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Anzac Day: Richard Wilkins breaks down in tears as he pays tribute to father and grandfather


Richard Wilkins broke down in tears as he reflected upon his father and grandfather’s military roles in World War One during Weekend Today’s special Anzac Day broadcast. 

The 66-year-old entertainment presenter became overwhelmed as photos of his beloved family members flashed on-screen.

‘It’s always a bitter sweet day in our family because it is my son Christian’s birthday today but my grandfather and dad both served,’ he told his co-hosts Jayne Azzopardi and Sophie Walsh.  

‘This is my dad Anthony Richard Wilkins who was in pilot training in Vancouver. He was 21 years of age there,’ he said, clearly becoming emotional. 

Richard burst into tears as a black-and-white photo of Anthony flashed on-screen, followed by a time-worn image of his grandfather George William Thomson.   

‘That’s my granddad on his way to Gallipoli with his mum saying goodbye to him. We had a look at that photo yesterday,’ he sobbed. 

Emotional: Richard Wilkins, 66, (left) broke down in tears on Weekend Today as he paid tribute to his father and grandfather who both served on Anzac Day. Pictured with Jayne Azzopardi (centre) and Sophie Walsh (right) 

'This is my dad': 'Richard burst into tears as a black-and-white photo of his father Anthony (pictured) flashed on-screen, followed by a time-worn image of his grandfather George William Thomson

‘This is my dad’: ‘Richard burst into tears as a black-and-white photo of his father Anthony (pictured) flashed on-screen, followed by a time-worn image of his grandfather George William Thomson

‘Sorry…,’ Richard said, as he tried to calm himself down.  

‘It’s OK. Don’t apologise,’ Jayne replied, placing a gentle hand on his shoulder. 

‘It’s an emotional day for everyone, all families across Australia. It’s beautiful that you shared those photos with us. Thank you,’ she added.    

Archives: Richard also shared this picture of his grandfather saying goodbye to his mother as he left for Gallipoli

Archives: Richard also shared this picture of his grandfather saying goodbye to his mother as he left for Gallipoli 

Upset: 'That's my granddad on his way to Gallipoli with his mum saying goodbye to him. We had a look at that photo yesterday,' he sobbed

Upset: ‘That’s my granddad on his way to Gallipoli with his mum saying goodbye to him. We had a look at that photo yesterday,’ he sobbed 

Richard had previously become emotional on Saturday’s Weekend Today during another discussion about his family’s connection to the Anzac legacy. 

 During the show, Richard explained that he was recently talking to his sister about their grandfather who went to Gallipoli, Turkey, in World War One. 

His grandfather, George William Thomson, was a qualified dentist was part of the New Zealand medical corps and tended to injured and dying soldiers.

Remembering: Richard also became emotional on Saturday as he discussed his family's strong connection to the Anzac legacy on Weekend Today

Remembering: Richard also became emotional on Saturday as he discussed his family’s strong connection to the Anzac legacy on Weekend Today 

A black-and-white photo of his father appeared on screen, causing the TV host to hold back his emotions.

‘That’s my dad there, who was in Vancouver learning to be a pilot in 1944, aged 21. Amazing. I hadn’t seen him for some time,’ he proudly said.

Returning to talk about his conversation with his sister about their grandfather, Richard continued: ‘She found one (photo) of my grandfather off to war and his mother sending him away. It’s all there, amazing.’

'It¿s quite overwhelming': Richard visited Gallipoli in 2015 with Today to mark the sombre occasion and pay his respects to the fallen

‘It’s quite overwhelming’: Richard visited Gallipoli in 2015 with Today to mark the sombre occasion and pay his respects to the fallen

‘It’s a great time for all of us to reflect I think a little bit,’ he told his co-host Jayne Azzopardi.

Richard previously visited Gallipoli in 2015 with Today to mark the sombre occasion and pay his respects to the fallen.

He said at the time: ‘It’s quite overwhelming, I was keeping a stiff upper lip until tonight, when we visited a Turk memorial at Ari Burnu.’ 

Memories: Richard told Daily Mail Australia at the time of his immense pride at the role his grandfather played and at seeing the medals and reading his diary at the war memorial in Auckland. Pictured is Richard with his grandfather George

Memories: Richard told Daily Mail Australia at the time of his immense pride at the role his grandfather played and at seeing the medals and reading his diary at the war memorial in Auckland. Pictured is Richard with his grandfather George

‘When you’re working, when you are shooting a story, it’s about doing a piece and you’ve got to do it right, we are doing your job… but it just happens to be about your granddad, it changes things,’ he added. 

Richard also spoke to Daily Mail Australia at the time of his immense pride at the role his grandfather played and at seeing the medals and reading his diary at the war memorial in Auckland.

‘It was something I thought about doing for some time because I was aware he was a young dentist, straight out of uni, who had enlisted in the war went to Egypt and found himself here at Gallipoli, helping to mend soldiers so they could continue to serve,’ he said.

Family history: He said, 'It was something I thought about doing for some time because I was aware he was a young dentist, straight out of uni, who had enlisted in the war went to Egypt and found himself here at Gallipoli, helping to mend soldiers so they could continue to serve'

Family history: He said, ‘It was something I thought about doing for some time because I was aware he was a young dentist, straight out of uni, who had enlisted in the war went to Egypt and found himself here at Gallipoli, helping to mend soldiers so they could continue to serve’



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