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Last Updated: Saturday, 31 July, 2004, 08:51 GMT 09:51 UK
Ali Abbasi: Your memories
BBC Scotland travel presenter Ali Abbasi has died following a short illness.

Ali joined BBC Scotland as a travel reporter in the 1980s and went on to publish several books and become a champion for the Gaelic language.

He was well-known for his wit and warmth, and was hugely popular with staff and listeners alike.

BBC Scotland controller Ken MacQuarrie said: "Ali was one of those characters who always had a word to say to everyone who came into BBC Scotland and he was soon on first name terms with scores of our contributors, who subsequently turned out in force to support his charity book.

"The Glasgow newsroom won't be the same place without him and our thoughts go out to his family and friends at this very difficult time."

Your memories of Ali.


I would like to thank all who took time to share their kind thoughts and memories of my dear uncle Ali. He will be sadly missed not only by his family, but also by the many people all over Scotland, from his friends to radio listeners alike. He was such a unique character, who always put others before himself. My uncle Ali has touched many people's lives, and will continue to be a true inspiration to many, I am sure. Ali was a loving son, a caring brother, and a devoted uncle, and will continue to be in our hearts forever more. Love you always...
Nisha Abbasi

On behalf of myself, Ali's mum Fatima, Ali's favourite nieces Sophia and Shreen, my husband Erich, daughter Celine and granddaughter Anais, my brothers Roshan, Munsif, Rizwan, Reno, Davaar and Gohar; I would like to thank everyone who sent in lovely, kind tributes to my handsome, talented, loving brother who is in our hearts and memories every single day and forever. Many thanks to Stuart from Cumbernauld whose suggestion of an Ali Abbasi's Junction sounds just right for a travel reporter. Mono (as the family called him) would have been chuffed at that! Ali would have been 43 years old on Friday 6th August, and a little prayer from everyone who cared about him would be nice. Rest in peace my wee brother, love you always. Till we meet again. Your loving sister
Mussie Abbasi Harrison

We will miss you very much. There will never be another Ali.
Louise and Geoff Webster and family

Ali's personal style - upbeat yet earthy - had an essential warmth, exuberance, and depth of interest that marked him out as offering so much more than the average radio presenter. Yet it was his commitment to his country's culture, and particularly to Gaelic, that made him uniquely special. He showed a forward-looking commitment to the cause of a struggling indigenous language, and laying down an inspirational marker to other Scots - all done with a bright and humorous outlook. This country has lost a great character, and an irreplaceable asset.
Dougie, Dyce, Aberdeen

I would just like to say thank you to everyone for the lovely comments and support on behalf of the Abbasi family. Ali was my uncle and was the most kind-hearted and generous person I know and was proud of him being my uncle. His family will miss him dearly and will continue to keep his memory alive.
Huma Abbasi, Glasgow

Ali, you were a ray of sunshine in our lives. We will miss your fun and laughter. Early shift was always so much easier with you around. Sleep well mate.
Penny Macmillan & family

Ali's easy, natural style of presentation told you all you needed to know about the man. His loss is a tragedy. I never liked "Auchenkilns roundabout" anyway, why not rename the new intersection the "Ali Abbasi Junction"? Ali would chuckle I am sure. Rest in peace mate.
Stuart, Cumbernauld, Scotland

I agree with Stuart from Cumbernauld - an Ali Abbasi roundabout or bypass would be a fitting tribute. He'll be sadly missed for both his radio work and his contribution to the Gaelic language - which so desperately needs people like Ali to stay relevant in a modern Scotland. Heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.
Malcolm Combe, Kilbarchan, Alba

SlÓn leat Ali. Bidh sinn uile gad ionndrainn.
Iain, Inverness

Ali was a great friend of ours. I liked the time when he came for lunch and pretended to eat a whole box of chocolates, but they really went into the neck of his jacket. I love his joke book. Lots of love from Sophie Whiteford age 9.
Sophie Whiteford, Bonnybridge

