7 in Sydney, where he presented the weather for the evening news for the next nine years. He also presented weather for Seven’s breakfast news program, Today, in the early 1970s and was a contributor to the rural current affairs program Countryside in the mid-1970s.
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In 1977 he made the move to National Nine News, and stayed for 25 years.
Wilkie’s career path was not unlike his brother Ray, who was a senior meteorologist and a TV weather presenter. Ray died just a few weeks ago, age 98.
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