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Media Items - Press and Radio - Page 3

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'Is this the coolest man in the country? We think he is!' - Village Voice (Sydney inner western suburbs)
'An extraordinary account - an old man mapping the city with his feet' - Adelaide Advertiser
'Alan Waddell...proved you are never too old to change the world.' - Think Big magazine
'A grandfather who has achieved cult fame' - St George and Sutherland Shire Leader
'One of the best web sites I have ever seen' - Radio 702 ABC (Simon Marnie)
'Alan Waddell was a worldwide internet sensation.' - Daily Telegraph
'The North Shore's most famous athlete' - Sydney Weekly Courier
'Inconceivable pioneering work' - Guang Ming Daily (Malaysia)
'A popular web site' - San Francisco Chronicle
'Fantastic web site' - Radio New Zealand
'A real-life inspiration' - The Nation (Thailand)
'An amazing man' - Radio 2UE (Glenn Wheeler)
'Legendary walker ... Alan's an inspiration' - Mosman Daily
'Elderly Australian walks into stardom' - People's Daily (China)
'Alan’s website…one of the best around' – Mt Druitt & St Marys Standard
'[He] has inspired thousands...an internet superstar' - Independent Times (Canada)
'This site has turned a simple idea into a real treasure' - The Sydney Morning Herald
'He's a legend, a terrific Sydneysider and a great Australian' - Radio Nova (Merrick & Rosso)
'A media darling Down Under and his fame is spreading fast across the globe' - Kitchener Record (Canada)

Many of the photos on this website were taken as Alan Waddell, 94, walked every street in 292 suburbs of Sydney, Australia. We have continued his legacy by regularly posting more photos from our walking - there are now over 6,400 unusual photos of Sydney. There have been over 5,033,000 pages viewed by over 1,937,000 visitors from 185 countries (latest new one is Turkmenistan) - see Visitor Countries for full list.


In brief

Alan Waddell was encouraged by his doctor to take up walking. After a while, repeating the same route every day became boring. So Alan Waddell decided to walk every street in his own suburb.
  In December 2002, this idea of walking every street was expanded to include neighbouring suburbs and so his odyssey began.


Google Searches

Ranked Number 1 out of up to 436 million for a Google search of 'walk' through 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011
(Ranked Number 1 out of 1,350 million for a Google search of 'walk' on 19 January 2010
Ranked Number 1 out of up to 83 million for a Google search of 'walks' through 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011


Manly Daily (Sydney) - New Sydney Harbour Walking Track     22 October 2006


At the end of its preview of the opening of a new section of Sydney harbour and ocean track, the Manly Daily announced: "Among those who will walk is Alan Waddell, the 91-year-old who has walked every street in Sydney." Unfortunately, Alan still has quite a few streets to tackle.


The following day, Alan accompanied Federal Health Minister (later Prime Minister) Tony Abbott for a 20-minute walk to officially have the track from Shelley Beach opened. Tony Abbott doesn't usually walk. He runs. More than that, he runs marathons. He even ran a 100-kilometre ultra-marathon for charity. The minister arrived by himself to the pre-publicised opening of this walk from Shelly Beach to a former defence establishment at North Head. After this, he was on his way (again by himself) to do volunteer work with the Surf Life Saving organisation. Australia is fortunate that senior government ministers can move freely without the security that is so evident in some other countries.


St George and Sutherland Shire Leader (Sydney)   7 September 2006

The Leader has the largest circulation of any Australian suburban newspaper. This was their second item about Alan, concentrating on his walking in the southern suburb Oyster Bay.


ABC Local Radio (60 stations)    1 July 2006

Philip Ashley-Brown's interview from 14 June scored yet another airing, this time in the "Overnight" programme broadcast around the country while most Australians were asleep.


666 ABC (Canberra)    19 June 2006

The capital city's breakfast programme carried Philip Ashley-Brown's interview that was originally heard in Sydney on 14 June.


2UE (Sydney)    14 June 2006

A mention of Alan's walking, website and morning tea with the station's afternoon programme producer caused a second of visitors. This complemented an earlier flood from the same day's ABC radio interview.


702 ABC (Sydney)    14 June 2006


During the breakfast programme, ABC radio's field reporter, Philip Ashley-Brown, interviewed Alan while they were walking the streets of Greenwich.


Independent Times (Canada)    1 June 2006

Alan was the cover story for the June issue of Canada's Independent Times, a magazine popular with older people:
"[He] has inspired thousands...an internet superstar."


Tasmanian Senior    1 June 2006

On the same day as the Canadian seniors' paper ran their story, the seniors' paper for Australia's island state emphasised the health aspect of Alan's walking, particularly for the heart.


