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RIP: Sydney newsreader Brian Henderson dies aged 89

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The legendary ‘Hendo’ has passed away just one month before his 90th birthday.

In February the iconic presenter of Nine News Sydney spoke to Peter Overton about his battle with kidney cancer. It was his fifth cancer diagnosis.

Henderson rose to fame as the host of Bandstand from 1958 until 1972. He also became a Sydney institution as the presenter of National Nine News from 1957 until his retirement in 2002.

His name became synonymous with news after a clever promo campaign with a catchy song called ‘Brian told me’.

Known as a tough taskmaster, viewers believed he ran a tight ship at Nine and they trusted every word he uttered. This was at a time when viewers didn’t fully understand the production side of TV. Even though Hendo wasn’t the boss, viewers assumed he was in charge.

And to be honest, so did the newsroom.

Hendo’s news set was actually on the newsroom floor out in the open. At 6pm the newsroom would go into silence while Henderson read the news, usually alongside sport presenter Ken Suttcliffe.

Any noise, for any reason, would be met with a glare.

A key believer in the presentation of the news, Hendo would deliver word-perfect introductions at a time when live crosses were rare.

His style will never be recreated and his impact on the Harbour city will never be matched.

Channel 9 has aired a beautiful tribute during the TODAY show, which you can watch in this tweet below:

The industry is reacting to the sad news of his passing. Peter Costello, Chairman of Nine, stated;

“Brian Henderson was the best of the best, he was iconic. The ultimate professional and the trusted face of television news for generations of Australians.

“Hendo was not just a much loved newsman he also brought modern pop music to generations of Australian teenagers through his hosting role on Bandstand.

“He was trusted, he had a warmth that he brought into the living rooms of millions of Australians. He will be deeply missed but his giant legacy and contribution will live on in the DNA of Nine.”

And Darren Wick, Nine’s Director of News and Current Affairs, said;

“Hendo was much loved and idolised by everyone of us lucky enough to have worked with him and learn from him.

“He was the biggest star in a 9News team that boasted the biggest names in journalism – Laurie Oakes, Liz Hayes, Georgie Gardner, Ken Sutcliffe, Peter Harvey, Robert Penfold, Peter Overton, Leila McKinnon, Allison Langdon and Karl Stefanovic.

“He was the epitome of credibility, reliability and clarity. He set the standard that we aspire to live up to every night of the week.”

More to come

Robert McKnighthttps://tvblackbox.com.au/robert-mcknight/
"Leading TV commentator" - The Daily Telegraph | "Known for his impeccable sources in the TV industry" - The Daily Mail | "Always first with the correct info" - Beau Ryan | Robert McKnight is a highly regarded Australian Television Producer having worked at SEVEN, NINE and TEN during his 25 years in the industry. Publicly he is most well-known for creating and producing STUDIO 10 but has worked on SUNRISE, THE MORNING SHOW plus other prime time productions in addition to creating award-winning news campaigns for both 7NEWS and 9NEWS. Currently, Rob is the host and producer of the TV BLACKBOX, MCKNIGHT TONIGHT and MONSTERS WHO MURDER podcast, and was the creator, host & executive producer of the video streaming show THE ANJ, ROB & ROBBO SHOW.
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