Popular '80s community radio pioneer Libby Widdup (nee Sanders) dies

Obituary

There was a lot of meat in her program. She would tackle all sorts of issues and it was very intelligent radio at that time. - Marjorie Biggins

ENGAGING: Former Radio 2NC presenter Libby Widdup (nee Sanders) helped build the station's community focus.

ENGAGING: Former Radio 2NC presenter Libby Widdup (nee Sanders) helped build the station's community focus.

Libby (Elisabeth) Widdup (nee Sanders)

“Cares, informs, interviews and loves.”

That was the way Radio 2NC advertised the morning show Libby Widdup (nee Sanders) presented for several years in the ’80s.

Beneath Ms Widdup’s warm face was the slogan “2NC 1233 Makes you think”.

On hearing of Ms Widdup’s passing last week, former colleague Marjorie Biggins reflected that was exactly what she did.

“Libby was a very intelligent woman,” Ms Biggins said.

“There was a lot of meat in her program. She would tackle all sorts of issues and it was very intelligent radio at that time.”

After fighting cancer for over 20 years, the popular ’80s presenter died peacefully surrounded by family at her home on The Hill on Thursday.

Ms Widdup was the first full-time female presenter on Radio 2NC, now known as 1233 ABC Newcastle.

She worked the morning shift in a time when 2NC began to define itself as a true local radio station.

“She was great to work with; she was completely focused on what she did,” Ms Biggins said.

“It was a very exciting time in ABC radio and she was right in the heart of it.”

Ms Widdup focused on topical news content within her radio segment, augmented by guest speakers from varied backgrounds.

She covered architecture, gardening, law and council matters, and interviewed war veterans, museum and gallery directors, musicians, farmers and people from the rural community. 

Off air, Ms Biggins said Ms Widdup immersed herself in the community, making her an everyday name within the Hunter and Upper Hunter regions.

“She was incredibly well-known and liked,” Ms Biggins said.

“She was willing to do outside things and be a part of the community and it really was a terrific time to be working there and to be doing things with the community.”

One of her roles in the community was as a judge of Miss Showgirl for the Newcastle Show each year.

She was also a great lover of music and was the president of the Newcastle Contemporary Jazz Club for almost 10 years during the ’80s.

Ms Widdup is survived by husband Mark and children Margot and Josh.

Her life will be remembered and celebrated at Christ Church Cathedral on March 24 at 2.30pm.

It is requested that no flowers or donations be made.

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