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Bert Newton state funeral Melbourne

Stars of stage and screen have begun arriving at the state funeral for entertainment great Bert Newton, who died last month aged 83. 

The legendary Australian showman is being farewelled at St Patrick’s Cathedral in East Melbourne, with the service commencing at 10am. 

After an entertainment career spanning eight decades, Newton was the last link between the dawn of Australian television and today’s industry. 

Newton’s wife of 47 years, Patti, accepted an offer by Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews for a state funeral shortly after his death on October 30.

Patti waved and blew kisses to waiting television cameras when she arrived in a stretch limousine with daughter Lauren and her six grandchildren. 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese led the dignitaries.

Television personalities Eddie McGuire, Molly Meldrum, Daryl Somers and Sam Newman were among other early arrivals in the light rain.  

The service, which is limited to 500 family, friends and former colleagues, is being live streamed on Channel 7, Channel 9 and Channel 10 as well as the Victorian Government website. 

Bert Newton’s widow Patti waves as she arrives at her late husband Bert’s funeral with one of her six grandchildren on Friday

Stars of stage and screen have begun arriving at the state funeral for entertainment great Bert Newton, who died last month aged 83. The legendary Australian showman is being farewelled at St Patrick's Cathedral in East Melbourne, with the service commencing at 10am

Stars of stage and screen have begun arriving at the state funeral for entertainment great Bert Newton, who died last month aged 83. The legendary Australian showman is being farewelled at St Patrick’s Cathedral in East Melbourne, with the service commencing at 10am

A family photograph and one of Newton's Gold Logies were on display with other memorabilia the entertainment giant's state funeral in Melbourne

A family photograph and one of Newton’s Gold Logies were on display with other memorabilia the entertainment giant’s state funeral in Melbourne

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese led the dignitaries. Mr Morrison is pictured wearing an Australian flag face mask

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese led the dignitaries. Mr Morrison is pictured wearing an Australian flag face mask

Mr Andrews has described Newton as ‘an icon, a larrikin and a born entertainer’.

‘We have never known TV without Bert – he was there from the beginning,’ Mr Andrews said.

‘Above all his achievements, he was a family man and his greatest partnership was with his wife of almost 50 years, Patti.

The man affectionately known as Moonface was a four-time Gold Logie winner and Logie Hall of Fame inductee.

Alongside Graham Kennedy and Don Lane, he was part of a trio known as the kings of Australian television.

A stalwart of Australian theatre, Newton performed in Beauty and the Beast, The Sound of Music, Annie, The Rocky Horror Show, Grease and Wicked.

Newtown suffered major health problems in the final year of his life, had a leg amputated in May due to a life-threatening infection, and Newton died in palliative care at a private clinic in Melbourne.

Eddie McGuire (left) and Sam Newman (right) came to farewell their old colleague and friend

Eddie McGuire (left) and Sam Newman (right) came to farewell their old colleague and friend

Former Countdown host and close Newton friend arrived in one of his trademark hats

Former Countdown host and close Newton friend arrived in one of his trademark hats

One of Bert Newton's six grandchildren gets ready to step out of a stretch limousine at her beloved grandfather's funeral

One of Bert Newton’s six grandchildren gets ready to step out of a stretch limousine at her beloved grandfather’s funeral

Newton's flag-draped casket is pictured outside St Patrick's Cathedral in Melbourne on Friday morning

Newton’s flag-draped casket is pictured outside St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne on Friday morning 

Australian television legend Bert Newton died at the age of 83 on October 30

Australian television legend Bert Newton died at the age of 83 on October 30

Patti walked into the cathedral with Lauren but son Matt is in New York where he lives. Matt has written a message which will be read at the service. 

Channel 9 presenter McGuire was ‘deeply honoured’ to deliver a eulogy at Patti’s request. 

Patti has been intimately involved in planning the funeral, choosing the hymns and prayers. Musical theatre legend Rhonda Burchmore will deliver a reading.

Newton’s daughter Lauren has six children: Sam, 11, Eva, nine, Lola, six, Monty, two, Perla, 19 months, and newborn son, Alby.   

TV funnyman Andy Lee came to pay his respects to entertainment legend Bert Newton with partner Rebecca Harding

TV funnyman Andy Lee came to pay his respects to entertainment legend Bert Newton with partner Rebecca Harding

Singer Marina Prior arrives at the funeral

Entertainer Tonia Todman was among mourners

Singer Marina Prior and entertainer Tonia Todman were among the mourners

Newton's order of service commemorated the TV legend and listed the hymns and prayers chosen by his widow Patti

Newton’s order of service commemorated the TV legend and listed the hymns and prayers chosen by his widow Patti 

The TV personality is survived by his wife Patti, his two kids and six grandchildren

The TV personality is survived by his wife Patti, his two kids and six grandchildren

Celebrity tributes poured in after Newton’s death.

Opposition leader Anthony Albanese shared his heartfelt condolences to Newton’s family.

‘My heart goes out to his family who have lost a husband, a father and friend. And to Australia who have lost an icon,’ he tweeted.

