Longtime FM4 Morning Show presenter Duncan Larkin died on Sunday in Vienna following an extended illness. He was 49 years old. Joe Remick remembers a friend and colleague he had the honour of knowing for the past 16 years.
The important thing to remember about Duncan Larkin is that he truly loved life and that he loved being alive. This is what makes his passing so painful for the people who knew him and loved him. Even during his long periods of illness, Duncan would focus on the positive - making travel plans with his lovely Sonja, talking about a book or newspaper article he had read, or cooking up some way to get together with members of his extended circle of friends. The man just loved bringing people together. A multi-lingual man who liked to travel, he was curious about the world and the thing he was most curious about was other people and what made them tick. Duncan Larkin was also one of the most generous people I have ever met. If he was at a party, in a bar, or just about any other kind of social gathering, Duncan would go out of his way to reach out to anyone who looked uncomfortable, sad, lonely, or out of place. It was his nature to befriend people if he thought they were unfairly having a difficult time in life. In a way, he never met a stranger because he wanted everyone else to enjoy life as much as he did.
And if something did not turn out the way he wanted it to, Duncan always had a Plan B, a Plan C, etc. For him, setbacks of any kind were just temporary obstacles and not lasting defeats. He also confronted his various health problems with great courage and stoicism. I never saw him express self-pity or rail against the unfairness of it all: Duncan just got on with it. He never denied or ignored the negative; he just refused to allow it to block out all the good things life had to offer. For example, I once heard him say, "Life is too short to hate." In addition to people, Duncan also appreciated the simple things in life: good food (he was an avid gardener and cook), various adult beverages, a sunny day, a friendly face, a long chat, a swim, a sauna, a trip to the countryside.
Another thing which made Duncan happy was his job, and not only because he was very good at it. He enjoyed being on the radio - not out of ego or vanity - but because it was another way for him to reach out and connect with people.
Duncan was born and raised in Britain and had worked in southern France for many years before coming to Austria in 1992. Duncan often mentioned how much he enjoyed living in Austria. In addition to the friendships he formed, he also cherished Austria's natural beauty, rich culture, and compelling history.
Right now it remains incomprehensible that our energetic, funny and generous friend is no longer with us. For some, "Carpe Diem!" may be a vague concept or just a couple of Latin words, but for Duncan Larkin it was the way he actually lived. For us, his friends and colleagues, life will be a bit emptier without Duncan, but the trade-off is that we are all the more richer for having known him at all.
title: Stuart Freeman about Duncan Larkin length: 8:18 MP3 (7.965MB) | WMA