If you ask any Aussie who they think is the most iconic household name in the country, there's a good chance they'll tell you it's Ray Meagher.
His legendary Home and Away character Alf Stewart single-handedly brought the phrase "stone the flamin' crows" and "strewth" into our common vocab - which in and of itself makes Ray a living, breathing Aussie icon.
But despite playing Summer Bay's most recognisable character for the past 34 years, Ray doesn't see himself as much of a star.
Speaking exclusively to TV WEEK, Ray says he's shocked but humbled to have been nominated for the 2022 Gold Logie Award for Most Popular Personality on Australian Television.
"It felt pretty good but it's also a bit of a surprise. I sort of thought my golden days were over 12 years ago when I won it," the 77-year-old says, referring to his 2010 Gold Logie win.
"Even back then I thought my golden days were over before I'd even had any golden days! I don't see myself as a Gold Logie sort of a nominee. There are always plenty of people more deserving."
When it comes to who Ray would love to see win the coveted award this year, he has his money on fellow Channel Seven star Sonia Kruger.
"I love Sonia Kruger, we're out at the same stable," he laughs. "I hope she wins it."
To see the full list of 2022 TV WEEK Gold Logie Award nominees, click here.
"Let me go one further and say if she didn't [win], Hamish Blake has got to be one of the nicest people on the planet."
As for his other fellow Gold Logie nominees; Julia Morris, Tom Gleeson, Karl Stefanovic and Melissa Leong, Ray insists there's nothing but love between them.
"The problem is it's hard to hate any of the bastards, they're all lovely people," he laughs.
While viewers would naturally predict there'd be tense rivalry between the nominees, Ray says he had the time of his life at the nominations ceremony in May on the Gold Coast.
"We spent four or five hours together from start to finish. And it was just a very relaxed, very pleasant period of time," he says.
"I normally hate hair and makeup and photographs and standing still when you're doing 400 shots and all of that, but on that day spending the time with those people it was very, very pleasant."
With the Logie Awards returning on June 19 following a two-year COVID hiatus, Ray says there's no better time to celebrate to hard work of the embattled Australian TV and film industry.
"I just think people throw muck at the Logies and have done since time immemorial and that's fine that's their opinion. But it's just become a TV institution," he gushes.
"It's a wonderful celebration of the industry in that people form all channels, all networks, everything get together and catch up with old mates.
"People who are new to the business get to meet a whole pile of people who aren't necessarily from their network. It's just a fantastic celebration."
But no matter the outcome on the night, Ray says his nomination is testament to the hard work put in by the Home and Away cast and crew.
"Whether you win or lose, it's not the be all and end all. It's a validation of everybody's work," he says.
"I wouldn't be here without it. Whether over the years, over the winners are justified, that's very subjective and nothing to do with us. If viewers have enjoyed our work, that's what's important."