Former CKNW sportscaster Neil Macrae has died of cancer at the age of 65.
He passed away last Thursday at his home in Palm Springs.
Macrae became famous for his acerbic editorials and his sparring with morning host Frosty Forst in the 1980’s and 90’s.
Over the course of his career, Macrae was never afraid to step on toes, famously sparring with former Canucks GM Brian Burke
In 1998, he famously sparred with Brian Burke over what the former Canucks GM insisted were out of context clips.
LISTEN: Neil Macrae and Brian Burke duke it out
And his targets weren’t always in the sports arena.
In 1997 he courted controversy calling X-Files star David Duchovney a “little turd,” after the actor told Conan O’Brien “Vancouver is a very nice place if you like 400 inches of rainfall a day.”
LISTEN: Neil Macrae vs. David Duchovney
Macrae hung up the mic in 2012 after nearly 30 years with the station.
“I’m one of the lucky ones, in that I’m leaving on my terms and not being thrown out the door, despite attempts from some previous managers and the CRTC,” Macrae said in his sign off broadcast.
“When most kids dreamed of being a fireman, I always had this dream of working in radio,” he added.
LISTEN: Neil Macre signs off
That emotional sign off prompted a good natured roast from colleague and CKNW commentator Bruce Allen.
LISTEN: Bruce Allen bids farewell to Neil Macrae
Former colleagues of Macrae’s are passing their condolences.
Former CKNW morning show host Brian Forst, better known as Frosty, says Macrae was one of a kind.
“You or I could throw a sentence out there, and then Neil could do it in his little snarly way of being able to do that Neil thing would bring the sentence alive and just get on everybody’s nerves,” he says.
“Neil was the only guy who could express what he was saying in the Neil way.”
Forst says Macrae was always the highlight of his morning.
Squire Barnes with Global News recalled a memorable interaction with Macrae.
“A long time ago, [I was] sitting in the press box beside Neil, and we got to talk about things, and Neil turned to me and said ‘My job is to be the jerk, that’s my job, that’s what I do on the radio, and either people love it or hate it, but the bottom line is I have to make them listen to me one way or the other’… And he did.”
Barnes says it’s a sad day, adding he spoke to Macrae about a year ago, who never let on that he was ill.