14 July 1947 |
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Blackman grew up in the Victorian suburb of Mount Waverley, where he attended Syndal Primary School until 1959 and Syndal Technical School through year 10 in 1963. He was an avid supporter of the Fitzroy Football Club, which has since merged to become the Brisbane Lions. On leaving school (and home) at 16, he worked in a succession of occupations: customs clerk, cash van salesman for a cigarette distributor, sales representative for a perfume company, and spruiker in Myer's Bargain Basement. At the age of 22, he decided upon a career in radio.
He has worked in radio since 1969 but is probably best known for his 28-year stint as announcer and character voice-over for the Nine Network's Hey Hey It's Saturday, Australia's longest running variety show. One of his best known characters was a head on a stick known as "Dickie Knee".
As evening announcer, Blackman worked with the Reverend Alex Kenworthy for a number of years on "Nightline".
In 1974, he joined 3AK where he hosted the morning show until 1975, when he moved to Sydney to join 2UE as a "floating" announcer for just three months. At TCN-9 in Sydney, he was a staff continuity announcer and daytime newsreader for National Nine News alongside his work on Hey Hey It's Saturday, which he would do "down the line" to GTV-9 in Melbourne every Saturday from an announcing booth at TCN-9.
He returned to 3AK Melbourne in 1979 to host the breakfast show until 1981. Later that year, he joined 3AW to host their breakfast show with Paul Barber. After Barber parted company with 3AW not long afterwards, Blackman was joined by former ATV-0 newsreader and staff announcer, Bruce Mansfield. This collaboration became one of the most successful combinations in Australian radio history, with 3AW breakfast topping the ratings for 5 consecutive years until 1986.
After leaving 3AW in controversial circumstances in July 1986, Blackman became part of the short-lived, ill-fated CBC Network (2UE/3AK) experiment and, in December of that year, his contract was not renewed.
After a 7-year hiatus from radio, in 1997 he was persuaded back to the medium as host of the 3AK breakfast show with Anna "Pinky" Pinkus and Denis Donoghue (Lawyers, Guns & Money) as co-hosts until 2000.
On Christmas Eve 2007, Blackman suffered a seizure brought on by a golf ball size (benign) meningioma brain tumour.
After six hours of surgery, it was successfully removed at the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne – he has fully recovered and is now enjoying good health.
Other television shows Blackman has appeared on and announced for include Blankety Blanks, Personality Squares, The Paul Hogan Show, The Daryl Somers Tonight Show, Holiday Island, Family Feud and many others. Blackman was interviewed on ABC's Talking Heads in 2006.
He has authored five books including Aussie Slang, Aussie Gags and More Aussie Gags. 
He can now be heard each weekday morning with the "John Blackman Experience" between 9.00 am and 10.00 am on 531 3GG with co-host Andrew "Deaksy" Deak with a program that consists of light hearted banter, show business gossip and Gippsland and the Valley's Widest Variety of Music”.
He is married to Cecile and they are the parents of a totally blind 37-year old daughter, Tiffany, who was born three months premature in 1974 and due to the over use of oxygen to keep her alive, her retinas were destroyed. John is a member of the Patrons Council of the Epilepsy Foundation of Victoria.
In 2009 Blackman returned as part of the Hey Hey It's Saturday reunion specials.
In 2010 he returned to Hey Hey it's Saturday to revive his role of voiceovers – despite respectable ratings, the show's contract was not re-newed for 2011.
- Dickie Knee – a polystyrene head with black hair and a blue cap on a stick
- Alfred Desk Mike
- The Angel – a small angelic creature made from an old Barbie doll and super-imposed on the screen
- Doctor Ben Dover
- Charlie Who – a Chinese character
- The Giant
- The Man from Jupiter
- Mrs Macgillicuddy – a hideous old hag with a raspy voice
- Norman Neumann – a boom microphone with a moustache, which is in fact a Sennheiser MKH-816-P48
- Sammy Sanhiser – replacement for Norman
- Baby Kangaroos – sounds a bit like the Angel
- 2GN Morning Show (1969)
- 2CA Morning Show (1970)
- 3AW Evening Show (1972)
- 3AK Breakfast Show (1975)
- 2UE Night Show (1977)
- 2GB Breakfast (1977 – 1-week)
- 3AK Breakfast Show (1979)
- 3AW Breakfast Show (1981–1986)
- 3AK/2UE CBC Network Breakfast Show (1986–1987)
- 3UZ Breakfast Show (1987–1990)
- 3AK Breakfast Show (1997–2000)
- Triple M Adelaide Breakfast Show (2005–2007)
- 3GG Mornings (2009)
- 3AW Afternoon replacement for Denis Walter (2011)
3AW 2012 Fill in for Bruce Mansfield while he was on a cruise.
- Hey Hey It's Saturday (1971–2010) (Nine Network)
- Family Feud – announcer for over 1500 shows (Nine Network)
- Daytime newsreader (TCN 9)
- Penthouse Club (HSV 7)
- Paul Hogan Show (GTV 9)
- Daryl & Ossie Show (ATV 10)
- Personality Squares (ATV 10)
- Daryl Somers Tonight Show (GTV 9)
- Blankety Blanks (TEN 10)
- Holiday Island (ATV 10)
- Prisoner (ATV 10)
- Safeway New Faces judge (GTV 9)
- World's Craziest Inventions (GTV 9)
- Thompson, Peter (2 October 2006). "Talking Heads: John Blackman". ABC website. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 23 January 2010.