ABC to screen John Clarke special over Easter long weekend

ABC to screen John Clarke special over Easter long weekend

The ABC will air a John Clarke special this weekend to honour the late comedian, writer and satirist.

Clarke died suddenly last weekend while hiking in the Grampians National Park in Victoria. He was 68 years old.

The half hour special will be introduced by Clarke’s longtime friend and collaborator Bryan Dawe.

Other esteemed guests – including former prime minister Paul Keating, Max Gillies, Gina Riley, Colin Lane and Frank Woodley – will also make an appearance in order to reflect on Clarke’s contributions to n comedy.

His two daughters, Lorin and Lucia Clarke, will also appear on camera to share memories of their late father.

Dawe spoke to Fairfax Media this week following the death of his close friend.

“It wasn’t Clarke and Dawe that was the most important thing for me,” Mr Dawe said, referring to the television spots the two men have made for 27 years, first for A Current Affair on Nine and more recently on the ABC.

“It was the in-between. It was the space between our work as Clarke and Dawe: the conversations, the phone calls, the emails, the fun, the empathy, the understanding. The friendship. And all that means.

“John is such a big canvas it is impossible to explain how I feel,” Mr Dawe said. “I got to experience this man’s humanity, his generosity, his brilliance and above all, his kindness.

“He was such an insightful, generous, gorgeous human being, and I’m so fortunate and honoured to have been his friend and co-conspirator for so long.”

Only on Friday had Clarke, who was 68, filmed his final scenes for season two of Shaun Micallef’s??? comedy series The Ex-PM, in which he had a recurring role.

Just the day before that, the most recent of his satirical interviews with Dawe had gone to air on ABC TV, with the New Zealand-born Clarke playing the role of the treasurer.

n comedy giant Barry Humphries expressed sadness at the death of his friend and fellow comedian.

“How dare he die! John wasn’t just funny, he was original and he was very, very nice,” Humphries said. “He deserves a state funeral.”

Clarke didn’t just have the respect of his peers, he was also a mentor to many of them.

Frank Woodley recalled the advice he received from Clarke when the latter served as a script consultant on The Adventures of Lano and Woodley, the sitcom he and Colin Lane made for the ABC in 1997.

” ‘Trust your instincts. You boys know what you’re doing.’ I can still hear John’s distinctive dry voice saying that to me as if it was yesterday,” Woodley said.

John Clarke: Thanks for your Time will screen on the ABC at 8pm on Monday April 17.