New Choices for Retirement     1 June 2006

This newspaper for Sydney's older population began its story of the National Heart Foundation's recruiting of Alan with the line "Australia's own Forrest Gump, 91-year old Alan Waddell of Sydney's North Shore has been inspiring thousands of Australians to hit the streets." The photo caption read "Alan Waddell gives some fitness tips to Federal Health Minister (now Prime Minister) Tony Abbott."


The Nation (Thailand)    10 May 2006


"Old coot walking" was the headline for a story and photographs covering most of a broadsheet page of this Bangkok newspaper, which sells about 60,000 copies daily even though not in the national language.


Agent France-Presse (AFP)    27 April 2006

Although some international newspapers/magazines had published their own stories about Alan's walking, the overseas coverage mushroomed with the release of a story by the news service AFP.

Newspapers known to have printed AFP's story :

Andhra Bhoomi (Rajamundry, A.P., India)
BusinessWorld Weekender (Manila, Philippines)
People’s Daily (Beijing, China)
China Daily (Beijing, China)
Washington Times (USA)
Oman Observer (Muscat, Oman)
Business Day (Bangkok, Thailand)
The Hindu (New Delhi, India)


Top Weekly    13 April 2006

We learned of this article six months after publication, yet the newspaper's incredible staff went to much trouble to hunt down a copy. The story is in Korean; an Internet translation site provided some idea of the content.


702 ABC (Sydney)    5 April 2006

Afternoon presenter James Valentine interviewed Alan for a special programme for those over 75.


702 ABC (Sydney)    2 April 2006

This government-operated station interviewed Alan in his role as a media ambassador for Seniors' Week. The morning host Simon Marnie pointed out that Alan's main challenge, leading a walking tour of one of his favourite areas, had to be changed to two tours following 160 bookings instead of the expected 20-25.


North Shore Times    31 March 2006

Alan was noted as being "an ambassador to Seniors Week", part of which is his leading of a guided tour in the Sydney suburb Waverton. It has "well exceeded an expected registration of 25, with 130 people signing up."


That's Life    29 March 2006

This international magazine with over a million readers readers in Australia plus about another 100,000 in New Zealand showed Alan with his worn-out socks and shoes protruding from the photograph into the text.

That's Life brings both life and light to Alan's lounge room.


Kitchener Record (Canada)    28 March 2006

The Record has the largest readership of any newspaper in Canada's Waterloo region. The topic of its "Web Pointer" column on the above date was this site, inviting readers to "join the journey of a charming old Australian guy as he endeavours to walk all the streets of Sydney ... [He is] snapping pictures (including lots of goofy poses) along the way. Make sure you check out the Surprises section for photos of unusual and interesting sites. Waddell has become a media darling Down Under and his fame is spreading fast across the globe" - Kitchener Record (Canada).


ABC Radio National     21 March 2006

This is the government-owned network of 230 stations throughout Australia. They carried a brief story about Alan's walking and his website.


The Sydney Morning Herald    20 March 2006

Following three days of debate in Column 8, which covers the quirky happenings in Sydney, they ran this letter:
  "In regard to the steepest street question, surely Column 8 needs to seek advice from Mr Alan Waddell, the 91-year-old gentleman undertaking the monumental task of walking every street in Sydney's suburbs," writes Mark Cannon of Penrith. "So far, apparently, he has walked the streets of more than 200 suburbs and his opinion on this matter must surely be sought."


The Western Weekender    17 March 2006

The lead story on the front page was headed "On the Road Again", illustrated with a photo of Alan competing with cars on the streets of Jamisontown.


St George and Sutherland Shire Leader (Sydney)    3 March 2006

The Leader has the largest circulation of any suburban newspaper in Australia. Reporter Caroline Marcus covered Alan's talk to 600 students of Beverly Hills North Public School. Two excerpts from her article:
  The grandfather, who has achieved cult fame for his attempt to walk every street in Sydney, asked the children what it meant when a nine-year-old fan called him "fully sick". His question elicited uproarious laughter from the audience but he was satisfied when told it meant that he was pretty great...
  Suzanne El-Basel, 10, from Roselands, said she seldom met anyone as old as Mr Waddell. "I was very surprised because he was being very funny," Suzanne said.
Photographer Wesley Lonergan captured 10 students following Alan Pied Piper-style.


The St George and Sutherland Shire Leader was on hand to photograph Alan as he entered the assembly hall to address 600 students of Beverley Hills Public School.


2NSB (Sydney North Shore)    7 February 2006

Walk Sydney Streets was selected for Radio 2NSB's "Website of the Day". Their story said:
  Alan, 91, walks every street in 191 suburbs of Sydney, Australia. He has taken photos of strange and wonderful things from garages to toilets. See if you can spot your house!"


