The elder brother of Australian sports broadcaster Tony Charlton. he initially he worked for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) as a presenter in current affairs and commentator for Test cricket matches, but later moved to London. He was the Australian representative on the BBC radio cricket commentary team for the 1956 Test series between England and Australia. In 1961 he was the inaugural presenter of Four Corners, an Australian current affairs programme. In 1963 he was the recipient of the Australian Gold Logie award.
From 1962 to 1976 he was a reporter and interviewer for Panorama, reporting live from America in the aftermath of the Kennedy assassination.[clarification needed] In July 1969 he reported live from mission control for the BBC during the Apollo 11 moon landing. Later, during the 1980s, he presented It's Your World, a phone-in programme on the BBC World Service.