Bert: The Entertaining Life of Australia’s Favourite TV Star by Graeme Blundell


AFTER SIX DECADES OF HIM BRINGING LAUGHTER, JOY AND CHEEKY IRREVERENCE INTO OUR HOMES, EVERY AUSTRALIAN KNEW BERT NEWTON Ol’ Moonface, as he was affectionately named, ruled the radio waves of Melbourne in the 1950s before making the transition to our TV screens.

Alongside Graham Kennedy and then Don Lane, Bert was the pre-eminent entertainer. Australians loved him, and when he married Patti McGrath, the police had to be called to hold the crowds back. Over the years, he quipped along with the best: Olivia Newton-John, Muhammad Ali, John Wayne, Sammy Davis Jr. and Robin Williams, to name a few. But behind his most public of faces is the story of a boy whose father died early and a young man whose compulsion to work led him to push himself to collapse. But, for Bert, the show always went on. Riding the highs and lows of the fickle television industry, he reinvigorated his career over and over as the world around him changed – from black-and-white to colour and beyond – to become one of our most enduring stars. Bert held the respect and admiration of his peers and fans alike. That respect and admiration lasted until the day he died, with his beloved Patti still by his side.

In this insightful retelling of Bert Newton’s life on and off the screen, Graeme Blundell captures the heart and soul of the Bert we all loved. ‘kind, funny and quick-witted . . . everyone in Australia loved Bert!’ OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN ‘Bert was the original, and the best . . . and one of the kindest, and most generous, that Aussie TV ever produced.’ LISA WILKINSON ‘Bert Newton was the ultimate entertainer. Australian TV wouldn’t be what it is without Bert.’ ADAM HILLS ‘We all grew up with Bert. The ultimate showman.’ DAVID CAMPBELL ‘Just by watching him . . . I learned how to handle the spotlight with grace, dignity, humour, and class.’ HUGH JACKMAN