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Stan Zemanek (29 May, 1947 – 12 July, 2007[1]) was a right-wing[2] Australian radio broadcaster who presented a popular night time show on 2UE Sydney and which was networked across parts of Australia via Southern Cross.

He was known for his forthright, generally right wing views and for trading abusive remarks with some of his callers. He was also the 13th, and longest serving "Beast" on the popular panel TV show, Beauty and the Beast.



Zemanek grew up in Sydney, New South Wales but began working in radio as a researcher for Radio C-Fun 141 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He worked as a producer on the John Laws program in Australia starting in 1978, before returning to North America for some years, where he covered the 1983 America's Cup. He spent a decade presenting on 2UE late at night beginning in 1987. He spent a year in 2000 presenting the 2GB morning shift.[3][4][5] Zemanek moved to Melbourne for a short stint with 3AW's drive program in 2002 before moving back to Sydney and 2UE in 2003, having failed to garner ratings, and publicly falling out with several members of the 3AW's broadcast team.[6][7]

While popular with much of his audience, Stan often boasted about being the most complained about broadcaster in the country, polarising opinions of those who didn't agree with his right-wing beliefs. He was not shy to admit that he was politically biased and often criticized "idiot Labor voters" for not doing the same. His most commonly used terms were "numb nuts", "turn it up", "half-wit", "oxygen thief", "left-wing looney", "give yourself an uppercut" and "typical Labor voter"; and he once asked a caller who sounded to be a little slow 'are you smoking the wacky-tobaccy', a slang reference to marijuana.[8]

In 2003, following his return to 2UE, he received a bombardment of calls from a number of people he referred to as 'The Phone Box Boys', thinking they were all calling him from a phone box. The calls would sometimes reach 20 a night, and would spin several staples of Zemanek such as sound effects, on Stan himself. This led to an enormous spike in his ratings for the period of March-July 2003. A CD based solely on these calls is in the pipeline for a release.

Zemanek had an ongoing rivalry with 2UE breakfast host Mike Carlton, ever since Carlton revealed on-air that Zemanek was about to move to 2GB. An angry Zemanek called for Carlton to be sacked and for the Australian Broadcasting Authority to investigate him for "irresponsible journalism". The "debate" between the two broadcasters degenerated over the next few days, with Carlton calling Zemanek "a little shit", "a village idiot", "a homosexual", and "a stunted runt" and Zemanek calling Carlton a "a turd" and "a ponce" with "his head up his backside".[9] After Zemanek's death, Carlton stated on his breakfast show at 2UE that he hated Zemanek and would only attend his funeral to check that he was really dead, causing 2UE management to publicly denounce Carlton. Carlton made his comment while showbiz reporter Peter Ford was doing a report on Zemanek's funeral. At the time Ford made light of Carlton's comments. On reflection however he was disgusted and blasted Carlton on 2UE the day. Ford explained that Zemanek was a mentor and friend and that he was disgusted with what Carlton had said. Ford resigned from his spot on Carlton's program (but continues to report for other 2UE programs).[10]

Personal life

Stan and his wife, Marcella Zemanek, had two daughters, Gaby and Melissa (both married) and two grandchildren at the time of Stan Zemanek's death.[11] After moving to Melbourne (where Australian rules football is the dominant football code), he elected to support the Carlton Football Club.[12]

Ill-health, retirement and death

Zemanek was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme,[13] an aggressive brain tumour that is almost universally fatal within a few years, in May 2006.[14] Treatment included chemotherapy and radiotherapy in addition to surgery performed by Charles Teo.[13] After rumours in 2006, Zemanek's retirement and intention to look after his health and spend time with his family was announced on December 9, 2006.[14] His final show went to air on December 22, 2006.[15] Many in the commercial radio industry paid tribute to Zemanek on-air, including his former on-air colleagues and later rivals (on 2GB), Alan Jones and Ray Hadley.

