John Hamblin, Favorite Children’s TV Host Play School for almost 30 years, passed away at the age of 87, ABC confirmed.
The fan favorite, who is affectionately known as “Naughty John”, has presented the ABC program for nearly three decades and is a familiar friendly face to generations of Australian children.
British-born Hamblin first appeared on Play School in 1970 and went on to star in over 350 episodes of the series.
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To fans, he was known as “Naughty John” and “Funny John” during his time on the show thanks to his signature sense of humour.
After retiring as a presenter in 1999, Hamblin continued to star in television shows. All Saints and Love my way.
He also returned to the screen as part of Play School’s Special 50th anniversary in 2016.
Before joining the iconic children’s show, Hamblin started out as a soap opera actor. Notably, in 1984, he played Michael Chamberlain in the TV series The Disappearance of Azaria Chamberlain.
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“John is an unforgettable presenter whose sense of humor and wit has helped establish Play School as one of Australia’s most beloved children’s programmes,” said ABC Director Entertainment & Expert Jennifer Collins said in a statement.
“John has a wicked sense of humor and is unafraid of two-faced scammers. His presence always tries to keep both our target audience of toddlers and their parents equally engaged. with the program. My condolences to John’s family at this sad time.”
Hamblin is survived by his two children, Emma and Myles.
Fans of the late TV presenter took to social media to mourn his passing.
“One of the best Play School a person writes on Facebook.
“A wonderful man who gave us so many special memories,” another said.
“As a third generation Play School family, the position of my favorite host is a great honor and dedicated to John Hamblin,” one parent wrote.
“As a parent in the ’80s and ’90s, he made me laugh and smile and even now as a grandmother he’s still in our regular roles. Play School playlists on Spotify. I was seven years old when he first joined the cast, three years old when Play School started. So John has really been a part of my whole life. Thank you very much.”
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