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Satirist John Clarke, of Clarke and Dawe, has died

RENOWNED satirist John Clarke has died at the age of 68.

Known and loved for his regular appearances with Brian Dawe on the ABC, Clarke is believed to have died from natural causes while hiking in the Grampians.

The New-Zealand born comedian and writer starred on classic Australian television shows such as Kath and Kim, The Games and The Lano and Woodley Show.

An ABC spokesman has confirmed John Clarke died on Sunday at the age of 68 while hiking in the Grampians National Park in Victoria.
An ABC spokesman has confirmed John Clarke died on Sunday at the age of 68 while hiking in the Grampians National Park in Victoria. AAP Image/ABC

In 1989, with collaborator Bryan Dawe, Clarke introduced weekly satirical mock interviews to television, mocking political figures such as Paul Keating, Alexander Downer, George Bush and businessman Alan Bond.

The final Clarke and Dawe, which aired on Friday.

He also wrote and performed satirical interviews on Channel Nine's A Current Affair and the ABC's 7.30 program. In 2013, the satirical interviews were eventually given their own eponymous program, Clarke and Dawe, which screened on ABC TV.

Clarke and Dawe perfected a unique style of comedy double act in which public figures and politicians would be lampooned in an interview-style format. Clarke was always the interview subject but made no attempt to impersonate his target, either by appearance or voice.

During the 1980s and early 1990s, Clarke also featured in several films such as Never Say Die, Death in Brunswick - alongside New Zealand actor Sam Neill - and Blood Oath.

He also co-wrote stage musicals such as The Adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie and Little Ragged Blossom.

Clarke was a prolific writer and wrote a string of political books. Among his collection included The Howard Miracle, The 7.56 Report, A Dagg at My Table, and The Catastrophe Continues.

Clarke was first noticed in his native New Zealand in the 1970s with the TV series Fred Dagg, which was a satirical take on the post-pioneering Kiwi bloke.

He became a national star when he first unveiled the character, which was known for memorable expressions such as saying: "That'll be the door".

Clarke moved from New Zealand to Australia in 1979, where he became recognised as a top script writer and personality.

Tell us your favourite Clarke and Dawe moments in the comments.

Topics:  death editors picks entertainment television


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