I was so sorry to hear of Ali's passing. I didn't ever meet him but my husband, John Robertson, met him several years ago in the Mishnish Hotel on Mull and they used to go for a "dram" when they were at the Mull Music Festival and the Tobermory Games. John aways enjoyed a blether with Ali. John died very suddenly in March - I would like to think they are having a"dram" together now!
Sandra Robertson, Oban, Scotland

I had the great pleasure of working with Ali while on work experience at Radio Scotland news. A wonderful, funny, inspirational man, and a great loss to all who knew him.
Andrew Gilfillan, Douglas, Isle of Man

No life can be reduced to a single word but if we must pick one for Ali it is "irrepressible". As the rest of us shivered in the cranreuch cauld of winter, he would march around the newsroom, eyes twinkling under the baseball cap, shouting: "It's Ice Station Zebra!". His egalitarian friendships meant that Ali - a most modern Scot - reflected an older national sentiment: "That man to man, the world o'er, Shall brithers be for a' that."
James Cook, Glasgow

So sorry to hear about Ali. He was a joyous presence at Queen Margaret Drive. Irrepressible and irreplaceable.
Kirsty Scott, The Guardian,

I was saddened to hear of Ali's death. I never met him but chatted a time or two by phone when I lived in Scotland. My thoughts and sympathy to his family.
Jim Akers, Morges, Switzerland

We were deeply saddened to hear of the untimely passing of Ali. We listened to him every morning on Good Morning Scotland and we will miss him. He was one of us. Our deepest sympathy and love to his family at this sad time.
James and Brenda Murray, Balintore, Rossshire

Missed your voice recently but thought you'd moved on. Sorry that your 'moving on' was this way. Didn't know you but spoke to you once to report a jam. God bless you. Must look out that joke book.
Steve, Bathgate

It just wont seem right with the travel news without Ali Abbasi
David Birch, Lockerbie Scotland

Ali's jokes will be missed by many! Has there ever been a travel reporter anywhere that has been held in such high esteem? I will miss his reports about traffic jams at the Haudagain roundabout.
Cllr Kvin Stewart, Aberdeen

Ali was a good friend. Whenever his name appeared on my phone, I left whichever room I was in at the time and prepared to be entertained by one of the smartest, wittiest guys I have ever known. Most conversations began with an order not to tell my wife or mother what was to follow. I will miss him.
Malcolm Robertson, Edinburgh

I knew Ali when he was on Glasgow City Council's Equal Opportunities Committee. His day job was in the Art Galleries but he used to get up at the crack of dawn and do a stint at the BBC before work. I think he also helped out at a family shop - endless energy and all with great warmth and humour. I convey my sadness at the loss of someone who contributed, in more ways than people know about, to the richness and diversity of Scotland and Glasgow.
Jess Fitzgerald, Glasgow, Scotland.

I was lucky enough to go to school with Ali and back then he already had the ability to make you smile. A genuine gift in this world. I am shocked and saddened by his passing but will remember him with a smile. My thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.
Gary Riddick, Glasgow

Loved that line - a leak was found in the Clyde tunnel, fell off the greengrocers lorry. We need another comedian
Tom Dunlop, East Kilbride (near the Clyde tunnel)

This is a sad day. I was shocked to read of Ali's passing. My trips home will never be the same without listening to Ali on the radio. Thank you to Ali for all the pleasure he has given me, with his wit and charm. He will be sadly missed.
Stewart Gray, Juffair, Bahrain

Margaret and I used to love his banter and jokes. He will be missed by thousands of listeners. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this sad time.
Iain and Margaret Ferguson, Stevenston, Ayrshire

I was deeply shocked to hear this sad news. Hanging out with Ali as teenagers and into our twenties was always a great laugh. Such a kind, warm and funny guy. Going on a weekend trip to London with Ali, we laughed the entire time. "It's the law of the land" was a joke we shared for quite some time afterwards. Ali, you'll remember the fun you poked at me about that on-liner, eh. Sincere sympathy to his family. God bless
Audrey Malloy, Glasgow

