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Thursday, May 14, 2015

'And that is the end of this badly-written newscast': Veteran SABC radio voice Denis Smith dies.

"And that is the end of this badly-written newscast".

The veteran journalist, broadcaster, actor and SABC radio newsreader Denis Smith has died.

The bedridden Denis Smith who had skin cancer lesions and who had been ill after suffering two strokes, passed away with his second wife Josephine beside his bedside in his Yeoville flat on Wednesday.

One of the golden voices of SABC radio's heydey and one of the most famous radio news voices on South African radio, the legendary Denis Smith once got into trouble for saying on the air "And that is the end of this badly-written newscast".

He was well-known as one of the voice actors in the radio serial, The Avengers and several others and was a bona fide star in South Africa when the country had no television and only radio to listen to.

Denis Smith was the presenter of The World at 7 on Springbok Radio, the SABC's commercial radio station which was closed down in 1985, and was at one point the highest paid radio presenter and broadcaster in South Africa.

Listeners remember how, on Friday nights, he would say a friendly "Good Shabbos" to all his Jewish listeners before programming like Squad Cars and The Mind of Tracey Dark were broadcast.

After disappearing from radio, listeners heard his voice again in the late 1980's when John Berks found him and brought him to 702.

In 2010 the radio legend was inducted in South Africa's MTN Radio Awards Hall of Fame, described as as broadcaster who "developed the fine art of not announcing the news, but telling the story".