Beloved Play School host John Hamblin dies aged 87

·Lifestyle Editor
·2-min read

Play School's fan favourite presenter John Hamblin has died aged 87.

He is one of the most memorable hosts of the children's program and starred on the ABC show for almost 30 years, appearing in more than 350 episodes.

The host, known as 'Naughty John', joined the program in 1970 and retired in 1999. He also excited fans as he returned for a guest appearance in Play School's 50th Anniversary special in 2016.

The ABC said in a statement he was affectionately known as 'Naughty John' due to his "cheeky sense of humour and irreverent nature".

"John was an unforgettable presenter whose comedic timing and wit helped cement Play School as one of Australia’s most cherished children’s programs," ABC Director Entertainment & Specialist Jennifer Collins said in the statement.

John Hamblin presents Play School with Benita Collings.
John Hamblin appeared in more than 350 episodes of Play School. Source: ABC

"John had a wicked sense of humour and was not afraid of a double-entendre. His presence always managed to keep both our toddler target audience and their parents equally engaged with the show.

"I would like to extend my condolences to John’s family at this sad time.”

Fans were devastated after the ABC posted the news on Facebook, with many describing the moments he made them laugh.

"Those cheeky expressions, naughty smile and just him! Thank you for the entertainment you provided for my children and me, especially when I had a bad day," one fan wrote.

"He cracked us up ... So funny and cheeky," another said.

"He made Play School a show that adults could watch. Such a wry sense of humour. Vale John," a third fan added.

"Oh how sad, such a wonderful man. Funny, cheeky and my favourite to watch together with my children. my deepest condolences to his family and friends," a fan commented.

John is survived by his children Emma and Myles.

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