Former news presenter Duncan Watt dies of liver cancer

Former news presenter Duncan Watt dies of liver cancer

duncan watt
The late Mr Duncan Watt. (Photo: Lianne Chia) 

SINGAPORE: Former news presenter Duncan Watt died on Thursday (Sep 7) after a battle with liver cancer. He was 74.

A household name in the 80s and 90s, Mr Watt's career as a newsreader with the then Singapore Broadcasting Corp spanned nearly 20 years, from 1980 to 1998. 

In a statement, Mediacorp sent its condolences to Mr Watt's family. 

"Duncan was known for the depth of understanding, eloquence and charisma that he brought to his work as a news presenter," it said.

"He continued being an example to us in his senior years, having a wonderful enthusiasm for life and staying active as a writer and a runner."

Mr Watt's career in television began after he saw an advertisement for newsreaders, and subsequently acted on a dare from a friend to apply. 

"I said: ‘Well, you write the letter.’ And he said: ‘What should I write?’ I said: ‘Just make it short because it's a waste of time. Let's write - Dear Sir, I should like to apply for the post of part-time newsreader, yours faithfully,' and then I signed it, Duncan Watt," he told Channel NewsAsia in an earlier interview

Although he was best known as a newsreader, Mr Watt also presented classical music on Symphony 92.4FM for about 24 years, until 2004. He also authored a series of adventure books for teenagers called the Wallace Boys.

Friends and former colleagues of Mr Watt described him as a very good news reader, always polite and with a ready smile on his face.

"Duncan was very pleasant, easy to work with ... a real English gentleman," said former video editor Francis Chowdhurie who is part of a Caldecott Old Timers, an informal group of former staff from the media company.

Another member of the group, former news presenter Dorothy Tan said she was saddened to hear about Mr Watt's death. "He was very nice, and a gentleman. We have read the TV news together and those memories will remain with me always."

"He was a soft-spoken man, gentlemanly, warm and professional," said Karen Chia. "He always had a smile on his face. We will miss him.

Source: CNA/dl