Happy 80th Birthday to Bert Newton!
One of our first and certainly most enduring TV stars, Newton started in TV at the age of 19 as host of The Late Show at HSV7 from August 1957.
While he has not had a regular place on television for some years (his last contract with the Nine Network lapsed four years ago), his career has spanned every era of Australian television and covered four networks.
He has hosted the TV Week Logie Awards a record 18 times, plus two occasions as co-host, and won four Gold Logies plus the Hall of Fame. He is the only person to have been paid tribute by This Is Your Life three times — the most recent being for his 70th birthday. He reinvigorated morning television, hosting Good Morning Australia for 14 years — at one stage fronting more than twelve hours of live television a week.
Earlier this year he was one of five Australian TV personalities paid tribute on a series of commemorative postage stamps.
There have been many career challenges along the way, such as his highly reported nervous breakdown in the mid 1960s, the intermittent career lulls that are inevitable in the brutal world of television, and some of the ventures that didn’t quite pay off. Even his recent comments at the TV Week Logie Awards, while not deliberately intended to cause offence, were perhaps not considered a high point. But it would be unfair to tarnish a lifetime of 80 years — and more than 60 of those in the spotlight — on some lowlights.