He’s been with Home and Away for 35 years, but Ray Meagher, who plays Alf Stewart on the hit Channel Seven soap, nearly missed his tribute after he was nowhere to be found at the 2023 Logie Awards.
The 79-year-old had just taken to the stage to accept the Logie Award for Most Popular Drama and was still backstage while host Sam Pang tried to pay homage to the star.
“I would like to quickly acknowledge a giant of the Australian television industry. Ray Meagher who this year celebrates 35 years on Home and Away,” Sam said.
“Ray is not here. He is still backstage. It's getting pretty loose backstage. It's getting pretty loose backstage, by the way. We can do this without him. Um.”
Sam tried to fill in the segment until Ray was found but went on: “Not going to lie. This probably would have been better if he was here!”
“Ray Meagher, 35 years on Home and Away signed on for another five years. That to me seems slightly optimistic, to be honest. But anyway, there we go,” Sam said to laughter from the room.
“I just wanted to mention too, we have actually become quite close since shooting the promos for tonight's show. We have got each other's phone numbers, which I have enjoyed a lot. And if he was here, I would just tell him there are some personal boundaries when it comes to a phone. If you are listening backstage, Ray, it's not appropriate to FaceTime when you're in the shower. That's all I would say, mate, alright!”
While Sam did a good job stalling the show while people scrambled to get Ray back to his seat, he was just about to give up on the tribute when the iconic actor appeared at his table.
"There he is. Ray's here! Ray! Ray! You're here. You missed it. I was giving you a beautiful tribute, mate. That's what you missed,” Sam said.
“No. Thank you very much. Great that you are here. Someone tell Ray where he is, please.
“You are at the Logie, OK? You are at the Logie. Ray's teeth are falling into his soup. I wanted to congratulate you, Ray, on 35 years, mate. Well done.”
Ray looked red-faced as he didn’t know whether to believe comedian Sam Pang or not. He was then handed the Logie for the Most Popular Drama to hold while Sam wrapped up the segment.
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