Stu­art McLean, host of CBC Ra­dio’s Vinyl Cafe, dead at 68

The Peterborough Examiner - - NATIONAL -

Stu­art McLean, a best­selling au­thor, jour­nal­ist and hu­morist who was “firmly com­mit­ted to cel­e­brat­ing the pos­i­tive, joy­ful and funny side of life” through his pop­u­lar CBC Ra­dio pro­gram The Vinyl

Cafe, has died. He was 68. His death was con­firmed by the CBC.

“We were deeply sad­dened to learn that Stu­art McLean passed away ear­lier to­day. Stu­art was an ex­cep­tional sto­ry­teller who has left an in­deli­ble mark on CBC Ra­dio and count­less com­mu­ni­ties across Canada,” reads a state­ment from Su­san Mar­jetti, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of ra­dio and au­dio for CBC English Ser­vices.

InDe­cem­ber,McLeanan­nounced he was sus­pend­ing the long-run­ning pro­gram to fo­cus on treat­ment for melanoma, which he was di­ag­nosed with in late 2015. He said his first round of im­munother­apy treat­ment that winter was not com­pletely suc­cess­ful and he needed to un­dergo another round this year.

The Vinyl Cafe ra­dio show, which fea­tured a mix of sto­ries, es­says and mu­si­cal per­for­mances, was spun off into best­selling books and be­came a tour­ing pro­duc­tion in 2008.

The show’s sto­ries cen­tred on Dave, the owner of a sec­ond­hand record store, and also fea­tured Dave’s wife, Mor­ley, their two chil­dren, Sam and Stephanie, and var­i­ous friends and neigh­bours.

“Every week for 22 years, Stu­art con­nected with his lis­ten­ers in a way that few be­fore him have. His Dave and Mor­ley sto­ries were as en­ter­tain­ing as they were en­light­en­ing; they made us pause, re­flect, but most of all laugh along to­gether,” said Mar­jetti. A post­ing on the of­fi­cial Vinyl

Cafe web­site said the staff be­hind the show were “find­ing com­fort in mem­o­ries of our dear friend.”

“Stu­art al­ways em­pha­sized that the world is a good place, full of good peo­ple, try­ing to do their best. He be­lieved in peo­ple’s ex­tra­or­di­nary ca­pac­ity for love and gen­eros­ity. And he had faith in our abil­ity to work to­gether for the com­mon good,” the mes­sage reads.

“Stu­art con­nected us — to our coun­try and to each other. He en­ter­tained us, he made us think, he made us smile. Oc­ca­sion­ally he made us cry. And, through all of that, he re­minded us that life is made up of small mo­ments. We never know which ones will be for­got­ten and which ones will stay with us for­ever.”

McLean had been up­beat about his can­cer set­back and told fans in an on­line mes­sage posted in De­cem­ber that he ex­pected to return to work.

“I don’t want you to worry about me. A year ago I told you that I ex­pected this to be just a bump in the road, not the end of the road. I still be­lieve that to be true. I hope we will meet up again — on the ra­dio or in the­atres. We’ll make sure to tell you be­fore that hap­pens,” McLean wrote.

“In the mean­time, look af­ter your­selves and each other. And know that this isn’t good­bye. It’s just ... so long for now.”

The CBC said a pub­lic trib­ute would be an­nounced at a later date.

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