From the Archives, 1993: Geoff Corke, Melbourne TV pioneer, dies aged 58

Save articles for later

Add articles to your saved list and come back to them any time.

First published in The Age on May 2, 1993

King Corke, TV pioneer, is dead

THE first face to appear on Melbourne television, Geoff Corke, known to 1960s children across Australia as King Corky, died yesterday, aged 58.

Geoff Corke and dummy Gerry Gee of the Tarax Show.Credit: Peter English, GTV9

One of several radio personalities to transfer to the new medium of television, Corke was the first face to appear live in mid-1956 in a historic Channel 9 telecast from Mount Dandenong. He had worked as a young man at 3DB with radio greats such as Eric Pearce and his mentor, Eric Welch.

Even before regular transmission in 1957, he compèred live telecasts of the Royal Melbourne Show and the Melbourne Olympics. He was part of the team that supported Graham Kennedy on In Melbourne Tonight.

The show stopped when he became seriously ill in the late 1960s. He had several major abdominal operations for a rare complaint, Crohn’s Disease.

While in hospital, Corke fell in love with a nurse, Sue, whom he later married. Despite his illness. Corke appeared on annual Nine telethons for Yooralla.

He belonged to a select social group of television pioneers, known as the “Survivors’ Club”. Other television names of his era included Graham Kennedy, with whom Corke worked as an on-screen foil, Sir Eric Pearce, Bert Newton, Bruce Mansfield, Peter Smith, Patti McGrath, Joy Fountain and Jon Ellen.

Corke collapsed at his Balwyn home yesterday afternoon. His wife was with him. He is also survived by his daughter from his first marriage, Lindy, who lives in the United States.

Most Viewed in National

Source: Read Full Article