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TV host Bert Newton faces anger after using homophobic slur at Logie Awards

Nick Duffy July 2, 2018

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - JULY 01: Bert Newton poses for the award forHall of Fame at the 60th Annual Logie Awards at The Star Gold Coast on July 1, 2018 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Australian TV host Bert Newton is under fire after using a homophobic slur at the Logie Awards.

The 79-year-old TV host was on stage at the award to present the Graham Kennedy Award for Most Popular New Talent, named in honour of his late former collaborator.

But Newton attracted anger for some of the off-colour remarks at the Logie Awards ceremony, an annual entertainment awards show which was held at The Star Gold Coast in Queensland, and broadcast live on the Nine Network.

Bert Newton at the 60th Annual Logie Awards at The Star Gold Coast on July 1, 2018 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Chris Hyde/Getty)

Newton quipped: “Most people are wondering who this old poof up on stage is.”

He also made comments about Kennedy that riled the #MeToo movement.

Newton said: “Speaking of young talent, Graham Kennedy was always the sort of man who nurtured young talent.

“He enjoyed giving young people a chance on television, he was a great mentor, he mentored a lot of young people.

“You knew if you went to his dressing room and it was locked, he would be inside doing some mentoring.”

Newton, who has who has two children with wife Patti McGrath Newton, has faced anger over both remarks.

Bert Newton as the Narrator performs during a Rocky Horror Show Media Call at the Comedy Theatre on June 12, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Scott Barbour/Getty)

He later insisted he did not intend to use homophobic language.

He clarified of his alleged casting couch remarks: “I was just referring to the fact that it was totally innocent as far as I’m concerned.

Bert Newton, dressed as The Fat Controller, is seen with a Thomas the Tank birthday cake to help celebrate the Thomas & Friends 70th Birthday Celebration at Flinders Street Station on March 5, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Robert Cianflone/Getty)

“In fairness these days everything is jumped on but I’m not that sort of person I don’t mean anything untoward.”

His remarks were compared on Twitter to “one of those awkward wedding speeches where you snatch the mic off the best man.”

Others branded the remarks homophobic.

Neighbours recently confirmed it would hold Australian TV’s first ever same-sex wedding.

On May 18, the country’s longest-running drama, which has been on our screens for 33 years, featured a gay proposal when long-term partners Aaron Brennan and David Tanaka both popped the question to each other.

The show has confirmed that Aaron and David’s marriage ceremony will take place on September 3.

Jason Herbison, executive producer of Neighbours, said: “This is a story that we have been working on for a long time, and during that time, our country was trapped in a divisive referendum.

“Would our story about love and equality even be legal by the time it aired?

“Thankfully love won and we’re very excited for viewers to see this iconic moment come to life on screen.”

More: actor, Australia, Australia, Gay, homophobic, host, LGBT, slur, Television

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