Australia Day

26 January 2015

284 days to go

Pete Smith OAM

Born in Melbourne, Pete Smith was educated at Wesley College and on leaving school joined the Australian Broadcasting Commission.

He was with the ABC for eight years, initially as a messenger boy, before graduating to announcing on both the home service and on Radio Australia, broadcasting throughout the world on short-wave.

In the early years of television Pete was associated with the ABC’s Channel 2, where he was announcer, variety host and compere of his own weekly Sports View Hit Parade each Saturday afternoon.

In 1964, Pete joined Channel 9, home of Graham Kennedy’s “In Melbourne Tonight”, for which he presented commercials, appeared in comedy sketches and on several occasions, acted as compere.

Over the years at Channel 9, Pete has been seen as on-camera host for numerous specials. He was a National Nine newsreader for three years and is currently chairman of the GTV Foundation servicing the station’s philanthropic endeavours.

Pete was associated for many years with Bert Newton on the long running “New Faces” talent show and on Bert’s Tonight-style program.

During the late seventies he was also the host of his own “Tonight Show” on NWS9 in Adelaide.

On radio in the sixties Pete worked with 3AK as a “Good Guy”… with Bert Newton on the Greater 3UZ as it was known in the seventies, and in the late nineties he was associated with comedians Tony Martin and Mick Molloy on their national drive-time show.

Pete worked with The D-Generation on radio and followed them to ABC-TV with their well remembered “Late Show” series (many recall the Aerosmith send-up “Dude looks like a lady”). Pete has also made a guest appearance on the current affairs spoof “Frontline” and performed in cabaret with Tony Martin, Mick Molloy and Judith Lucy.

On Channel 9, Pete was involved with Ernie Sigley and Denise Drysdale on their weekday morning program “Ernie and Denise”. His was the voice that boomed out for over twenty one years (surely a record?) to welcome viewers to the popular quiz program, “Sale of the Century”.

He has released two nostalgic double CD’s of his favourite music featuring classic British Dance bands of the thirties and forties.

Pete had a small part in Mick Molloy’s first major motion picture “Crackerjack” and a supporting role in Tony Martin’s first big screen feature ‘Bad Eggs”.

Recently he guest starred on ABC-TV’s “Spicks And Specks”.

With over forty-five years at GTV9 Pete is the longest serving personality and is chairman and patron of the GTV Foundation. He was awarded an OAM in the 2004 Queens Birthday Honours list and is a Life Ambassador for Australia Day.