Although I never met him, I have two striking images of Ali Abbasi: firstly, as an example of the kind of modern Scotland we want, respectful of his own heritage, and enthusiastic for the country he has adopted; secondly, as a thoroughly good bloke. My sincere condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.
Paddy, Newtongrange, Midlothian

I was shocked to hear that Ali had died - travel reports could be boring, but never with Ali doing them. Please let his family know that many people in their adopted country are thinking of them in this awful time for them.
Anne, Perth

What a terrible shocck to learn of Ali's untimely death. My deepest sympathies to Ai's family and friends. His capacity to turn a relatively mundane item into a cult classic is unrivalled. I will miss him dearly and needless to say the travel bulletins will never be the same again. What a tragedy for his family and for the rest of us to lose someone of such quick wit and good humour. He was always so natural on the radio - many other broadcasters should take heed of Ali's broadcasting style. May those who are with Ali now enjoy his humour as much as have I over the years.
Louise Dods, Alba

Ali was a very special human being -he had a wicked sense of humour; a fine broadcasting style, and a rare ability to put people at their ease - be they newsroom trainee or government minister. The world will be a poorer place without him.
Carole Bentley, Nantwich

Over the years I've called Radio Scotland Travel to report problems on the roads in central scotland - Ali was always very pleasant to speak to and I will miss him very much.
Fiona, Ayrshire

It seems that certain folks we meet are just thoughts for a while. And others are remembered for a special deed or smile. But those who stay within our memories & hearts are very very few. And that is just the kind of friendship that we had in you. Your cousin brother Raju from Glasgow
Mr & Mrs Usman Shaikh, Glasgow

Good guy, Ali. Take it easy.
David Murphy, Bearsden

I know the loss of Ali is felt well beyond the Glasgow newsroom. For colleagues, his verbal and practical jokes often helped us through early shifts. All of us can recall a story of some jape he got up to.. and now that sparkle is gone.
Phillip Cottrell, Glasgow, Scotland

You would have thought listening to travel reports would be the highlight of your day. I do hope BBC Scotland is going to organise a tribute so we can hear some of that Abbasi banter again.
Scott, Glasgow

Ali Abbasi. Their will never be another like you. You'll be sadly missed big man. Your memories will live with us through your corny jokes and exellent curries. RIP
Davie McGuire, Barrhead Scotland

I am deeply saddened at this news. Ali was a breath of fresh air... even when you were stuck in the worst of traffic jam his cheery voice always helped you see the brighter side of things. my thoughts are with those closest to him, but I shall miss him.
Graeme Walker, Kilwinning

Just read the sad news about Ali and wanted to email. He and I had huge rows at times, and called each other blind. He was a good man, though. I'll miss him. God rest
Helen Blaby, BBC Travel

Such a loss, I think I met Ali one Sunday morning on a single track road on Skye. I was in the police then and while having a run about saw him walking. Needless to say I did not know him but on stopping to speak I knew the voice, who really would not have.A ordinary down to earth man, no airs or graces, in fact he never said who he was and I never told him I knew who he was. The staff at Skye bridge thought a lot of him as he phoned them a lot regarding his traffic reports. I would very much appreciete if you would let his family know that my thoughts are with them at this time and there will be a hole in BBC Scotland morning radio without him.
Dennis Hyndman, Kingussie

He will be greatly missed - I loved his silly jokes and his way of telling them and I was greatly impressed with his command of Gaelic - being a learner for many years and still barely able to say 'How are you'. He was like a funny big brother and I feel really sad at his passing.
Morag Giblin, Ayr, Scotland

I first met Ali when he made us all a Christmas curry on a Cathy Macdonald festive special. He then came up to Stornoway where we met up regularly and he was always the same - witty, wise, willing to learn Gaelic and caring. He even contributed a small column to The Hebridean which was avidly read and greatly missed. We will all miss him in the Legion.
Iain Maciver, Stornoway

Your death was unexpected and your passing was truly sad. Your joke books were awful but we loved you just the same. There's only one Super Ali.
Stuart and Tam from Off the Ball (Tam Cowan and Stuart Cosgrove) Glasgow

