Australian entertainer Desmond “Dezzy” McKenna has passed away in Thailand.

The musician, better known as ‘Animal’ on Hey Hey It’s Saturday, had been residing in Thailand since the mid 1990s.

He was a regular guest on the variety show alongside Red Symons, Wilbur Wilde and Daryl McKenzie, and became a fan favourite.

Desmond’s brother Brian announced the news on social media, saying “So sad. Sorry to say that my brother Des “Animal” McKenna died last night in Thailand.”

“He was a saviour and huge inspiration to me. Remembering all the wonderful times.”

Social media has been awash with tributes to the extraordinary life and career of the musician, as fellow entertainers shared their memories of Des.

Singer Joe Camilleri also paid tribute, writing, “Des ‘Animal’ McKenna has gone ahead… we had fun playing music and listening to jazz… so with a heavy heart I will give Pharaoh Sanders Floating Points a spin and think of the times we shared.”

Des worked in the music industry for many decades, and played with big names in the Aussie music scene including Men At Work, Goanna, Joe Camilleri and many more.

Image credits: Channel Nine

This article first appeared on Over60.