Vale Bert Newton
Australian television mainstay Bert Newton died on Saturday, aged 83yo. He had been receiving care in hospital since March. Remembered by national leaders, the good and the great from entertainment and his family as an iconic performer and comedian, his career spanning 7 decades saw him take on roles across radio, television and the theatre. TV critic and actor/writer/producer Graeme Blundell says Newton’s career “was a celebration of the traditional and increasingly obsolescent notion of TV as a virtual community”. And the man himself was the “last survivor of the medium’s beginnings in this country when it was joyfully makeshift, impromptu and live,” he wrote for The Australian yesterday (paywall).
WHY WAS HE SUCH A BIG DEAL?
Because since TV started in the 1950s until the mid-2000s, Bert was on the telly in a big way. Getting his start in Melbourne radio, he jumped to the small screen in 1957 and featured on big shows including In Melbourne Tonight, The Graham Kennedy Show, The Don Lane Show, New Faces (which discovered Keith Urban…), and Good Morning Australia. His contribution was recognised with an Order of Australia, and he won the Gold Logie 4 times and hosted the awards show 19-times. He wasn’t perfect, and some of his comedy has not aged well, but he was remembered well. He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Patti, daughter Lauren and son Matthew, and 6 grandchildren, and he will receive a state funeral on a date to be set.
Russia is also mourning a much-loved TV figure. Igor Kirillov – the man who was the chief newsreader and announcer of the old USSR’s state television outlet – has died aged 89yo. As Moscow’s go-to man to keep the Soviet Union informed, he was the guy who delivered the communiqués of the Communist Party. Known for his slow reading style and calm voice, Kirillov was not a fan when the journo/presenters took over in the early 1990s because he said they were in too much of a rush. “Russians don’t like people talking quickly,” he said at the time.
Know someone who'd be interested in this story? Click to share...
The Squiz Today
Your shortcut to being informed, we've got your news needs covered.
Also Making News
Get the Squiz Today newsletter
Quick, agenda-free news that doesn't take itself too seriously. Get on it.