Tributes are flowing across the entertainment sector for media personality Bert Newton following his death on Saturday evening.
According to media reports, the television icon died while undergoing palliative care in Melbourne, after being admitted to hospital in March and eventually having his leg amputated. He was 83.
Newton was a consistent presence in the TV industry from its formation and was known for his work across Nine and Network 10 on programs such as In Melbourne Tonight, New Faces, Good Morning Australia, 20 to 1 and Bert’s Family Feud.
A four-time recipient of the Gold Logie, he also hosted the awards 19 times.
In a statement, Nine director of television Michael Healy described Newton as a “giant” of the industry that entertained generations of Australians.
“He brought unbridled joy and laughter into our homes as part of so many programs, partnerships and formats,” he said.
Born in Melbourne, Newton began his broadcasting career as a teenager, working as a junior announcer for 3XY when he was just 15.
He commenced his television career not long after the format first came to Australia, hosting The Late Show on HSV7 in 1957.
Two years later, he moved to GTV-9 to host daytime television program In Melbourne Today, also making regular appearances alongside Graham Kennedy on In Melbourne Tonight, even going on to host some of the episodes.
It was the first of two successful showbusiness partnerships that Newton would become known for in his career, with the second coming when he joined Don Lane on his variety program, The Don Lane Show 1975, where he was first christened ‘Moonface’.
He would go on to front a diverse range of programs throughout the ’70s and ’80s including New Faces, Ford Superquiz with wife Patty, and Tonight with Bert Newton, before joining Network 10 to host Good Morning Australia in 1992.
The program came to a close after more than 3,000 episodes in 2005, with Newton returning to Nine to host Bert’s Family Feud, 20 To 1, and What A Year.
He was last seen on screens last year as part of SBS’s Who Do You Think You Are?
Newton married his wife Patti in 1974 and the pair have two children, Matthew and Lauren.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison was among those to send his condolences, saying “there will never be another like him”.
“There was a familiarity that connected us to Bert but it also connected us to each other,” he said in a statement.
“We could laugh together. That was his gift.”