A ‘devastated’ Daryl Somers pays tribute to late Hey Hey It’s Saturday star and ‘beloved friend’ John Blackman

Jun 06, 2024
"He had a God-given talent to make people laugh, especially me." Source: Getty Images/ JoeCastro/AAPPHOTOS.

Hey Hey It’s Saturday host Daryl Somers has joined the thousands of fellow Australians who have offered their condolences and paid tribute to the late entertainment icon John Blackman.

Following Blackman’s passing at the age of 76 which was announced on Wednesday, June 5, Somers revealed how “devastated” he was following the loss of his co-star and “beloved friend”.

“He had a God-given talent to make people laugh, especially me,” Somers told the ABC.

“He used to say his mission on Hey Hey was to break me up and at times I’d be crying with uncontrollable laughter.

“Sadly today, I’m just crying.”

Channel 7 entertainment reporter Peter Ford broke the unfortunate news to the Australian public on The Morning Show on Wednesday, June 5, stating that “Australia is a sadder place” following Blackman’s death.

“John was an incredible man. In the past years, he has put up a huge cancer fight,” Ford said.

“He was a beautiful performer on radio and television, in recent years, of course, he’s put up this incredible cancer fight.”

Born July 14, 1947, Blackman began his career in 1969 at 2GN Goulburn, serving as an announcer, newsreader, copywriter, salesman, and record librarian. In 1970, he moved to 2CA Canberra, working various on-air shifts until mid-1971, when he joined 3AW in Melbourne. There, he became known for his work on Nightline.

In 1974, Blackman hosted the morning show on 3AK before moving to Sydney in 1975 to join 2UE as a “floating” announcer. Concurrently, he worked as a staff continuity announcer and daytime newsreader at TCN-9 Sydney while contributing to Hey Hey It’s Saturday.

It was his work with Hey Hey It’s Saturday that cemented his legacy, with his voice work and comedic timing making Dickie Knee a beloved character and a staple of Australian television.

Returning to Melbourne in 1979, Blackman hosted the breakfast show on 3AK until 1981, then moved to 3AW to co-host the breakfast show with Paul Barber, and later, Bruce Mansfield. This partnership dominated the ratings for five years.

After leaving 3AW in 1986, Blackman joined the CBC Network experiment, followed by a stint at 3UZ from 1987 to 1990. He returned to radio in 1997 as a co-host of the 3AK breakfast show until 2000, and later joined Triple M Adelaide, co-hosting the breakfast show until 2007.

Blackman’s television appearances included Blankety Blanks, Personality Squares, The Paul Hogan Show, The Daryl Somers Tonight Show, Holiday Island, and Family Feud. He was also featured on ABC’s Talking Heads in 2006.

Blackman is survived by his wife Cecile and his daughter Tiffany.

Stories that matter
Emails delivered daily
Sign up