#Showbiz: Veteran radio announcer Constance Haslam dies

KUALA LUMPUR: One of Radio Televisyen Malaysia's (RTM) "golden voices" of radio, Constance Haslam Behr died in Versailles, France today.

Her old friend and fellow radio announcer Patrick Teoh broke the news of her death on his Facebook page.

Teoh said: "Today, I woke up to the sad news that an old friend, colleague and former radio announcer, Connie Haslam, has departed for the big radio station in the sky.

"A whole generation of us have listened to her golden voice, reading the news, answering requests and spinning the top hits of the day.

"Farewell, Connie. You will be dearly missed."

Haslam, in her 70s, spent 26 years as an announcer on Radio 4 which is today known as Traxx FM.

Described by fans as "cheerful, chirpy and informative", she was best known for her morning segments on the English language station, and also read the English news on TV2 in the 1980s.

Haslam also hosted the 1970s RTM talent search Bakat TV which was the precursor to Bintang RTM.

After leaving RTM in 1990, Haslam joined Redifussion Radio for two years and served in its public relations division.

She and her husband Erwin Behr moved to Singapore and eventually France in 2000.

However, she still made the occasional visit to Malaysia and attended reunion lunches and dinners with her old RTM colleagues such as the late Alan Zachariah, Razali Hussein, Fauziah Nawi and Ronnie Atkinson.

In a 2012 interview, Haslam said that she enjoyed being a radio announcer as it allowed her to express herself well.

"And when TV began, I became the first female host of a TV show, Bakat TV. We were all trained by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), and it was they who truly taught me the ropes," said Haslam.

When asked about a good interview, she famously said that it ought to be "long enough to cover the important points but short enough to get the interviewee's attention."

As a television host and radio announcer, Haslam interviewed several international artistes including Gloria Estefan, Hammer, Dionne Warwick and the Bee Gees.

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