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Richard Wilkins remembers “wonderful” friendship with Olivia Newton-John in emotional tribute

''Such a classy, beautiful, gorgeous, wonderful lady.''
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Entertainment editor Richard Wilkins has broken down into tears after sharing intimate memories of his friendship with beloved Olivia Newton-John after her long-term battle with breast cancer has come to an end.

When delivering the heartbreaking news on the Today show, Wilkins visibly held back his tears. But broke down in a later segment while remembering his friend.

A glimpse into Richard’s and Olivia’s friendship.

(Image: Getty)

“I didn’t want to do this,” Richard said on air.

“Dickie, I’m so sorry for your loss,” co-host Karl Stefanovic said, and was quickly followed by a warm embrace.

“It’s our loss. The world has lost a beautiful human being today. We kind of knew this day was coming but hoped it would be a long way away.”

Richard Wilkins shares heartbreaking news on air.

(Image: Nine)

Wilkins heard the news of Olivia’s sad death in the early hours of the morning and admitted to his co-hosts: “I’m still numb – I’ve got nothing more I can say.”

The last time he had seen the Grease star was in 2020 when his son Christian Wilkins and Olivia’s daughter, Chloe Lattanzi, appeared in Dancing With The Stars together.

“We were sitting opposite [each other] and she was tearing up,” Richard recollected.

Olivia Newton-John performing at the bushfire relief concert.

(Image: Getty)

Wilkins admitted to listening to Olivia’s “beautiful, pure voice” on his little transistor radio in New Zealand, but later recalled his first in-person encounter with the star in an interview on Nova’s Fitzy and Wippa radio show.

“I think I was hosting a sort of a meet and greet thing she must have been promoting a record or something,” Richard said.

“That was I think the first time I met her and we just got on like a house on fire at this thing.”

WATCH: Olivia Newton-John talks about her cancer battle. Article continues after video

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“Love and light” was a signing off phrase and a way of life for Olivia, and Wilkins described her legacy which will continue even after her death.

“She was never flashy. She was never a show off. You never see her on the social pages. She would just, she just was so dignified,” he said.

“And such a classy, beautiful, gorgeous, wonderful lady and a great mum to [daughter] Chloe.”

“Everybody who was lucky enough to come on her radar, she left with an impression. She was just so generous, she had time for everybody.”

The news of Olivia Newton-John’s death was first shared on social media by husband John Easterling. Family members and friends, including Chloe Lattanzi, have since come forward to share tribute to the Australian icon.

We’re supporting the Olivia Newton-John Foundation by giving them 100% of the profits from the sales of this fabulous ONJ tribute tee. Get yours here.

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