Saturday 1 October 2016

Tributes pour in after death of legendary anchorman Bill O'Herlihy

Published 26/05/2015 | 02:30

TV presenter and PR Guru Bill O'Herlihy
TV presenter and PR Guru Bill O'Herlihy
The O’ Herlihy family, from left, Sally O’Herlihy, Isla Conlon, Hilary O’ Herlihy, Bill O’ Herlihy, Jack Conlon (3) & Jill O’ Herlihy during the launch of the broadcaster’s autobiography ‘We’ll Leave It There So’ in 2012
Bill O’Herlihy and Irene Fenton present ‘Sports Stadium’ in 1974
The late Bill on set with his grandchildren during RTE’s World Cup coverage
Bill during the Munich '72 Olympics coverage
Michael O’Hehir and Bill O’Herlihy present coverage of the Munich Olympics in 1972
Bill O’Herlihy in 1974

With the death yesterday of Bill O'Herlihy, I lost more than a work colleague and a friend; the man who had the single biggest effect on my career passed away aged 76.

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The greatest sports broadcaster we have ever seen did not live long to enjoy the fruits of the retirement he so richly earned.

However, he has left behind a template for the neophytes that inhabit modern day sports radio and television.

O'Herlihy's skill was that he constantly made every effort to make his guests look good.

My father once remarked, "any eejit can try and look smart, but it takes a very smart man to look like an eejit."

Bill's genius was that he played the ordinary man to perfection.

He lobbed grenades at John Giles, Eamon Dunphy and Liam Brady with a disarming opening line.

Dunphy defined presenting perfectly, "the role of the presenter," he said, "was not to show how much he knew, but rather how much the guest knew."

It fitted O'Herlihy like a glove.

Irish Independent

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