Peter Berner

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Peter Berner
Born Peter Berner
Residence Sydney, Australia
Occupation Television and radio presenter, comedian, cartoonist, painter
Years active 1988 - present
Known for The Einstein Factor, The Cage, The B Team with Peter Berner

Peter Berner is an Australian stand-up comedian, television and radio presenter, cartoonist and painter. He hosted The Einstein Factor and Backberner on ABC Television. He currently hosts the news comedy TV series The B Team with Peter Berner on Sky News Australia.

Early life[edit]

Berner was born in Singapore and moved to Sydney, Australia, in 1964.[1] He is a graduate of the National Art School in Sydney where he majored in painting and was on the student council.


1988 - 1998: Early stand-up years[edit]

Berner started his career as a stand-up comedian in 1988. His career grew throughout the early 1990s and he performed at various festivals, including the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, the Sydney Comedy Festival and the Adelaide Comedy Festival. He wrote and performed many solo shows in Australia and the UK during this time and established a following of comedy fans. He would also make frequent appearances on Australia's Saturday night comedy show Hey Hey It's Saturday.

Berner wrote and performed his one man stand-up shows, Lonely Guys and Rant which premiered at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in 1997.

1999 - 2003: Backberner[edit]

In 1999, Berner premiered his new one man stand-up show, Disturbed, at the Harold Park Hotel in Sydney. He then took the show to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival that same year.

Also in 1999, Berner began his first TV hosting role on his very own show, Backberner, on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. The series was a political satire sketch comedy series which parodied the current affairs news formats. Character actor Louise Siversen co-hosted alongside Berner. The first series premiered on 19 August 1999 and would continue for four series before ending in 2002. During this time the series was nominated for Most Outstanding Comedy Series at the Logie Awards in 2000 and 2002.

Berner performed at the gala evening of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in 2000 which was broadcast on Network Ten.

In 2001, a portrait of Berner, painted by Martine Emdur (sister of TV presenter Larry Emdur)) and titled Laughing on the Inside, was one of the finalists in the Archibald Prize.[2]

2004 - 2009: The Einstein Factor and radio[edit]

Berner returned to TV and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in 2004 hosting the quiz show The Einstein Factor. The series involved contestants playing against a panel of three celebrity experts on a range of topics, with Berner as the quizmaster. The Einstein Factor remained on air for six seasons and 244 episodes. The series finished in 2009.

Also in 2004 Berner hosted the Australian Film Institute Awards.

In 2007, Berner joined Southern Cross Austereo and was the breakfast host of The Cage on Triple M alongside Brigitte Duclos, James Brayshaw, Matt Parkinson and Mike Fitzpatrick. The breakfast show was networked in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane till 2009. During this time Berner also had his on one man radio show on the Triple M network; The Peter Berner Experiment was on air from 2008 - 2009.

After some years away from the comedy festival scene, Berner returned with his one man stand-up show Bernerland,[3] which premiered at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in 2007 and in 2008 performed at the Adelaide Fringe Festival in 2008.[4]

In 2008 Berner co-wrote and hosted The Loaded Brush on Australian Broadcasting Corporation. The documentary explored Berner's passion for the craft of painting and consisted of video diaries Berner filmed of himself painting his own self-portrait for the Archibald Prize, as well as interviews with other artists who had previously entered the Archibald.

2010 - 2014: You Have Been Watching and art exhibitions[edit]

Berner returned to TV screens in 2011 hositng You Have Been Watching on The Comedy Channel on Foxtel.[5] Based on the U.K. series of the same name, You Have Been Watching is a quiz show on the topic of television, featuring a panel of three celebrity guests and Berner as the quizmaster. The series premiered on 17 February 2011 and lasted one series.

In 2011 Berner exhibited a solo show of his paintings at Gallery@28 in Sydney, Australia.[6] His paintings were abstract portraits of lonely figures, using oils, past crayons and pencil.

In 2013 Berner joined the third series of The Celebrity Apprentice Australia on the Nine Network. Peter was the second celebrity contestant to be fired by Mark Bouris on the show and he raised AUD$10,000 for his nominated charity ChildFund Australia.[7]

Berner performed at the Brisbane Comedy Festival in 2014.

During this time Berner made appearances on Studio 10, Good News Week and Paul Murray Live.

2015 - Onwards: The Book of He and The B Team with Peter Berner[edit]

Berner published his first book in November 2015. The Book of He (Finch Publishing) is a collection of original cartoons by Berner.[8]

In 2016, Berner appeared on the Nine Network's comedy clip show 20 to One.

Berner returned to TV hosting duties in 2016 hosting The B Team with Peter Berner on Sky News Australia.,[9] a live weekly news comedy show. The B Team with Peter Berner premiered on Saturday 16 July 2016, and was shortly then extended to two nights a week.[10]