John Hamblin

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John Hamblin
Born
John Reginald Hamblin

(1935-03-18)18 March 1935
Ash, Surrey, England, United Kingdom
Died21 September 2022(2022-09-21) (aged 87)
Nationality
  • English
  • Australian
OccupationTelevision presenter, actor
Years active1955–2016
Known for

John Reginald Hamblin[1] (18 March 1935 – 21 September 2022), known affectionately as "Funny John"[2] or "Naughty John",[3] was a British-born Australian children's television presenter and actor of stage and screen who appeared in theatre productions, soap operas and made-for-TV films.

Hamblin was a presenter on the Australian children's television program Play School for 29 years from 1970 to 1999. He featured in more than 350 episodes and became the second longest-serving presenter in the program's history after Benita Collings with whom he often presented.[4]

Early life[edit]

Hamblin was born on 18 March 1935[1][5][page needed] in Ash, Surrey, England[1] and grew up in Suffolk. When Hamblin's mother moved in with the local baker, his father moved the rest of the family to Norfolk. He lost contact with his mother at that point.[6] Hamblin's father had flown with the Royal Flying Corps during World War I and Hamblin himself joined the Air Force and did his national service in Cyprus in the late 1950s before returning to England.[6]

Hamblin initially trained at art school for six months but decided on a career in acting instead and studied drama to become an actor.[6]

Career[edit]

Theatre[edit]

Hamblin started his acting career in England in repertory theatre with the Theatre Royal, Windsor. He also worked in old time music hall.[6]

After emigrating to Australia, Hamblin continued to work in theatre over a 25 year period from 1970 until 1995, including Blithe Spirit and a stage show of Play School.[7]

Hamblin also toured in the stage play Crown Matrimonial as King Edward VIII. [8]

Television[edit]

In 1967, Hamblin made an appearance in the cult British TV series The Prisoner in the episode "A Change of Mind".[9]

After migrating to Australia, Hamblin secured roles in television from the late 1960s until the late 1980s, including roles in soap operas, becoming notable for his role in series The Restless Years as A.R. Jordan.[10] His TV credits also include Number 96, Class of '74,[11] The Young Doctors (as Dr Dan Wheatley),[12] Case for the Defence,[13] and Sons and Daughters.[14]

Hamblin played the role of Michael Chamberlain in the 1984 telemovie The Disappearance of Azaria Chamberlain.[9][15] After a hiatus in the 1990s, he returned to TV series in guest roles in All Saints and Love My Way in the early 2000s.[6]

Play School presenter[edit]

Known as being irreverent and inserting double-entendres into skits,[16] Hamblin was the second most prolific presenter of Play School, appearing in 357 episodes from 1970 to 1999,[6] while fellow presenter Benita Collings appeared in 401 episodes.[4] On the show, Hamblin would sing, read stories, make crafts, play with the toys and educate children about such things as telling the time and the days of the week.[17]

Hamblin returned briefly for a special guest appearance in 2016, as part of Play School's 50th anniversary special.[18][19]

Personal life[edit]

Hamblin came to Australia in the 1960s as a "Ten Pound Pom" with his second wife, Wendy.[6] After Play School, he retired and moved to Tasmania with his third wife, Jenny,[2] whom he married in 1984.[6] He had two children, Emma and Myles.[12][20] He suffered a heart attack[6] in 2003[citation needed]. In 2008, he published his memoirs, Open Wide, Come Inside, with Peter Richman.[6][21]

Hamblin died at a hospital in Sydney on 21 September 2022 aged 87.[12][20]

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role
1959 Quatermass and the Pit (miniseries)[9] Newsvendor
1959 Season of Passion[22][23] uncredited
1967 The Prisoner (TV series)[9][23] 1st Woodland Man
1974 This Love Affair (TV series)[24] Andrew
1974–1975 Class of 75 (TV series)[11] Donald Blair
1976 The Bushranger (TV movie)[25] Sergeant Dunbar
1977 The Young Doctors (TV series)[12] Dr. Dan Wheatley
1978 Case for the Defence (TV series)[13] John Case
1978–1980 The Restless Years (TV series)[10] A.R. Jordan
1982 Secret Valley (TV series)[26] Mr. Melrose
1983 Who Killed Baby Azaria? (TV movie)[22][23] Michael Chamberlain
1984 Run Chrissie Run! (fim)[22][23] Cathy's father
1984 The Last Bastion (miniseries)[9] Anthony Eden
1984 Runaway Island (TV series)[27] Lachlan McLeod
1984 Crime of the Decade (TV movie)[9] Ian Henderson
1984 A Street to Die[9][13] Dr. Walker
1986 Tusitala (miniseries)[28] Dr. Eisner
1987 Sons and Daughters (TV series)[14] Frank Porter
2000 All Saints (TV series)[12] Alex Knight
2001 Pizza (TV series)[29] Judge
2006 Love My Way (TV series)[12] Clive

