Saturday, August 3, 2013
From 1995 to 2003 I taught at mighty Oakhill College (a Catholic school run by the De la Salle Brothers) in Castle Hill, Sydney. Aussie comic and larrikin Dan Ilic was a student at Oaks when I was teaching there. Though I never taught him, I tutored him English a few times (we both lived in Beecroft) and often spoke to him in the schoolyard.
At Oakhill, he was a super-confident student, always quick with returns, gags. He loved gaming, farce, anything left-field. He was unlike 99% of the other students at the school. Around 1999, when I was live on a Hornsby-based radio show talking about Big Audio Dynamite, Dan phoned in, putting on a Cockney accent, to ask about BAD. Hilarious. Consequently, I gave him a copy of BAD's last 80s album Megatop Phoenix for his troubles (which he loved). We've kept in contact on and off over the last ten years.
At Oakhill, I thought Dan may well become the next Adam Spencer (who was on Triple J at the time). He had the same zest, intelligence, wit. Last Friday, I turned on 702 at 2:59pm to hear Dan signing off. He'd been filling in for James ( I played sax in The Models) Valentine. I smiled widely. Coincidentally, and crazily, Adam Spencer's now doing the 702 Breakfast slot. And he's leaving soon. Maybe, Dan will fill his shoes...
LJ, August 3 2013.