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Bert Newton’s final Logies appearance in 2018 proved to be his most controversial

Bert Newton’s final appearance at The Logies resulted in one of the most controversial moments in his career when he delivered a speech like no other


He was considered to be the face of the Logie Awards after hosting the ceremony 20 times, winning four gongs and being inducted into the Hall of Fame. 

But it was his last appearance at the 2018 Logies where the late Bert Newton delivered one of the most controversial speeches in his career.

Newton took to the stage to present the Graham Kennedy Award for Best New Talent, where he gave a seven-minute speech that generated a chorus of laughter – followed by a social media backlash.

Going out with a bang: Bert Newton’s final appearance at The Logies resulted in one of the most controversial moments in his career when he delivered a speech like no other

‘I think I might be the warm up for the In Memoriam,’ he began. ‘I sort of feel like a bald Norma Desmond!’ 

The veteran TV star followed this with a joke about how younger people in the audience would look at him and wonder, ‘Where did this young poof come from?’

Newton’s speech at times prompted chuckles from audience members, but also a shocked laughter as it veered into politically incorrect territory.

Divisive: Newton took to the stage to present the Graham Kennedy Award, where he gave a seven-minute speech that generated a chorus of laughter - followed by a social media backlash

Divisive: Newton took to the stage to present the Graham Kennedy Award for Best New Talent, where he gave a seven-minute speech that generated a chorus of laughter – followed by a social media backlash

At one point, he singled out The Project host Waleed Aly and commented on how his wife Dr Susan Carland had converted to his Muslim faith.

This wasn’t actually correct, as Dr Carland had actually converted as a teenager.

Newton followed this up by saying his wife Patti Newton had done the same because ‘she now drinks and has her own TAB account’.

He then discussed his late friend Graham Kennedy and made a joke about his sexuality, which Kennedy famously never disclosed to the public. 

Lighthearted: At one point, he commented on how The Project co-host Waleed Aly's wife Dr Susan Carland had converted to his Muslim faith, before saying his wife Patti Newton (left) had done the same because 'she now drinks and has her own TAB account'

Lighthearted: At one point, he commented on how The Project co-host Waleed Aly’s wife Dr Susan Carland had converted to his Muslim faith, before saying his wife Patti Newton (left) had done the same because ‘she now drinks and has her own TAB account’

‘He enjoyed giving young people a chance on television, he was a great mentor, he mentored a lot of young people. You knew if you went to his dressing room it was locked, he will be inside doing some mentoring,’ Newton said.

This remark, which suggested sexual misconduct, prompted gasps from the audience, and was later at the centre of a debate over the appropriateness of Newton’s jokes.

The TV icon later apologised and said he hadn’t meant to cause offence. 

'He will be inside doing some mentoring': He then discussed his late friend Graham Kennedy (R) and made a joke about his sexuality, which Kennedy famously never disclosed to the public

‘He will be inside doing some mentoring’: He then discussed his late friend Graham Kennedy (R) and made a joke about his sexuality, which Kennedy famously never disclosed to the public

‘It was totally innocent so far as I am concerned,’ he said.

‘In fairness, these days, everything is jumped on. I am not that sort of person. I didn’t mean anything untoward.’

The 2018 ceremony proved to be Newton’s final appearance at the Logie Awards. 

'It was totally innocent': This remark, which suggested sexual misconduct, prompted gasps from the audience, and was later at the centre of a debate over the appropriateness of Newton's jokes. The TV icon later apologised and said he hadn't meant to cause offence

‘It was totally innocent’: This remark, which suggested sexual misconduct, prompted gasps from the audience, and was later at the centre of a debate over the appropriateness of Newton’s jokes. The TV icon later apologised and said he hadn’t meant to cause offence

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