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Legendary Channel Nine newsreader Brian Henderson dies at 89 following a battle with cancer 


Legendary Channel Nine newsreader Brian Henderson has died at age 89.

The TV and radio pioneer, known for his long association with Nine Network, passed away with his family by his side on Thursday morning – one year after refusing further treatment for kidney cancer. 

Today show host Karl Stefanovic announced the tragic news live on-air, where he honoured the ‘absolute legend, gentleman and total professional’. 

Legendary Channel Nine newsreader Brian Henderson has died at age 89. Pictured here in 2013 when he was inducted into the Logie Hall of Fame 

‘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,’ Karl said on Thursday morning. 

‘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.’

The New Zealand born journalist leaves behind two children from his first marriage, and two children, Nicole, 50, and Jody, 48, with his second wife, Mardi. 

Brian also hosted the wildly popular Australian version of music show Bandstand between 1958 and 1972, which launched now iconic stars such as Peter Allen and the Bee Gees

Brian also hosted the wildly popular Australian version of music show Bandstand between 1958 and 1972, which launched now iconic stars such as Peter Allen and the Bee Gees

In February 2020, Brian had revealed his decision to refuse further treatment or surgery after he was diagnosed with kidney cancer. Pictured: Brian announcing his retirement in 2002

In February 2020, Brian had revealed his decision to refuse further treatment or surgery after he was diagnosed with kidney cancer. Pictured: Brian announcing his retirement in 2002

Karl 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.’

Today Extra host host David Campbell shared the news to his Twitter page on Thursday, writing: ‘Brian Henderson has passed away. A legendary broadcaster and true gentleman. RIP to one of the greats.’  

In February 2020, Brian had revealed his decision to refuse further treatment or surgery after he was diagnosed with kidney cancer.

He told The Daily Telegraph at the time that he’d had a ‘wonderful life’, and wanted to spend his last days with those close to him.

The New Zealand born journalist leaves behind two children from his first marriage, and two children, Nicole, 50, and Jody, 48, with his second wife, Mardi, pictured here in 2006

The New Zealand born journalist leaves behind two children from his first marriage, and two children, Nicole, 50, and Jody, 48, with his second wife, Mardi, pictured here in 2006

Brian, who has beat cancer on four previous occasions, 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?’

Prior to his diagnosis, the TV veteran had beaten melanoma, prostate, bowel and throat cancer over the years. 

Brian refused to have intrusive keyhole surgery to remove his right kidney and said he was not interested in undergoing radiation or chemotherapy.

In his past, Brian has had his prostate and some of his bowel taken out - and described his 2014 diagnosis with throat cancer as a 'toughie'. Pictured in the Nine News Sydney studio in 2002

In his past, Brian has had his prostate and some of his bowel taken out – and described his 2014 diagnosis with throat cancer as a ‘toughie’. Pictured in the Nine News Sydney studio in 2002

‘My doctor said the tumour in my kidney is likely to be slow growing so I’ve decided, at my age, to leave it there,’ he added. ‘The doctor said I’m likely to die of something else before this kills me.’

In his past, Brian has had his prostate and some of his bowel taken out – and described his 2014 diagnosis with throat cancer as a ‘toughie’. 

He added that he worried about his doting wife Mardi being lonely when he’s gone.

The couple met when Mardi was only 16, and Brian was 33, and her parents forbid them to marry until she had turned 18.

Brian was Australia's longest serving newsreader, arriving in the country in 1953 to work as a DJ, before working for Channel Nine between 1957 and 2002

Brian was Australia’s longest serving newsreader, arriving in the country in 1953 to work as a DJ, before working for Channel Nine between 1957 and 2002

‘Brian was my first real love…It’s been years of wedded bliss. We are also best friends – always have been,’ Mardi told New Idea in 2014. 

In an interview with Nine News presenter Peter Overton inn 2020, Brian said he ‘wasn’t afraid’ of death, and told the reporter they would ‘catch up for a drink’ when both of them were ‘on the other side’. 

Brian was Australia’s longest serving newsreader, arriving in the country in 1953 to work as a DJ, before working for Channel Nine between 1957 and 2002.

Brian Henderson told The Daily Telegraph in February 2020 that he wanted to spend his last days with his family and doting wife of 48 years, Mardi. Pictured: Brian in the Logies Hall of Fame in 2013

Brian Henderson told The Daily Telegraph in February 2020 that he wanted to spend his last days with his family and doting wife of 48 years, Mardi. Pictured: Brian in the Logies Hall of Fame in 2013

He also hosted the wildly popular Australian version of music show Bandstand between 1958 and 1972, which launched now iconic stars such as Peter Allen and the Bee Gees.

He won two Gold Logies during his illustrious career, the first in 1968 as the host of Bandstand.

Brian received his second in 2013, when he became the 30th member of the TV Week Logies Hall of Fame.

He retired from working in television in 2002.

Peter Costello, Chairman of Nine, said in a statement: ‘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.’

Nine Chariman Peter Costello said in a statement: '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' Pictured: Brian celebrating Australian television's 50th birthday in 2006

Nine Chariman Peter Costello said in a statement: ‘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’ Pictured: Brian celebrating Australian television’s 50th birthday in 2006



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