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‘Uncle Doug’ Mulray: Triple M radio legend dies aged 71 after ‘chronic illness’

Radio legend ‘Uncle Doug’ Mulray dies aged 71: Tributes flow for pioneer who launched Triple M and was a ratings winner in the ’80s – but whose TV career was sabotaged by Kerry Packer

Legendary radio presenter Doug Mulray, known to listeners as ‘Uncle Doug’, has died at the age of 71 after struggling with a chronic illness for several months.

He died in intensive care in a Sydney hospital late Thursday night.

One of the pioneering voices of Australian radio in the 1980s, Mulray is best known for his time at Triple M, which he helped launch and where spent the majority of his career.

He was ratings winner in the highly competitive breakfast slot, with one radio industry figure calling him the ‘Kyle Sandilands of his day – possibly even better’.

While his cause of death is unknown, Mulray was said to be reclusive and battling poor health in his later years. He was admitted to hospital in December.

Legendary radio presenter Doug Mulray, known to listeners as ‘Uncle Doug’, has died at the age of 71 after struggling with a chronic illness for several months. (Pictured in the 1990s)

His last public appearance is believed to be a Triple M staff reunion held at a Sydney hotel seven weeks before he was hospitalised last year. 

Despite his success on radio, Mulray was unable reach the same success on television – in part due to a notorious run-in with Channel Nine owner Kerry Packer.

He was hosting an episode of the bawdy clip show Australia’s Naughtiest Home Videos in 1992 when he introduced a video of a boy pulling a kangaroo’s testicles.

A puritanical Packer, watching from a party at his Sydney mansion, was so furious and embarrassed he  phoned the studio and yelled: ‘Get that s**t off the air!’

The show was abruptly pulled and replaced with re-runs of U.S. sitcom Cheers and was never screened again. Mulray was fired and banned from Nine as a result.

However, he did return years later as a judge on the talent show StarStruck in 2005, the year of Packer’s death.

He also briefly appeared on Channel 10 talk show Beauty and the Beast in 2002 and fronted the short-lived program Mulray on Seven in the early ’90s.