Broadcaster Ben Fordham revealed the heartbreaking news that his father John Fordham has passed away, penning an emotional tribute to the “wonderful” man on Monday morning. The 42-year-old 2GB host confirmed the sad news on social media, revealing that he had been by his side when he died.
John – who was a well-known celebrity agent, with clients including Stuart and Chappell, Lisa Wilkinson, Tracy Grimshaw and Andrew Johns – passed away at around 7am on Sunday, following a long battle with throat cancer, according to News.com.au. Following the news, Ben shared a touching tribute to his 75-year-old father.
“My dad has passed away,” he wrote on Instagram, alongside a picture of himself with his dad. “It was the most peaceful goodbye. We were all there with him and feel blessed. What a bloke. When we were growing up, he spent every spare minute playing on the street with all of the neighbourhood kids. He built a business with my mum that set the standard for public relations and personality management. He was a wonderful donor to charity and established the Head and Neck Cancer Foundation.”
Ben added: “As a mate, he was the best. If any of his family or friends or clients were in trouble, he’d go to war.. ‘If you grab the tail, you get the whole tiger’ – that was Jack. We’re going to miss him but thankfully we took every chance to tell him how much we love him. That’s the trick. No regrets.”
The father-of-three also revealed that his dad is being appointed a Member of the Order of Australia on Monday in recognition of his commitment to charity work, having long donated
After the sad news broke, many Australian celebrities paid their own tributes to John – also known as Jack – including Grant Denyer, who wrote to Ben: “Im sorry to hear mate. What a legend! So glad to hear you didn’t leave anything on the table and he leaves this world knowing how loved he was. Big hug mate.”
The Project star Lisa Wilkinson commented: “He left his mark in so many ways Ben. So many achievements, so many passions…but it was you, Sarah and Nick, Maisie and Coco, Freddy, Pearl and Goldie that were his greatest achievements. Rest easy John. All my love Ben.” While The Morning Show’s Kylie Gillies wrote: “What a man and what a legacy.”
While Lisa’s husband Peter Fitzgerald penned an article for the Sydney Morning Herald in which he paid tribute to Fordham, writing: “In business, Fordham played the game ruthlessly, driving hard to get the best contracts for his clients. Personally, he was unfailingly warm and engaging.
“He did a great deal for charity, including establishing the Head and Neck Foundation two years ago, as well as completing a very successful stint at the rugby charity, The Cauliflower Club, even while fighting his illness.
“It was his mass of charity work which was the basis for the application made by his many supporters for recognition to become a Member of the Order Of Australia, which would have been announced on Australia Day.”
John’s passing comes just days after Ben made the decision to wrap up his radio show early, in a bid to spend more time with his dad as he continued to battle throat cancer.