Bert: The story of Australia’s favourite TV star
Hachette, $45 hb, 376 pp
In the world of Australian popular entertainment, few personalities are more prominent than Bert Newton. Since the 1950s he has been a presence on radio and television, as announcer, talk show host, compère, interviewer, and musical comedy star. Love him or loathe him, ‘Old Moonface’ has impressed as much for his ability to survive the ups and downs of showbiz politics as for his body of work. Whatever fate has thrown at him, he has risen, phoenix-like, from the ashes until the expiration of his Channel Nine contract earlier this year. Graeme Blundell’s biography attempts to reveal the man behind the flashing smile and famously quick wit. He draws on news reports, personal interviews with Newton’s colleagues and friends, as well as extracts from articles and television programs, to build a composite picture of a media celebrity.