You always heard Ali before you saw him - usually it was his wicked cackle reverberating around the newsroom (he always laughed at his own jokes). But I never heard a joke made with malicious intent. He was a great and unique broadcaster - a rare thing these days. Jane and I will miss you. Our thoughts are with your family.
David Robertson, Glasgow

Had noticed he had had disappeared from Radio Scotland - sorry to hear of his death. Infamous 'Fog around Harthill' will never quite seem the same again! Sympathy to Family and Collegues.
Steve Webster, Harthill, Scotland

I was shocked to read this news on the BBC Scotland website this morning. I remember Ali's distinctive voice and banter on BBC Radio Scotland and it brings back fond memories. My thoughts are with his family and his colleagues at BBC Radio Scotland.
Angus Macdonald, Edinburgh > Midlothian > Arizona

So sorry to hear about this tragic loss. My prayers to his family,friends and colleagues. I will miss HIS style of broadcasting.
George Jaconelli, Prestwick, Scotland

This is tragic indeed. As a coach driver I relied on his reporting of jams. On the days when it wasn't Ali, things weren't the same. None of the stand-ins came close. Mr Abassi was a true "Modern Scot", and he'll be dearly missed. My thoughts are with his family. They can be very proud.
Gordon, Alba

Really sad to hear about Ali - from when we started our Radio Scotland addiction a few years ago, he has been one of the highlights. Despite the fact that we don't have a car so didn't actually need to listen to his reports, he was unmissable. And his joke books were the best!
Fiona & Pietro, Edinburgh

My husband and I were saying to each other just a few days ago, "where is Ali?". We love to hear him so much. Especially a few years ago when he got to blether with Fred or tell a joke or two. So what was Ali Abbasi's ugly woman in the supermarket gag? Beannachd leibh. Our are thoughts are with all his family and all at BBC Radio Scotland.
Fiona Duncan, Thornhill, Alba

Working with Ali on the first joke book was a dangerously funny occupation. Here's hoping this favourite gag of his doesn't come back to haunt him: Why do only 30% of women get into heaven? If it were more it would be hell! Cheerio mate, this time I'm sorry you had the last laugh.
Stewart Prodger, Scotland

Have missed Ali over the past few months on the travel reports on GMS - was beginning to think he may have realised his dream and be doing a stint in the Gaelic Dept of the BBC! First met him at a Burns Supper in Point, Isle of Lewis 18 months ago where he was the main guest speaker and truly hilarious. He was in Stornoway at the time learning Gaelic but I reckon his Gaelic was far more advanced than his tutors realised! (According to him the main attraction of being a student was the student card which gave him half fare on public transport!) Loved chatting with him on Isles FM - what an original character, able to laugh at himself, great fun and a great ambassador for multiculturalism in Scotland. The world will be a sadder place without Scotland's Glaswegian from Karachi.
Catherine Aitken, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis

On behalf of all your friends and colleagues working at Channel 4, we will miss your warmth Ali. A Super Scot to the end.
Stuart Cosgrove, Glasgow

I was so very sorry to hear the news of Ali's death. He always came across as really happy in his job, and enjoyed speaking to people, and sounded so friendly. My thoughts are with all his family and friends, also work colleagues at this sad time.
Patricia Fraser, Barrhead, Glasgow

Sorry to read this sad news. Corny jokes and lovely Khorma, a good combination.
Larry Malley, Dumbarton.