2UE (Sydney)    29 January 2006

George Moore and Paul Kidd first spoke to Alan in August 2004. This time it was an extended 10-minute interview, covering everything from backpacks to dog attacks.


2SM Super Network (New South Wales and Queensland)     25 January 2006

Australia’s largest country network interviewed Alan for its evening programme. The interview was carried by 32 stations, including 2HD Newcastle, 2AD Armidale, FM100.3 Armidale, Zoo FM Cobar, Radio 639AM Coffs Harbour, 2DU Dubbo, 2GF Grafton, FM 104.7 Grafton, 2MO Gunnedah, Triple G Gunnedah, 2NZ Inverell, Gem FM Inverell, 2LM Lismore, 2VM Moree, Now FM Moree, 2MG Mudgee, Real FM Mudgee, Radio 1089AM Orange, 2PK Parkes, Radio 531 Port Macquarie, 2YM Tamworth, 2RE Taree, Max FM Taree, Radio 97AM Tweed Heads, 4GY Gympie, 107.1 Noosa and 4WK Toowoomba.


2GB (Sydney)    25 January 2006

Alan Jones is the star of Sydney radio. He has won his ratings slot, breakfast, for all but one of the last approximately 100 listener surveys. He is also known for having coached Australia’s world champion rugby union team and his extensive charity work. It was therefore a special honour for Alan Waddell when he was invited to appear on Alan Jones’ programme. ("A wonderful story" - Alan Jones)


2SM (Sydney)    25 January 2006

The chat with Alan in the breakfast programme was the first of his two interviews on the station in the one day.


Nova (Sydney)    25 January 2006

Nova, Sydney’s leading radio station with young adults, kindly sent him a gift of fancy new running shoes after being interviewed on their breakfast programme. The interview concluded with their star personalities saying: "He's a legend, a terrific Sydneysider and a great Australian" - Radio Nova (Merrick and Rosso)


Radio Nova sent Alan two new pairs of running shoes following his interview.


The Daily Telegraph    25 January 2006

A story headed "Taking it all in his stride - 91-year-old's city walking mission" was accompanied by six photographs of Alan Waddell walking through Longueville, North Bondi, Zetland, Banksia, Asquith and St Peters.
  Two quotes from the article:
  "I do feel stupid when people are in the park and I'm going up and down all the paths but they'll never see me again so it doesn't matter."
  "One 9-year-old boy said he didn't like old people usually but I was fully sick. I didn't know what that meant."


San Francisco Chronicle    18 December 2005

The Chronicle ran a feature on marathon walkers in Manhattan, Christchurch, London, Minneapolis, Sydney and, of course, San Francisco. Alan Waddell was the Sydney representative; the story about him concluded with an email Alan had received: "I'm your best fan and I want to be like you, but it will take a while because I'm only 11." Since we don't all live in San Francisco, the rest of us can see the article and photos at Walking The World by Tom Graham.


Guang Ming Daily (Kuala Lumpur)    6 December 2005

A second item has appeared in Guang Ming Daily, Malaysia's leading Chinese newspaper. It included a reproduction (picture and text) from our web site of the story dated 27 November below.


Wacky But True    1 December 2005

When Wacky But True asked Alan Waddell if they could do a story about his walking, he knew he had finally made it! Stories in Australian Senior for the oldies, Who for the young adults and Wacky for the kids. This high-quality children's magazine aims to educate in a fun way. Their double-page spread about Alan included photos of the giant mail-box, officers' mess, hubcaps, wheelbarrow park and using your hat for a refreshing drink.


Guang Ming Daily (Kuala Lumpur)    27 November 2005

As the article was in Chinese, we were at a loss to learn what they wrote about Alan, until we found a suitable translation programme. We are now able and proud to provide you with an excerpt.
  "Arran watt looks like the passenger who fills the curiosity, he walks while appreciates the vista, saw specially or the strange thing, then stops down photographs, then gives to the cart-driver son to post in walks Sydney's street the website."
The two photos accompanying the story were the "don't walk" advice and the Concord Hospital steps.


Manly Daily (Sydney)    23 November 2005

Sydney's Manly Daily ran a story about Alan's fondness for the quirky things he finds while walking, and showed him at the helpful "Road Ahead" warning sign. Their last paragraph listed countries where recent visitors to the web site live, concluding with "which has us worried what the rest of the world will think of Sydneysiders."


The Australian Senior    September 2005

The story was headed "Like, this 'fully sick dood' knows the 'burbs, man", wording which one would expect to see in a teenage magazine rather than a paper whose market is the over 60s. The journalist based it on an email Alan Waddell received which read, in part, "Dood, I was just watching Today Tonight and, man, you are doing really well, so don't give up. By the way, I am 9 and I do not really like old people, but dood you are fully sick."
  Three photographs (the Colebee hailstones, Greenwich contradictory signs and a Longueville hill) illustrated the item.
  This newspaper has an Australia-wide readership of 800,000.


