John Blackman: Hey Hey It’s Saturday star dies at the age of 76 after harrowing battle with cancer and major surgery to remove his jaw

Australian radio star John Blackman has died at the age of 76 after opening up about his harrowing battle with cancer and surgery to remove his jaw.

The Hey Hey It’s Saturday star passed away after a heart attack on Tuesday, according to The Morning Show’s celebrity spokesperson Peter Ford.

John’s death comes just months after he opened up about his gruelling cancer battle, which saw him undergo a 12-hour operation in 2018 to remove his jaw.

In 2022, John faced a second battle when he was diagnosed with brain cancer, which was removed with a six hour operation that left a titanium mesh plate in his head.

Not long before his passing, John was thought to have been told he had to return to hospital for more surgery this year after his cancer had devastatingly come back.

Australian radio star John Blackman has died at the age of 76

He is believed to have died from a heart attack and is survived by his wife Cecile, who he married in December 1972, and his daughter Tiffany, 28.

Peter paid tribute to the ‘incredible’ radio legend on the Channel 7 breakfast show and told how John had passed away at his home after going for a rest.

‘John had got home and was having a rest in the afternoon yesterday. He came out to the kitchen and said to Cecile “I’m not feeling so great. I’ll just had a sit down on the couch”,’ Peter shared.

The reporter added that John had recently been told he had to go in for more surgery after his cancer had returned following his life-saving 2018 operation.

‘He told me last week that this Monday, he was to go in for more surgery because something had returned and he wasn’t thrilled about that,’ he went on.

‘But I was told it wasn’t the cancer that had taken him. His wife Cecil called them this morning to share the news.’

He went on to praise John for keeping his sense of humour throughout his difficult cancer battle and paid tribute to the ‘beautiful performer’. 

‘Australia is a sadder place with this news breaking now. John was an incredible man, he was a beautiful performer on radio and television. In recent years he has put up this incredible cancer fight,’ he emotionally said.

‘His cancer battle that saw them take away a major part of his jaw. He still got out and about and he would find a way to laugh at things. 

‘If anyone was disarmed when they saw his appearance, he would make them comfortable straight away. He had the ability to relax you and let you have a laugh.’

His beloved fans were also quick to take to social media to pay tribute to the radio legend and thank him for his famous sense of humour over the years.

One said: ‘Thanks for so many laughs, John. My childhood was richer because of you. Vale John Blackman.’

‘RIP John Blackman,’ another wrote,’ while a third added: ‘RIP John Blackman condolences to the family.’

A fourth penned: ‘Thoughts and prayers to family and friends of John Blackman. RIP. So sad to hear his passing, the laughs have stopped for a while.’

Earlier this year, John bravely opened up about his cancer battle and surgery, which saw him have his jaw removed.

In 2018, John had a massive 12-hour operation to remove a cancerous growth on his mouth and jaw.

In January, he told how his life changed after the life-saving operation, which stripped him of his cancer but meant he couldn’t work in front of a microphone again.

‘When I went to my surgeon to get the results of the test he said, “Look, John, your life is going to change completely from now on”,’ he told the Herald Sun. 

‘Professionally, financially, emotionally, it is never going to be the same again. You will never work in front of a mic again.’

He bravely told how the operation, which saw his jaw removed, couldn’t rob him of his well-known sense of humour. 

‘Everything the surgeon said has come true. Even now talking to you, it is painful. I can’t do what I love,’ John went on.

‘Thankfully, I still have my sense of humour, they did not remove that.’