Former Labor leader Bill Shorten described Newton as a ‘world class entertainer’ and a ‘true Melbourne legend’.

Comedian and TV presenter Rove McManus said that he’d lost a ‘mentor and friend’ in Bert. 

Today Extra host, David Campbell said the late TV star was ‘the ultimate showman’.

‘The absolute and of an era. We all grew up with Bert. The ultimate showman. The man who made us all laugh,’ he wrote.

Comedian Adam Hills sung his praises, declaring Newton the ‘ultimate entertainer’.

‘Australian TV wouldn’t be what it is without Bert. It’s up to us all to take what he taught us, and keep his spirit alive,’ he said.

‘Enormous love to his family. Take a bow, Bert. You deserve the applause.’

Former Liberal treasurer and Nine Entertainment chairman Peter Costello attended the funeral

Federal Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese arrived in a South Sydney Rabbitohs face mask

Former Liberal treasurer and Nine Entertainment chairman Peter Costello (left) attended the funeral. Federal Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese (right) arrived in a South Sydney face mask

Channel 9's long-serving voice-over artist Pete Smith is pictured arriving at the funeral with wife Jackie

Channel 9’s long-serving voice-over artist Pete Smith is pictured arriving at the funeral with wife Jackie

Channel 9 presenter Richard Wilkins said Australia had ‘lost a legend’ while Channel 7 newsreader Michael Usher said Newton deserved a ‘standing ovation’. 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison posted a lengthy statement about Newton on social media just hours after his death.

Mr Morrison said that there will ‘never be another like him’ and credited Bert as a star of television’s ‘golden age’.

He also celebrated Newton’s marriage to Patti and acknowledged his ‘steadfast love’ for her.

Final photo: On October 24, Patti posted a photo of a beaming Bert recovering in his hospital bed while surrounded by five of his grandchildren

Final photo: On October 24, Patti posted a photo of a beaming Bert recovering in his hospital bed while surrounded by five of his grandchildren

Newton was born in Fitzroy on July 23, 1938, and was the youngest of six children. 

He entered the entertainment industry aged 11, when he started appearing on radio station 3XY in 1950. 

Newton continued reading advertisements for the station throughout high school, and eventually dropped out of school to work there as a DJ.

‘When I left school I went to 3XY and got a job as a turntable operator playing the records and they wanted me to train as an announcer,’ he told the Herald Sun. 

‘I finished up getting on air at 15, which was then the youngest announcer in Melbourne, and that was the start of everything.’

Bert receives a kiss on the cheek from wife Patti while holding two Logies in 1981

Bert receives a kiss on the cheek from wife Patti while holding two Logies in 1981

Bert and Patti shared two children together, including son Matthew (pictured with Bert)

Bert and Patti shared two children together, including son Matthew (pictured with Bert)

Newton made the leap to TV in 1957, just one year after the launch of commercial television in Australia.

His first major gig on the small screen was as the host of The Late Show from 1957 to 1959. 

Newton then jumped over to rival network Nine and formed a long partnership with Graham Kennedy. 

Newton quickly became Kennedy’s loveable sidekick and the pair worked together across various shows for almost 15 years.

Newton hosted The Annual TV Week Logie Awards for the first time in 1968, and would go on to host the ceremony 19 times. 

A young Bert is pictured in the early days of his showbiz career

A young Bert is pictured in the early days of his showbiz career

Newton (left) formed a friendship and partnership with Graham Kennedy (right) in the late 50s which would last for years

Newton (left) formed a friendship and partnership with Graham Kennedy (right) in the late 50s which would last for years 

The most infamous moments in Newton’s career came at 1979’s Logies, when he accidentally insulted boxing legend Muhammed Ali without realising it.

The pair were presenting an award together when Bert affectionally called the fighter, ‘boy’, without realising that it was considered an insult in America. 

One of Newton’s most popular roles was as the host of the wildly successful talent show New Faces, from 1976 to 1985.

Newton was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1979, for his service to the performing arts. 

In his later years, he became best known for hosting Good Morning Australia from 1993 to 2005 and Nine’s 20 to 1 from 2006 to 2011.

Many Australians will remember Bert as the host of Good Morning Australia from 1992 to 2005

Many Australians will remember Bert as the host of Good Morning Australia from 1992 to 2005

Newton married Patti in 1974 at St Dominic’s Parish Church in Camberwell, in what was one of the biggest Australian celebrity weddings of the decade.

The couple was besieged by fans and members of the media outside the church, and barely made it through the crowd and into their waiting car to leave.

They had originally met as children working in radio, and then later reconnected during Newton’s time at Channel Seven.

‘I was working on the QE11 in 1974 43 years ago. Bert surprised me and got on board and asked me to marry him. A wonderful Australia Day and the best thing I ever did xx,’ Patti wrote on Instagram in 2017.  

‘We lived and worked everything that was happening on television, we’ve spent a lot of time together,’ she previously told Now to Love.

‘If anything happens to either of us, whichever one it is will find it very difficult because we’ve been in one another’s pockets for well over 50 years.’

Patti previously said that she would find it 'very difficult' to be without Bert

Patti previously said that she would find it ‘very difficult’ to be without Bert

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