Presenter[edit]

Year Title Role
1970–1999 Play School[2][14] Himself as host

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Hamblin, John, 1935-". Libraries Australia. Archived from the original on 22 September 2022. Retrieved 22 September 2022.
  2. ^ a b c "54 Years of 'Play School' | Where are they now? | John Hamblin". Woman's Day. 21 September 2020. Archived from the original on 22 September 2022. Retrieved 23 September 2022.
  3. ^ "John Hamblin". About the ABC. Archived from the original on 22 September 2022. Retrieved 21 September 2022.
  4. ^ a b "Moment in Time – Episode 29". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 27 April 2015. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  5. ^ Alan Veitch (1984). Atterton, Margot (ed.). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Australian Showbiz. Sunshine Books. ISBN 0867770570. OCLC 16520399.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Craig, Natalie (20 May 2008). "Don't tell the children". The Age. Archived from the original on 22 June 2021. Retrieved 22 September 2022.
  7. ^ "John Hamblin". AusStage. Archived from the original on 7 June 2022. Retrieved 23 September 2022.
  8. ^ "The Restless Years".
  9. ^ a b c d e f g "John Hamblin". BFI.org. British Film Institute. Archived from the original on 22 September 2022. Retrieved 21 September 2022.
  10. ^ a b "Benita Collings 'Why I Had to Leave TV'". Woman's Day. 28 March 2022. Archived from the original on 22 September 2022. Retrieved 21 September 2022.
  11. ^ a b Moran, Albert (1989). Australian Television Drama Series: 1956–1981. Australian Film, Television and Radio School. p. 44. ISBN 9780642121639.
  12. ^ a b c d e f O'Brien, Kerrie (21 September 2022). "Much-loved Play School presenter 'naughty John' Hamblin dies". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 21 September 2022. Retrieved 21 September 2022.
  13. ^ a b c "John Hamblin". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on 25 September 2020. Retrieved 21 September 2022.
  14. ^ a b c "Paula Begoun and John Hamblin". Conversations. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 6 June 2008. Archived from the original on 22 September 2022. Retrieved 21 September 2022.
  15. ^ "The Disappearance of Azaria Chamberlain (1983) – The Screen Guide – Screen Australia". www.screenaustralia.gov.au. Archived from the original on 26 April 2021. Retrieved 22 June 2021.
  16. ^ "Play School is 'rife with double entendres'". NewsComAu. 5 July 2016. Archived from the original on 24 June 2021. Retrieved 22 June 2021.
  17. ^ "Play School". www.abc.net.au. Archived from the original on 22 September 2022. Retrieved 22 June 2021.
  18. ^ Molk, Steve (21 September 2022). "Play School icon JOHN HAMBLIN dies aged 87". TV Blackbox. Archived from the original on 22 September 2022. Retrieved 21 September 2022.
  19. ^ Play School celebrates 50 years | ABC KIDS, archived from the original on 13 September 2022, retrieved 21 September 2022
  20. ^ a b "'Unforgettable' long-time Play School presenter, 'Naughty' John Hamblin dies aged 87". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 21 September 2022. Archived from the original on 22 September 2022. Retrieved 21 September 2022.
  21. ^ Richman, Peter (2008). Open Wide, Come Inside. Peter Richman Productions. ISBN 978-0-9775942-7-6. Retrieved 23 September 2022.
  22. ^ a b c "John Hamblin". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on 22 September 2022. Retrieved 21 September 2022.
  23. ^ a b c d "John Hamblin List of Movies and TV Shows". TV Guide. Archived from the original on 22 September 2022. Retrieved 21 September 2022.
  24. ^ "Love affair with a dream". The Sydney Morning Herald. 27 May 1974. Archived from the original on 22 September 2022. Retrieved 21 September 2022.
  25. ^ Murray, Scott (1996). Australia on the Small Screen, 1970–1995: The Complete Guide to Tele-features and Mini-series. Oxford University Press. p. 21. ISBN 9780195539493.
  26. ^ "Out of the ashes comes Secret Valley". The Australian Women's Weekly. 24 December 1980. p. 48. Archived from the original on 24 February 2021. Retrieved 21 September 2022.
  27. ^ "Runaway Island – for European eyes only". The Australian Women's Weekly. 30 September 1981. p. 128. Archived from the original on 3 March 2018. Retrieved 21 September 2022.
  28. ^ Bridekirk, Susan (September 1986). "Scot of the Pacific". Cinema Papers. No. 59. p. 49. Archived from the original on 22 September 2022. Retrieved 21 September 2022.
  29. ^ Adams, Cameron (3 September 2001). "Television". Herald Sun. Melbourne. p. 95. ProQuest 360266051. Archived from the original on 22 September 2022. Retrieved 21 September 2022 – via ProQuest.

External links[edit]