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Ernie Sigley dead at 82: Australian TV pioneer and Gold Logie winner dies after battle with Alzheimer's disease

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Pioneering Australian TV and radio personality Ernie Sigley has died at the age of 82, after a five-year battle with Alzheimer's disease.

Sigley, who won the Gold Logie for Most Popular Personality on Australian Television in 1975, had been diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disease in October 2016.

His death was announced by Channel Seven entertainment reporter Peter Ford early Monday morning.

Rest in peace: Pioneering Australian TV and radio personality Ernie Sigley (right) has died at the age of 82, after a five-year battle with Alzheimer's disease. Pictured with Shane Warne and Delvene Delaney in Melbourne on February 12, 2009

Rest in peace: Pioneering Australian TV and radio personality Ernie Sigley (right) has died at the age of 82, after a five-year battle with Alzheimer's disease. Pictured with Shane Warne and Delvene Delaney in Melbourne on February 12, 2009

Ford tweeted: 'Very sad to hear of Ernie Sigley's death. His unique larrikin style made it look easier than it really is

'TV, radio, recording success and live concerts - what a great career! But his greatest pride was his family. He was kind to me so I'll be sad but honoured to pay tribute today.'

Sigley hosted the game show Wheel of Fortune from 1981 to 1984, and also fronted a national variety show, The Ernie Sigley Show, in the '70s.

Ill health: Sigley, who won the Gold Logie for Most Popular Personality on Australian Television in 1975, had been diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disease in October 2016. Pictured on the cover of TV Week magazine in the 1970s

Ill health: Sigley, who won the Gold Logie for Most Popular Personality on Australian Television in 1975, had been diagnosed with neurodegenerative disease in October 2016. Pictured on the cover of TV Week magazine in the 1970s

He had been an original cast member on the '60s variety program Sunnyside Up.

In addition to his television career, he was a regular radio broadcaster for 57 years.

Sigley started his radio career as 'Ernie Williams' on Radio Luxembourg, before stints at 3DB, News Talk 3UZ and Melbourne's 3AW.

He hosted 3AW's afternoon show from 1996 until his retirement in 2008.

Sigley also found success as a singer, a career that began as a choir boy at St Paul's Cathedral in Melbourne.

His first record, Love Is a Golden Ring, was released in 1957.

He was known for collaborating with Denise Drysdale, with whom he would often perform on the club circuit.

Their recording of Hey Paula peaked at number two in the Australian charts in 1974.

A lifelong supporter of the Western Bulldogs AFL team, Sigley was born in Footscray, Melbourne, on September 2, 1938.

He was one of seven children of a boilermaker and a housewife.

He began his career as a teenager in the early '50s as a turntable operator for 3DB, before a stint working at the BBC in London.

Sigley was twice divorced and lived in Melbourne with his third wife, Glenys O'Brien, with whom he had four adult children.

One of his children is musician Matthew Sigley from the '90s indie band The Earthmen.

Family life: One of his children is musician Matthew Sigley from '90s indie band The Earthmen. Matthew shared this birthday tribute to his father last year

Family life: One of his children is musician Matthew Sigley from the '90s indie band The Earthmen. Matthew shared this birthday tribute to his father last year

2 Comments

  • Ray Cooney

    Ray Cooney

    1:12 AM, 16-09-2021

    Love watching him and Ding Dong (Denise Drysdale) together in many comedy sketches.

    0 Reply
  • Suvir

    Suvir

    10:28 PM, 21-08-2021

    Remember him on TV in my younger days

    0 Reply

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