Ever since Bert Newton first appeared on TV screens in August 1957, the Australian public have held the icon close to their chests.
From working alongside Graham Kennedy on In Melbourne Tonight to scoring himself a Hall of Fame TV WEEK Logie, Bert’s every step – and his wife Patti – has gained attention.
In an exclusive chat to celebrate TV WEEK's 60th birthday, Bert opens up about family, fame, career and his health.
Bert, 79, and wife Patti, 72, are grandparents to daughter Lauren and husband Matt Welsh’s four children – Sam, nine, Eva, eight, Lola, five, and Monty, 21 months.
“I’ve even been babysitting today, and I love it,” he says.
So, do the kids have the spark for a life in showbiz?
“I’m not seeing any spark to follow what Patti and I did," he tells TV WEEK. "But it’s actually more about the whole life waiting ahead for them – and I want to be a part of that as long as I can be.
“It really doesn’t matter what they do, as long as they’re happy.”
Despite undergoing a quadruple bypass heart surgery in 2012 and battling pneumonia this year, Bert says his health is doing well.
“My health is back to 100 per cent,” he tells TV WEEK.
“Pneumonia has been my greatest danger and the thing I have to be careful about.
“But I’m feeling food. Life is still a very good time.”
After being on our screens for decades, Bert does have some highlights.
“That era through the 1970s and ‘80s was a time I loved. I’d married Pattie, the girl I loved, we were having our children, Matthew and Lauren, I had The Don Lane Show, New Faces, the Logies, as well as a successful radio show. It was a wonderful time,” he says.
“I remember thinking at one stage, ‘This can’t last forever’. But the fact is it did last for so long and it’s a joy to look back on.”
He continues: “I can truthfully say that career-wise, I’ve had success in stages, but I don’t regret anything at all. And at this point of my life, that’s a very good feeling."
For the full chat, pick up our special 60th birthday issue, on sale now.
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