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Legendary Today show newsreader dies a year after refusing cancer treatment

Long-serving Australian newsreader and host of Bandstand Brian Henderson has died at the age of 89 – a year after he turned down treatment for kidney cancer

Australian newsreader Brian Henderson has died aged 89.

The Today show news star passed away with his family by his side on Thursday morning, just a year after he turned down further treatment for kidney cancer.

His death was announced live on air as Karl Stefanovic called him the “absolute legend, gentleman and total professional”.

Karl said on the morning show: “Brian was a much-loved member of the Nine family, hosting the Sydney weeknight news from 1957 until his retirement in 2002, becoming Australia’s longest-serving news presenter.

“He also hosted Bandstand for many years. I knew him – an absolute legend, a gentleman and a total professional who provided guidance and inspiration for many generations who followed. We loved him.”

He concluded: “Brian was married to his lovely wife Mardi for 48 years. She was at his bedside this morning alongside his daughter Jody and Nicole.”

Channel Nine newsreader Brian Henderson dies at 89

New Zealand-born Brian arrived in the country in 1953 to work as a DJ and went on to work for Channel Nine between 1957 and 2002.

He also hosted the hugely popular Australian version of music show Bandstand between 1958 and 1972, helping to launch massive stars such as Peter Allen and the Bee Gees.

Brian revealed in February 2020 that he had decided not to get any further treatment following his diagnosis of kidney cancer.

At the time, he told The Daily Telegraph that he had had a “wonderful life” and simply wanted to spend his final days with those who were closest to him.

He said: “I won’t go tomorrow, but what’s the point of living if you have to spend it in a hospital having treatment after treatment?”

Brian had previously battled – and beaten – melanoma, prostate, bowel and throat cancer.

Fans and famous faces took to Twitter to pass on their condolences.

Australia’s Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy wrote: “When I was growing up. I knew everything I needed to know because Brian told me so.

“The way it is, Thursday August 5. Rest In Peace, Brian Henderson 1931-2021.”

Brian Henderson was inducted into the Logie Hall of Fame at the 2013 Logie Awards


AAP/PA Images)

Broadcaster Margaret Throsby penned: “There are lots of wannabes in broadcasting. And then there are the true greats and Brian Henderson was one of those.

“No ego. Beautiful innate talent as a newsreader, calm, authoritative, natural, no fuss. And a really lovely man. Vale.”

And presenter Ricardo Gonçalves commented: “I remember being in such awe of #brianhenderson when I met him while on work experience at @Channel9 in 1998. A TV legend.”

Brian leaves behind two children from his first marriage, and two children – Nicole, 50, and Jody, 48 – with his second wife, Mardi.

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