While Zemanek intended to return to Beauty and The Beast in early 2007,[16] and he celebrated his 60th birthday with former Beauty and the Beast co-stars,[17] his health deteriorated in retirement. In June 2007, he and his wife cut short a planned holiday due to illness and in early July 2007 his family announced that he was dying.[18][19] He died in his sleep in the early hours on 12 July 2007.[20] His funeral, open to the public, was held on July 17, 2007, at St. Mary's Catholic Church in North Sydney and was followed by a private cremation.[21][22]


  1. ^ "The career of Stan Zemanek". The Daily Telegraph. 2007-07-12.,22049,22062070-5001021,00.html. Retrieved 2007-07-17.  
  2. ^ Australian Associated Press (2007-07-12). "Shock jock Stan Zemanek dies".,23599,22060920-29277,00.html. Retrieved 2007-07-13.  
  3. ^ "stan's biography". Retrieved 2007-07-06.  
  4. ^ Perkin, Corrie (2002-03-10). "Stan and deliver". The Age. Retrieved 2007-07-05.  
  5. ^ Australian Associated Press (2007-07-12). "Tumour claims 'shock jock' Zemanek". The Age. Retrieved 2007-07-13.  
  6. ^ Farouque, Farah (2003-01-23). "'Name' male to replace Zemanek at 3AW". The Age. Retrieved 2007-07-05.  
  7. ^ Carbone, Suzanne (2004-12-08). "3AW picks up after Stan". The Age. Retrieved 2007-07-05.  
  8. ^ Leech, Graeme (2007-07-13). "Shock jock who never sold out". The Australian.,,22063886-7582,00.html. Retrieved 2007-07-17.  
  9. ^ Javes, Sue (2003-01-28). "The ego has landed". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2007-03-04.  
  10. ^ Connolly, Fiona (2007-07-19). "Carlton's career under threat". The Daily Telegraph.,22049,22095389-5007132,00.html. Retrieved 2007-07-19.  
  11. ^ Zemanek, Marcella (2007-07-13). "Stan's widow tells of final days". The Daily Telegraph.,22049,22063168-5001021,00.html. Retrieved 2007-07-13.  
  12. ^ Jim Main, Aussie rules for dummies (2nd edition, 2008), p. 252.
  13. ^ a b Javes, Sue (2006-09-21). "Even ailing, jock shocks". The Age. Retrieved 2007-07-05.  
  14. ^ a b Lee, Sandra (2006-12-10). "'Mellower' Stan Zemanek to quit radio". The Sunday Telegraph.,23599,20899754-421,00.html. Retrieved 2007-07-05.  
  15. ^ Australian Associated Press (2006-10-22). "Shock jock Zemanek calls it quits". Yahoo!7 News. Retrieved 2007-07-05.  
  16. ^ Clune, Richard (2007-02-04). "Zemanek's Beast is back". The Daily Telegraph.,,21164920-5006009,00.html. Retrieved 2007-07-05.  
  17. ^ Sydney Confidential (2007-06-15). "Stan's birthday beastly, beaut". The Daily Telegraph.,23663,21906214-10388,00.html. Retrieved 2007-07-06.  
  18. ^ Connolly, Fiona (2007-07-05). "Death within days for shock jock".,23599,22019375-2,00.html. Retrieved 2007-07-05.  
  19. ^ Gibson, Jano (2007-07-05). "Shock jock Zemanek 'has days to live'". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2007-07-05.  
  20. ^ Connolly, Fiona (2007-07-12). "Stan a fighter to the very end". The Daily Telegraph.,22049,22063556-5001021,00.html. Retrieved 2007-07-13.  
  21. ^ Australian Associated Press (2007-07-12). "Zemanek funeral on Tuesday". The Daily Telegraph.,21985,22062434-5005961,00.html. Retrieved 2007-07-13.  
  22. ^ Narushima, Yuko (2007-07-17). "Stan was 'romantic and funny'". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2007-07-17.  

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