The sudden death of radio host, Russell Woolf on October 25 has triggered an outpouring of tributes for the “hugely cherished” ABC Radio Perth Breakfast presenter who passed away in his sleep.
Woolf’s career with the ABC spanned 20 years, his roles included weather presenter for Perth’s ABC News from 2007 to 2011, co-host of 720’s afternoon show with Verity James, and most recently the presenter of ABC Perth’s breakfast show.
ABC Radio Perth manager Sarah Knight revealed the news of Woolf’s passing through the station’s Instagram page with the caption, “Our thoughts right now are with Russell’s wife and young family. We’re giving them every support we can.”
“Russell was much-loved and much cherished as part of our ABC family here in Perth.
“There are no words to describe just how we are feeling right now and the enormity of this news and the suddenness of it. We are supporting each other and Russell’s family and know there is much love for Russell out there among his many, many fans.
“Vale Russell. Our dear friend and colleague. You leave a big hole in our hearts and lives.”
ABC Perth paid tribute to Russell Woolf in a second video post to their Instagram.
View this post on Instagram
The ABC broke the news of Woolfe’s passing in a statement on their website.
“The ABC is in shock this morning at the news of the death of our much-loved colleague, ABC Radio Perth Breakfast presenter, Russell Woolf,” the statement read.
“Russell was a hugely cherished member of the ABC family in Perth and those who knew him and worked with him are today mourning the loss of a close friend.
“We have already been bowled over by the outpouring of love for Russell from his many, many fans, since his death was announced on-air by our Drive presenter, Geoff Hutchison late this morning. Our thoughts are with our colleagues who have lost a dear friend and with Russell’s family.”
Following the news of Woolfe’s passing tributes from fans and public figures alike began flowing.
Australian comedian, Will Anderson described Woolfe as “generous, supportive and funny” in a statement to Twitter.
I’ve spoken to Russell regularly for years to promote various projects. He was generous, supportive and funny and I considered him a friend and always looked forward to our conversations. I’m shattered by this news and send my love to his friends, family and colleagues https://t.co/OqUyUBFCxw
— Wil Anderson (@Wil_Anderson) October 26, 2021
Premier Mark McGowan also offered his condolences to the late radio presenter through Twitter.
“I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of local media legend, Russell Woolf,” he said.
“Most recently, Russell was the host of @abcperth’s Breakfast program, but he had a long and storied career in Western Australian journalism.
“His unique and iconic voice, wit and personality made him beloved by countless Western Australians.
“For many of us, whether we knew him personally or not, it will feel like we’ve lost a friend today.”
ABC colleague, Nadia Mitsopoulos wrote, “My heart is broken. I love you Russ. I’ll miss your hugs. Privileged to have shared a studio with you.”
My heart is broken. I love you Russ. I’ll miss your hugs. Privileged to have shared a studio with you. pic.twitter.com/AELvKBGfxx
— Nadia Mitsopoulos (@NadiaMits) October 26, 2021
Russell Woolf passed away in his sleep aged 56, and is survived by his wife, Kylie and daughter Bronte.