The Sydney Morning Herald (video)    17th August 2005

Video journalist Aysha Leo has produced a video of Alan Waddell walking and being interviewed. It was posted on the websites of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age (Melbourne). The Sydney Morning Herald advised us that it had recorded 9000 visitors viewing the video in the first 16 hours.


The video generated items on well-known sites www.fazed.net www.boingboing.net and www.happynews.com with a consequent flood of visitors.


Walking New Zealand    July 2005

A three-page spread about Alan appeared in Walking New Zealand. It included eight photos of his favourite places around Sydney, which the magazine reproduced in such clarity that they seemed to put the originals to shame. The editor had heard Alan interviewed on Radio New Zealand's national network.


Radio New Zealand    15 April 2005 and 20 April 2005

Alan Waddell 's web site was featured by Radio New Zealand's in its "Web site of the Week" on its 38-station national network.
  Subsequently, they did a live 10-minute interview with Alan on 20 April 2005.


Yahoo's Pick of the Day    25 March 2005

Yahoo's write-up had links to the site itself plus direct links to houses, roads, toilets (they didn't miss any of the important parts) and park rules.
  It finished with advice to "have a look for a suburb you live in or know about and see if there is anything quirky Alan has noticed on his travels."


6PR (Perth)    9 March 2005

Alan was interviewed by a radio station on the other side of the country, 6PR Perth, in its breakfast session.


B3ta Newsletter    4 March 2005

Alan's site was mentioned in the b3ta newsletter number 172.
  "The B3ta newsletter is sent out every Friday and has the best internet links we have seen that week. It currently has nearly 80,000 subscribers" - b3ta.
  As a result we have had another 5,000 new visitors.


The Sydney Morning Herald    1 March 2005

Alan had a letter published in the " Spike" section. As a result, in a single day we had over 2,000 new visitors looking at an average of 10 pages.
  Published under the heading "Bending the rules", the article read: "Responding to our call to expose some of the ridiculous rules plaguing our over-regulated society, reader Alan Waddell wrote: "As I walk around Sydney, it is easy to inadvertently break some of this growing number of prohibitions, such as singing in Willoughby Park. (Please see http://www.walksydneystreets.net for photos of the prohibiting sign and my singing there.) Fortunately, the very pleasant park staff forgave this 90-year-old's indiscretion."
  (The photos concerned are in "Surprises | Signs" under Willoughby East )


Media outlets covering Alan Waddell's completion of walking 100 Sydney suburbs

Newspapers and Magazines

Adelaide Advertiser
Central Coast Sun
Hornsby and Upper North Shore Advocate
(see here for photo)
Johannesburg Mail and Guardian (web site only)
North Shore Times

Sydney Weekly Courier
The Manly Daily
The Sydney Morning Herald
(see below for link)
The Village Observer
-Time Inc (see below for photo)


Today Tonight, Seven Network Australia-wide (see here for photos and link)
Sky News, Australia and New Zealand


2GB Sydney
2MWM-FM Sydney (see below for photo)
2RPH Sydney
2UE Sydney
4BC Brisbane
5DN Adelaide
ABC Alice Springs
ABC Darwin (the interview can be heard at Radio ABC Darwin)
ABC Katherine
FBi Sydney
FM103.2 Sydney (see below for photo and link)


FM103.2 (Sydney)   5 October 2004


Alan was introduced to FM103.2 listeners as "Sydney's most famous walker".


Hornsby and Upper North Shore Advocate    30 September 2004

For the article in the Hornsby and Upper North Shore Advocate, Alan was photographed on the link between Queens and Hazelmead Roads, Asquith.


WHO   20 September 2004


"What's that sheet for?" demands Alan of the WHO magazine reporter and photographer. "Is it to reflect sunlight on me for the photo, or to cover where I've hidden my normal walking cardigan?"


Radio Northern Beaches 2MWM-FM (Sydney)   25 August, 6 September and 9 September 2004


Alan during his 25-minute interview on 2MWM-FM


The Sydney Morning Herald    11 August 2004


Australia's prestigious newspaper, The Sydney Morning Herald, ran a story about Alan Waddell completing the walking of every street, road, avenue and lane in 100 Sydney suburbs.

This was the article that first brought Alan to a wider audience - both in Sydney and overseas. On weekdays, The Sydney Morning Herald has 900,000 readers.

The photo at left is taken from the story by Richard Macey - see The Sydney Morning Herald


North Shore Times   31 January 2004


This is the first media article about Alan. It appeared in his local newspaper


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