Doug Mulray, radio veteran and frontman for the controversial Australia’s Naughtiest Home Video Show, has died at the age of 71 after a long illness.
His radio career began back in the 1970s, at 2AD in Armidale, before making his way via Melbourne (at 3AW) to land at ABC‘s youth station, 2JJ (now Triple J). From there he went to Sydney’s 2MMM, where his breakfast shift dominated the ratings for years before he signed off in 1992.
While his career was predominantly in radio, he reached peak notoriety as host of Nine‘s Australia’s Naughtiest Home Video Show, which planned to show the videos considered too risqué to be included in the network’s family-friendly Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show.
When the show aired on 3 September 1992, the program failed to raise a laugh from one angry viewer — Kerry Packer, chairman of the network. Packer himself called the station part-way through the one-hour presentation and demanded rather bluntly that the program be taken off air — immediately. The unorthodox call sent Nine’s programmers into a spin at having to pull the plug and hurriedly cross to an episode of sitcom Cheers under the guise of “technical difficulties”.
It was only years after Packer’s death that Nine recovered the show and replayed it with an introduction by Bert Newton.
After Australia’s Naughtiest Home Video Show, he launched his own comedy show, Mulray, at the Seven Network in 1994, hosted Doug Mulray’s Celebrity Slide Night specials in 1995, and was a commentator for Seven’s Bathurst 1000 coverage.
Although he was allegedly “banned” from the Nine Network after the Naughtiest Home Video Show, he returned to the network to guest host Midday in 1996 and was a judge on the short-lived talent show StarStruck.
He had a short stint as the “beast” on the Foxtel panel show Beauty And The Beast.
His later radio career included Sydney radio stations 2WS and 2SM and he led one of the earliest ventures into online broadcasting with The Basement. He was inducted into the Commercial Radio Hall of Fame in 2019, recognising his successful career in radio.
Doug Mulray is survived by his partner Lizzie and children James, Rosie and Tom.