Australia mourns the passing of entertainment icon Bert Newton

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Bert Newton. Pic source: Twitter 9News Australia @9NewsAUS

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Premier Daniel Andrews on Sunday paid glowing tributes to Bert Newton, the country’s entertainment icon, who passed away on Saturday, aged 83 in his hometown of Melbourne.

“There will never be another like him. Bert came into our homes and made himself very welcome. He was a regular guest and we always looked forward to his next visit,” the Prime Minister said in a media statement.

Andrews said, “Bert Newton was an icon, a larrikin and a born entertainer. We have never known TV without Bert—he was there from the beginning. From black and white to colour—as TV changed, Bert endured.”

Newton won four Gold Logies, hosting the Logies on 20 occasions and entertaining Australians for over half a century.

“There was a familiarity that connected us to Bert, but it also connected us to each other. We could laugh together. That was his gift. Bert could give and take a joke. He could laugh at himself, I’m sure that’s what made Australians warm to him as much as we did. Even when a joke misfired, he had that ability to scramble in a way that made us laugh, and put everyone at ease,” Morrison said.

Australians also understood his steadfast love of Patti, and her steadfast strength. “To Patti and the family, Jen and I send our love, and we send the country’s love as well,” Morrison said.

Andrews added, “We will all have an opportunity to honour his memory, his talent and his achievements at a state funeral – details will be shared in the coming days. Bert will live on in the memories of an entire generation.”

According to media reports, Newton will be accorded a state funeral.


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