Former Young Talent Time star Bobby Driessen has died at age 56.
No cause for his death has been reported other than he died suddenly in his sleep.
Born in the Netherlands, Driessen and his family moved to Australia, initially living in Adelaide and then Darwin. The family survived Cyclone Tracy in 1974 but moved to Brisbane and then Perth.
He then appeared as a contestant on Young Talent Time and the family moved to Melbourne when he was appointed as a team member in the show in 1979 at age 12.
He left the show in 1983 and went on to appear in an early episode of Neighbours in 1985 and co-host Nine‘s The Cartoon Company with former YTT co-star Karen Dunkerton.
He then kept out of the spotlight. He appeared in the documentary Young Talent Time Tells All in 2001, but did not participate in YTT‘s 50th anniversary celebrations last year, with producers claiming he could not be contacted.
Young Talent Time producer and host Johnny Young paid tribute on Facebook: “Bobby was one of the most popular members of the Young Talent Team. He was a gentle, loving young man who still has many fans. Thanks for the many great shows we did together. Bobby, we will never forget you. All my love – Johnny Young and family.”
Source: Young Talent Time (Facebook), TV Times, IMDB, 9Honey. The Australian Women’s Weekly TV Magazine, 2 July 1980.
I remember Bobby and I rather liked him. It is extra sad to die at what is now such a young age.
Dear YTT alumni, my heart and condolences goes out to you all. Bobby was my childhood crush being very good looking was a bonus but his personality and voice was excellent. He was Elvis and Elvis songs suited him. Bobby was 13 when he started on YTT and some of the songs I watch on YouTube were In the Navy with John Bowles, a duet with Michael in suits playing the piano and Bohemian Rhapsody in 1983. He left YTT that year at 17 and came as a guest. Thank you Bobby for the music, you will always be remembered and May you rest with your YTT “siblings” Juanita Coco and Julie Ryles and other YTT crew Ross Burton, Ron Tudor, Evie Hayes, Ron Blaskett ( the ventriloquist who had Gerry G). Your heart broken fans Kathy and Connie (the cat)
It’s incredibly sad for fans and his former colleagues that Bobby couldn’t be found in order to extend an invitation to the YTT reunion. If he hadn’t wanted to come, fine, but to not have had the oppurtunity to say yes or no, I find upsetting. It’s hard to know if members of the team managed to track him down afterwards, but what is obvious is that either Bobby or his family was in some contact because news of his passing made it to the team on the very same day he died. I had wondered if perhaps he had returned to the land of his birth, are his parents still alive, and does he have children or a partner? People are curious about these things because they loved him, and because he was loved he will be missed. I hope the fans get to find out just a little bit more without treading on the families time to grieve and that post autopsy we will also find out why he died so young. This is all part of the grieving process for all of us, Clearly many remember him fondly, and how we would have loved to see him again after so many years out of the spotlight. We won’t of course get that now, but we will always remember him (as we do all of the team who were part of our own childhoods) RIP Bobby
Bobby you will be sadly missed , my first real love
I went to school with Bob in Perth during the late 1970’s along with his brothers. Very sad time for his family. RIP old mate.
Sadly a brain anurism seemed to be the cause, according to Bobby’s brother Tim.