Noel Ferrier

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Noel Ferrier AM (20 December 1930 – 16 October 1997) was an Australian television personality, comedian, stage and film actor, raconteur and theatrical producer.[1][2][3][4] He had an extensive theatre career which spanned over fifty years.


Noel Ferrier was born in Melbourne in 1930. A member of the first Australian professional repertory company, the Union Theatre Repertory Company (now the Melbourne Theatre Company), he created the role of 'Roo' in the original production of Summer of the Seventeenth Doll at the Union Theatre of the University of Melbourne. He appeared in numerous films and television productions. A contemporary of Barry Humphries, in 1956 he was the "interviewer" of the first onstage appearance of a certain Mrs. Norm Everage, later known universally as Dame Edna Everage.[3][5]

He was the original host of the late-1950s HSV-7 series The Late Show,[1] before being replaced with Bert Newton. To ease the workload on Graham Kennedy, he was invited by GTV9 to host a Friday night version of In Melbourne Tonight from 1963 to 1965.[1] This was stylistically different from that of Kennedy's IMT – "dyed-in-the-wool IMT viewers switched off in their droves" [6]Noel Ferrier's In Melbourne Tonight (as it was known) attracted a separate and loyal audience, resulting in a Logie for Most Popular Program in Victoria in 1964.[7][8][9] Following this success, the network decided to relay the show in Sydney on TCN9, but in the early hours of the following morning after live telecasts of World Championship Wrestling.[10]

After his period on IMT finished in 1965, he started a morning radio show in Melbourne on 3UZ with Mary Hardy called "The Noel and Mary Show", which contained a riotously funny serial known as "The House on the Hill" featuring Sir & Lady Ernest Snatchbull, "set in a mythical Government House and loosely based on the vice-regal column in The Age... the real Governor of Victoria of the time was a (reputedly) devoted fan... whereas his wife was said to have abhorred it." [11]

He appeared in such television series as Riptide (1969), Skippy (1970), as well as a numerous characters in the Crawfords' stable of productions, including Homicide (1969), Division 4 (1970, 1971 and 1975), and Matlock Police (1973, 1974 and 1975).[1]

In 1971 he won the award for Best Australian Comedy with Noel Ferrier's Australia A-Z.[8] He was a regular panelist in Graham Kennedy's popular game show Blankety Blanks.[12] His movie credits include Alvin Purple, Eliza Fraser, Turkey Shoot and The Year of Living Dangerously. His final movie role was in Paradise Road (1997).[1]


Noel Ferrier died in October 1997 in Sydney, aged 66, from undisclosed causes.


In 1989 he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia.[4]

Personal life[edit]

In 1960 he married Suzanne de Berenger, a noted artist and multiple Archibald Prize finalist, a decision he frequently claimed "proved to be... a lifesaver".[13] Their son Tim (born 1962), is a successful production designer. Ferrier's autobiography, published in 1985, is called There goes Whatsisname,[2] in which he discusses his battles with alcoholism,[14] as well as his numerous career triumphs and failures.


  1. ^ a b c d e Profile,; accessed 1 August 2015.
  2. ^ a b Ferrier (1985)
  3. ^ a b Ferrier, N. & Stephens, B. (1997). Ferrier interviewed by Bill Stephens.
  4. ^ a b Australian Government It's an honour: Australia Celebrating Australians [1]
  5. ^ St. Pierre (2004), p. 19
  6. ^ Ferrier (1985), p. 49
  7. ^ "1964 - TV Week Logie Awards Special Coverage - Past Winners - Yahoo7". Retrieved 27 August 2015. 
  8. ^ a b Mileage - Television The TV Week "Logie" Awards sections 1964 and 1971 [2]
  9. ^ Ferrier (1985), p. 50
  10. ^ Ferrier (1985), p. 51
  11. ^ Ferrier (1985), pp. 61–63
  12. ^ Moran, Albert. Moran's Guide to Australian TV Series, Allen & Unwin, 1993. ISBN 0-642-18462-3 p 676-9
  13. ^ Ferrier (1985), p. 33
  14. ^ Ferrier (1985), pp. 33–35


  • Ferrier, Noel (1985). There Goes Whatsisname. Melbourne: Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-333-40121-7. 
  • St. Pierre, P. M. (2004). A Portrait of the Artist as Australian: l'Oeuvre Bizarre de Barry Humphries. Quebec: McGill-Queen's University Press. ISBN 0-7735-2644-7.