Hey Hey It’s Saturday star Daryl Somers dedicates recent honour to the late John Blackman

Jul 03, 2024
As Somers was awarded the Victorian of the Year award, the 72-year-old paid tribute to Blackman once more by dedicating the award to his "dear friend". Source: Getty Images.

After friends and family bid an emotional farewell to entertainment legend John Blackman recently, his Hey Hey It’s Saturday co-star Daryl Somers is keeping his memory alive by dedicating a recent honour to the late television icon.

Blackman’s passing at the age of 76 was announced on Wednesday, June 5, much to the shock of fans and those close to him.

On Sunday, June 23, friends, family and colleagues gathered in Melbourne to bid farewell to Blackman and honour his legacy in the entertainment industry in a moving funeral service.

Now, as Somers was awarded the Victorian of the Year award, the 72-year-old paid tribute to Blackman once more by dedicating the award to his “dear friend”.

“I’m a born and bred Victorian. You think about the highs and lows in life and this is a high for me at the end of a rather solemn week,” Somers said as he received the honour.

“Last week we laid to rest my dear friend John Blackman. John was a passionate and loyal Victorian as well.

“He is not here, but in part I’d like to dedicate this award to him because we had an endearing friendship. I love the guy. We went back over 50 years.”

Somers had previously joined the thousands of fellow Australians who offered their condolences and paid tribute to the late entertainment icon, revealing 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 at the time of Blackman’s passing.

“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.”

The overwhelming response and sea of tributes from fans and colleagues was hardly surprising given Blackman’s impressive career in the entertainment industry.

Blackman began his stellar 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 on the popular variety show 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.



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