John Berks remembered as a pioneer of South African talk radio

Legendary 702 broadcaster John Berks died at the age of 80 after a long illness

He’s regarded as one of South Africa’s best radio presenters

The late John Berks is being remembered as a pioneer and true legend of South African radio.

The legendary 702 broadcaster passed away on Saturday at the age of 80 after a long illness.

Berks revolutionised morning radio in South Africa and was known for his prank calls and quick wit.

He is being remembered as one of the most listened-to broadcasters in the country’s history.

CapeTalk presenter and former station manager at 702, Mike Wills says Berks was a unique broadcaster and a master of his craft.

We overuse the word legend, especially when people die, but in John Berks’ case, no contest. It’s a valid word.

Mike Wills – CapeTalk presenter

In terms of English language radio in South Africa… he is the biggest singular talent there has ever been. He revolutionised the medium here. He was a unique talent, and a uniquely South African talent.

Mike Wills – CapeTalk presenter

He was a remarkable person to listen to on the radio, because he wasn’t the best of prepared of presenters… shall we say.

Mike Wills – CapeTalk presenter

He was just absolutely natural in his story-telling ability and his ability to find humour in almost anything, His ability to push the boundaries when South Africa was a very conservative society about what was allowed on air. Berks knew just how to push those boundaries in a way that was acceptable, but also unacceptable in a good way.

Mike Wills – CapeTalk presenter

Scroll to the top of the article to listen to the interview.

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : John Berks remembered as a pioneer of South African talk radio

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