Former Ch 5 newscaster and Symphony 92.4FM radio presenter Duncan Watt passed away on Thursday (Sep 7). He was 74.
Other than his two decade-long career with Mediacorp (then Singapore Broadcasting Corporation), the Zambia-born Duncan was also best known for his popular Wallace Boys book series, about two brothers embarking on adventures in exotic locales.
When 8 DAYS caught up with him in March this year, Duncan – who was diagnosed with liver cancer in 2016 – was recuperating from radiofrequency treatment.
The sprightly gentleman, well-known for his love of running, was taking part in the NTUC Income Eco Run 2017.
He had gamely changed out of his neatly pressed plaid shirt into a race T-shirt for our shoot, and impressed us by sprinting up and down the tracks of the Singapore Sports Hub like a man half his age.
He declared, “I had the operation [to remove cancerous cells from my liver] on a Sunday and I asked my doctor if I could run a 10km marathon on the same day. She said no. So I walked 10km. And I actually overtook a lot of people who were walking (laughs).
At the last 100m, I ran as fast as I could ’cos I didn’t want people saying, ‘That silly old man, he can’t run!’”
According to Duncan, he did not like resting. “A friend of mine said I should rest. But in Singapore I find that young people look at old people and say, ‘You’re old, you have got to rest’ or ‘Let me do that for you’. To me, people should be encouraging their parents and grandparents to get out and walk while they can.
I have a magnetic timer on the fridge which buzzes every 20 minutes. [At the buzz] I’d get up and stretch and make a cup of tea or go to the toilet.”
Despite the pain of his illness, Duncan remained optimistic. He quipped, “This cancer will keep coming back, and if I keep having operations, my liver is going to look like Swiss cheese with little holes all over (laughs). But I’m not worried about [my condition].
I am not afraid of dying. I live every day as if I don’t have that many days left.”
PHOTOS: Kelvin Chia