Published: Tue, April 11, 2017
Science | By Boyd Webster

PM Turnbull pays tribute to John Clarke

PM Turnbull pays tribute to John Clarke

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, for whom John worked, has confirmed he died on Sunday of natural causes, while hiking in the Grampians National Park in Victoria.

Max Gillies, for whom Clarke wrote The Gillies Report in 1984, said his friend and colleague had "an incalculable gift" for comedy.

Clarke said in a Listener interview in 1990.

"He was a wonderful man".

A household name in Australia and New Zealand, Clarke was inducted into the TV Week Logies Hall of Fame in 2007.

He was best known in recent years for skewering politicians alongside his comedy partner, Bryan Dawe, in a popular television segment.

"We started as an ABC radio show back in the day of the wind-up wireless", Clarke, the court jester to Dawe's straight shooter, told The West Australian.

He became famous in the 1970s for portraying a New Zealand farmer called Fred Dagg on stage, film and television.

It's about the best thing that can be said about you in Australia: 'Christ he was amusing.' Vale, John Clarke.

"Sad to hear of the death of John Clarke, aka Fred Dagg".

Been enjoying the old John Clarke clips this morning. He made it believable and very very amusing.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you John, you never knew me and I'm sure if we ever did have the incredible fortune to meet, you would have berated my unusually tall height before instructing your security detail to pull no punches in my violent removal from your presence. "And his work with Bryan Dawe over decades has been as good as anything put to air anywhere in the world".

Clarke established a career as a distinctive satirist who ignored the conventions of costume and make-up and amused audiences simply with the strength of his wit, which grew progressively more political and acerbic as the years passed.

It was John Clarke.

Although Fred Dagg became a runaway success, Clarke again fell foul of the NZBC. I, like so many, owe him so much'.

"Stunned to hear of John Clarke's tragic & untimely death". Publications included A Complete Dagg in 1989, The Complete Book of Australian Verse in 1989 and Great Interviews of the 20th Century in 1990.

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