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Channel 7 comes clean:Bruce McAvaney replaced with soundboard in 2014.

It has been revealed that what we believed to be the voice of Bruce McAvaney has actually been a soundboard operated by a designated studio assistant,after a freak accident at a barbecue in 2014 left the long-time sports caster and AFL commentator unable to speak.McAvaney,through his AusLan interpreter,recounts the fateful day he accidentally drank a half-empty beer that was being used as an ashtray,permanently damaging his voice box and oesophagus:

“I had just eaten 3 sausages in quick succession.I reached over and grabbed what I thought was my beer and poured a deck worth of ash straight down my throat.It tasted chat,everyone had a good laugh.Over the next few days,I started to lose my voice and it just never came back.I still had 6 years left on my contract–I just wanted to be paid out.They made me come in every weekend and I just smiled through the pain,mouthing my words on the teleprompter pre-game and at each break.Every time I have to sit in the box and listen to that machine regurgitate my lines while BT and the others play along,I lose a little part of myself”

The soundboard,with 7 different spliced and recycled catchphrases,was designed to perfectly capture the spectrum of calls that McAvaney has produced in the last decade.

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