A Tribute to Lindy Burns



It’s always hard when your heroes, your favourites, call time on their careers. It took me years to get over the retirement of Peter Daicos. 14-year-old me sobbed almost uncontrollably while watching Dean Jones announce his international cricket retirement in South Africa. The recent announcement from my all time favourite radio host, ABC Melbourne’s Lindy Burns, that she is leaving the station, has been equally hard to take.


My ABC affiliation started early. It began with VFL broadcasts in the late 1980s. Tim Lane and ‘Smooth’ Booth calling games at the mystical sounding Victoria Park, seemingly a world away from my home on a South West Victorian dairy farm. The Coodabeens on Saturday mornings and Sunday nights. In summer it was the magic of the ABC cricket broadcasts. My radio stayed welded to 774 on the AM dial. Pretty sure I was the only kid in my Grade 6 class who listened to the 3LO breakfast program before school.


I stayed loyal to the station over the years. Eventually, in 2005 and 2006, two significant additions joined 774 ABC Melbourne. Richard Stubbs became the afternoon host, while Lindy Burns replaced Virginia Triloli as the drive host. Always enjoyed listening to Virginia, so was very interested to hear how this new upstart from Newcastle would go in her place.


My Uncle Dean was a huge fan of Richard Stubbs. I only knew him from the ‘Vicks Vapodrops’ commercials. Dean started to text into the show and occasionally get his texts read out. Thought I’d have a crack at it too. After a couple of years we made it a year long competition of who could get the most texts read out on air. Scores were kept. Six packs or wine given to the victor. Stubbsy seemed to like Dean ever so slightly more.


We both texted Lindy as well, but Dean knocked off work at 4pm and stopped listening at that time of the day. I’d always listen until 6pm. Soon enough, I’d entered the realm of being one of Lindy’s “regular texters”. The exchanges with my now favourite radio presenter became a daily highlight. Lindy would often suggest a theme at the start of each show, and ask listeners to suggest a song to suit said theme. At one stage I had a golden 3 or 4 weeks where no matter what theme she suggested, I could offer an AC/DC song. Comedian Dave O’Neil, a regular on her show, thought he could challenge me. “I’ll bet he can’t name an AC/DC song about, say, flowers?”. ‘Whole Lotta Rosie’ was my quick response.




In late 2011 came the shock announcement that Lindy was moving from the drive slot to evenings. “Noooooo, I don’t listen to radio often at night” was the vibe of my text. Lindy’s reply was along the lines of “well you’d better start to now”. Of course, I tuned in.


The regular guests made the evenings show a must listen. Rhett Bartlett with ‘Dial M for movies’ on a Monday, lawyer Bill O’Shea and Health Professor Steve Ellen with ‘Writs and Cures’ on a Tuesday, the ‘Legends Bar’ with a variety of guests on a Thursday. ‘What are you doing Wednesday’ became a fun part of the show in recent years. The 8pm Wednesday night music segment has been my absolute, not to be missed, segment. The likes of Chris Gill, Mikey Cahill and Paul Gough, among others made this a most enjoyable segment. But it’s the regular fortnightly music guru, Jeff Jenkins, who has had the biggest influence on my musical listening during the past decade. A huge percentage of Australian artists I’ve followed in recent years have been introduced to me by Jeff on Lindy’s program. I’ve been lucky enough to meet up with Jeff at a couple of gigs in Melbourne, he is the nicest guy you’d ever meet. Extraordinarily generous, he has sent me several books and CD’s, often well before their release. I reciprocate by sending him some quality Prickly Moses beers. It’s a good arrangement.


Lindy Burns with Jeff Jenkins


To paraphrase Spider-Man, with regular texting comes great responsibility. You try and text often enough to be regularly read out, but not too often to be annoying. It’s a fine line. Sometimes your ordinary texts get read out. Sometimes texts that you think are great don’t. Like life, it’s hit and miss. Always enjoy the moments when you get read out.


Talkback-wise, I’ve only been an occasional caller. It’s easier to text. The past 5 or 6 years I’ve rung up on the final Wednesday night music show of the year to offer my top 5 albums of the year. Always enjoyed doing that.


But perhaps the biggest legacy I’ll take out of Lindy’s show is that I was made aware of this website and became a part of the magnificent community that is The Footy Almanac. The former ‘Almanackery’ segment, featuring John Harms, was a fantastic segment that got me started reading the stories on footyalmanac.com.au. It took me a couple of years, after meeting John and being urged by him to have a crack at writing for the site, that I finally took to the keyboard and submitted a story. Have loved being an ‘Almanacker’ ever since, though it must be said that Harmsy was hugely disappointed the ‘Luke from Colac’ who texted into the show wasn’t the great Luke Hodge!


So now we are in Lindy’s last week on air at ABC Melbourne. The show is going on the road and incredibly, my favourite radio host, alongside David Astle, Jeff Jenkins and others, will be broadcasting from my house on Wednesday night. I can barely believe it.


Lindy, thank you for your wonderful years spent at ABC Melbourne. For the entertainment, humour and great new music you’ve brought into our lives. Best wishes to you and your family in what has been an extremely tough year. I will miss your sunny voice, warm nature and fantastic rapport with your co-hosts and guests on my wireless. Thank you for interacting with me, reading my texts, opening me up to the world of the Footy Almanac, great music and interesting people I would not have been exposed to if it wasn’t for you and your show. I’m sure the ABC won’t keep one of its very best talents off air for too long. All the best for your move back home to Newcastle. As has been the case for the last 13 years, I’m just a text (or a tweet) away. Cheers, Luke from Colac.




