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WKYT-TV meteorologists, 1999

Posted on May 20, 2017 | in Uncategorized | by

WKYT-TV Channel 27 meteorologists from left, Chris Bailey, Brian Collins and T.G. Shuck on Feb. 12, 1999. Collins, the ever-smiling longtime Lexington television weatherman, died May 20, 2004, of complications from lung cancer. He was 62. A beloved television personality, Collins often was often called on to be the master of ceremonies at pageants and the grand marshal of parades. He had been an emcee at spelling bees. He even played Santa Claus, posing for pictures with people’s pets at the Lexington Humane Society. He frequently visited schools to give talks to children. He was WKYT’s “social butterfly,” and he graciously accepted the requests to help out at community events, friends said. Collins started as as a reporter at WLEX-TV Channel 18 in 1981. His contract wasn’t renewed in 1992, partly because he wasn’t a meteorologist at the time. Collins then joined the staff of Channel 27, working part-time at first. He studied meteorology at Mississippi State University and eventually moved up to chief meteorologist at WKYT. Co-workers said they would never forget an incident with a dog up for adoption that was featured on one show. Just as the camera cut away, “the dog lunged at Brian and tore his pants off, ” WKYT news anchor Bill Bryant said. Collins took it in stride. “Brian looked up and said, ‘This dog has ruined a perfectly good suit,'” Bryant said. “It ripped one leg completely down, completely off.” “Anyone else would have just absolutely positively had a coronary. Here you have a five- or six-hundred dollar suit, at least,” said Shuck, who left WKYT in 2012. Bailey, the current WKYT chief meteorologist, said he became a meteorologist because of Collins. Collins made Bailey one of his “weather watchers” when Bailey was in fifth grade in Salyersville. Collins would send Bailey weather books to study, and years later, Collins gave Bailey his first chance to be a weather forecaster. “Had he never moved up to chief meteorologist, I may never have had the opportunity to do what I’ve always wanted to do,” Bailey said. Photo by Mark Cornelison | Staff

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