Legendary news presenter dies one year after refusing cancer treatment

Legendary news presenter dies one year after refusing cancer treatment

08/05/2021

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Today show host Brian Henderson has died at age 89, one year after refusing treatment for kidney cancer.

Brian was currently Australia's longest serving newsreader, arriving in the country in 1953 to work as a DJ, before working for Channel Nine between 1957 and 2002.

He also hosted the wildly popular Australian version of music show Bandstand between 1958 and 1972, which launched now iconic stars such as Peter Allen and the Bee Gees.

The Today show host Karl Stefanovic announced the tragic news live on-air on Thursday morning.

He said: "Brian was a much-loved member of the Nine family, hosting the Sydney weeknight news from 1957 until his retirement in 2002, becoming Australia's longest-serving news presenter.

"He also hosted Bandstand for many years. I knew him – an absolute legend, a gentleman and a total professional who provided guidance and inspiration for many generations who followed. We loved him."

Fellow Today show host David Campbell took to Twitter to share the news on Thursday morning, tweeting: "Brian Henderson has passed away. A legendary broadcaster and true gentleman. RIP to one of the greats."

Brian announced that he had decided to refuse further treatment of surgery after being diagnosed with kidney cancer, back in February 2020.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, he said he'd had a "wonderful life" and wanted to spend his final days with his loved ones.

He said: "I won’t go tomorrow, but what’s the point of living if you have to spend it in a hospital having treatment after treatment?"

Brian refused to have intrusive keyhole surgery to remove his right kidney and said he did not want to undergo radiation or chemotherapy.

"My doctor said the tumour in my kidney is likely to be slow growing so I’ve decided, at my age, to leave it there," he added.

"The doctor said I’m likely to die of something else before this kills me."

He had previously beaten cancer an incredible four times.

Brian has had his prostate and some of his bowel taken out, and described his 2014 diagnosis with throat cancer as a "toughie".

He has two children from his first marriage, and two children, Nicole, 50, and Jody, 48, with his second wife Mardi.

Brian has said that he was worried about his loving wife being lonely after his death.

The lovebirds met when Mardi was only 16, and Brian was 33, and her parents forbid them to marry until she had turned 18.

Speaking to New Idea in 2014, Mardi said: "Brian was my first real love…It's been years of wedded bliss. We are also best friends – always have been."

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