About Luke Reynolds

Cricket and Collingwood tragic. Twitter: @crackers134


  1. She’s a legend is Lindy – I only had a short run of maybe 3 years where I got to listen to her regularly after work twice a week (right up until the birth of the great What are you doing Wednesdays) & only sent in a couple of texts (one of which about the final years of renowned thespian Bob Hornery’s life was read out on air) but it was more than enough for me to appreciate what talent and charisma Ms Burns possesses in spades. I wish her all the very best.

    Enjoy tomorrow night Luke!

  2. Peter Flynn says

    Superb Luke.

    Great yarn.

    I’m sure it’ll be superb.

  3. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Wait until Mrs R finds out

  4. Good onya Luke.

    Lindy had a fantastic radio voice, expressing her interest and commitment to he role. Like another great ABC female voice,Myf Warhurst,i just loved listening to hear her voice.

    Thank you Lindy for many hours of good listening on your time slot(s) on the ABC. All the best from here.


  5. Superb Luke and thank goodness for Lindy to introduce you to the footy almanac otherwise wouldn’t have met you( myself from being banned from 10 different radio stations at once for being a prize pig is a different story ) as always appreciate your help big time

  6. Colin Ritchie says

    Fab read Luke, and from the heart! I’ll be listening in.

  7. That’s fantastic Luke. I didn’t realize that you were a radio celebrity.

  8. Gillian Coote says

    Great tribute Luke and as always very interesting reading. Have a great time tomorrow night.

  9. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    The upstart from Newcastle did alright Luke !
    And so have you young man. What a wonderful tribute to a multi-talented broadcaster. Lindy was always supportive of the Footy Almanac. I’ll never forget how she got behind the Tom Wills Grave Restoration project in 2016. I reckon she helped get us over the line.
    I was fortunate enough to be Lindy’s guest on 3 occasions, 2008, 2012, and 2016. I sent her a message saying I look forward to chatting again in 2020. A wonderful listener who made you feel like a mate who had something important to share in the studio. Kudos Lindy and Luke from Colac.

  10. It just won’t be the same to come home from work without the radio blaring!!! This is so amazing for you Luke & we feel very very honoured. Thanks Lindy!

  11. Neil Anderson says

    I also used to listen to Lindy Burns and her segment with John Harms. By the time the posters were up in the Mortlake Library saying John was calling in on his grand tour of the south-west, I was ready to meet him and hear all about this Almanac business.
    I had read John’s articles in The Age, but it was listening to Lindy and John’s light-hearted approach to the weekend’s matches that drew me in. Then after meeting John, like Luke and a few hundred others, I had the chance to submit articles for the Almanac.
    The other segment I remember was John and Dips promoting the Long Bombs To Snake magazine. They generously gave me a mention in helping to think up the title.

  12. Brilliant Luke. I reckon I’m going to stream the programme. Well done on your excellent contributions over the years.

    I still recall the buzz I felt when I first got a mention on the Coodabeens Sunday night show many years ago. Great fun. I came up with a Crooners’ XI which, of course, had F. Sinatra batting at three.

  13. That’s some serious evidence of a well-played knock, L Reynolds.

    Well done on throwing your hat into the ring.
    Again and again.

    Should be a beauty tomorrow night.
    Go well, L Burns.

  14. A brilliant tribute, Crackers.

    For many reasons, I don’t get to listen to the radio much at night.
    But I will be listening in on Wednesday night.

    Well played, Lindy.

  15. Yvette Wroby says

    It was Lindy Burns and John Harms on afternoons that led me from my work to a bookshop to buy my first Almanac in 2010. What a ride it’s been. Thanks Lindy and John. Will definitely listen tonight. Beautifully written Luke and enjoy tonight.

  16. Likewise, her segment was the prompt for me to look at the website. What an eclectic bunch we are. Well done Luke.

  17. I listened to Lindy on her ‘last leg’ program last night.

    She was up in Marysville, supported by David Astle. Sitting in the car for an hour Lindy’s wonderful voice kept me in good company.


  18. Kasey Symons says

    Beautiful tribute Luke – looking forward to tuning in tonight!

  19. Spot on Luke. Lindy is a ripper. Will tune in for sure tonight.

  20. Great stuff Luke. It will feel strange sending texts from your lounge room out to the front porch!

  21. Dave Brown says

    Well, if Lindy brought you to the Almanac, Luke, an achievement worth celebrating in its own right. Hope you have a great time this evening.

  22. Lindy would sneak over the Nullarbor for her last hour in summertime when the time difference blows out to 3 hours. She was the WA filler until Tony Delroy in summer. I recall hearing a regular guest Craig Elbow or something. Wonder what became of him?
    Best of luck tonight Luke from Colac (I guess its easier to say than Pomborneit). I will get the appamethingy out and hope the easterly blows you my way tonight.
    What is Mrs R baking for the guests? I have been to hundreds of country sporting events where the host/president always “thanks the ladies for the spread”. Don’t forget.

  23. Terrific piece Luke. Lindy was very kind to the Almanac in those early days – was it 2008? I remember your name bobbing up all the time – indeed, we started looking for it. A very very cold winter and you on the tools as a landscape gardener in those days. The rest is history.

    As for Lindy…a genuine all-rounder. Generosity is a great asset in broadcasting I reckon she has that. Genuine interest in the world and its people, and she has that too. Passion for sport, another box ticked, and she knows the best and the worst of sport.

    Thanks Lindy for including that Almanac segment and for all those other times we had a chance to yack. Congrats on your Melbourne innings and I hope things go well back home.

  24. Marg Parsons says

    Great read Luke, I always enjoyed your texts read out and Dean x

  25. Gold tonight Luke 3 Votes bog

  26. Been a pleasure listening to Lindy Burns on the times I have listened to the radio in the evening. Always enjoyed the legends bar segment

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