I suffer from night terrors which have recently been well documented both on TV and radio and often wake up at night not knowing where I am. I have a lovely husband who helps a lot but I always keep the radio on through 5 live and when I heard Ali early morning sorting out everyones' travel problems I knew I was back in the real world again which made the rest of my day ok. My bed, which had been the scene of horror, with Ali became a place of tranquil calm in the face of all the problems people were facing on the roads -and I had to go nowhere - luxury - and all of a sudden he made me feel very lucky. When you have a constancy like Ali over so many years and he always seemed to be there , when did he take time off?, it was the trigger that told me it was only all a dream almost every day. I loved the links he had with the other presenters who obviously thought the world of him, his jokes and that beautiful voice. I wish I had written to tell him what a special part he pla yed for me in my life but I suppose many people will feel the same on this sad day.
Wilma Marshall, Stirling

Great guy, wonderful sense of humour. Not many could bring a smile to the drivers on the Edinburgh city bypass during rush hour! He will be greatly missed. Sincere condolences to the family.
Martin Green, Midlothian, Scotland

Ali represented all that is great about multiculturalism in Scotland. That he could speak Gaelic and was from Asian origin shows a way that everyone in Scotland should aspire to. His wit and on-air banter will be sorely missed on Radio Scotland.
Ian Arnot, Falkirk

I will miss his cheery comments on the car radio whilst driving around. It is terrible how the good die young. He will be with his friend Kenny MacIntyre now God Bless Ali. From a listener who you never met but knew you well.
Doug Michael, East Kilbride, Scotland

Ali had a fantastic gift being able to make mundane traffic reports entertaining.
David Ferguson, Nairn

Working in a hospital clinic, I was on the outskirts of a discussion among the consultants about car radio systems which pick up travel reports automatically. One consultant, who patently never listened to Radio Scotland itself, turned to me and said - "Who IS this Ali Abbasi?". "Ali Abbasi?" I replied, "Oh, he's an icon." And, he was - will miss him.
Lorna, Cockermouth, Cumbria

Ali and Gillian Dickson were both really encouraging to me when I did some work experience on the travel desk at Radio Scotland. He was a good, honest bloke and a really personable broadcaster. It's terribly sad that he's gone.
Neil McFarlane, Glasgow

Ali had a fantastic gift being able to make mundane traffic reports entertaining. I never met him but feel like I knew him. He made me smile and I will miss him greatly.
David Ferguson, Nairn

I was really shocked to hear on radio of Ali's death. He was such an accomplished individual, and was a true champion of breaking down multi-ethnic barriers. I hope the BBC pay due tribute to this "really nice guy" with a TV documentary on his life. He will be very sadly missed.
Bill Sandham, Glasgow

Fond memories of Ali from school and when his family lived opposite Hospital Radio in Anderson. Always cheery when I bumped into him on a professional level. His voice in a morning is sadly missed. My thoughts are with his family at this sad time.
Stuart Major, Glasgow

Sorry to hear of the passing of Ali. His travel reports were a must in the morning before going to work. His entertaining delivery and style made for easy listening. He will be missed.
Martin, Alva

Ali is a Scottish institution - he had the kind of honest and humorous character that could be heard simply through his voice.
Ally Edward, Stornoway, Lewis

Always cheered me up in the mornings with his jokes after the travel report. Will be sadly missed.
Eric Hovell, Carnoustie, Scotland

In these days where racism is raising its ugly head in Scotland, Ali was a shining example of multi-culturalism at its best - Asian, Glaswegian and Gaelic brought together in one. It often brought a smile to my lips when Ali was called on to assist with Gaelic pronounciation by his colleagues on GMS - and I wish that I had the same dedication to learn the language of my parents as he had to learn that same language of his adopted country. Oidhche Mhath, Ali.
Ken, Scotland

Communiting between Glasgow and Edinburgh was never a fun thing to do, but even when the traffic was at it worst, Ali Abbasi always made it sound fun. Heartfelt sympathies to all his family, friends and colleagues.
Alanna, Edinburgh

He was a very special friend. Ali made many people laugh and he spread warmth and good cheer wherever he went. (My wife) Bridget and I will really miss him.
First Minister Jack McConnell

Ali lit up the newsroom with his presence. His humour, warmth and professionalism will be greatly missed.
Jack Weir, Glasgow, Scotland




SEE ALSO:
BBC travel presenter dies aged 42
30 Jul 04  |  Scotland
BBC's Ali a 'Gaelic champion'
10 Oct 03  |  Scotland


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