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Veteran TV presenter and popular Play School host John Hamblin has died aged 87

ABC has announced the death of beloved Play School host John Hamblin, who died Wednesday aged 87.

For almost 30 years, John was one of the most popular hosts on the ABC children’s show.

John started on Play School in 1970 and appeared in more than 350 episodes of the program.

Because of his cheeky sense of humor and irreverent manner, he was affectionately nicknamed “Naughty John” throughout his career on the program.

After leaving the show in 1999, John returned for a special guest appearance as part of the Play School 50th Anniversary special in 2016.

ABC Director Entertainment & Specialist Jennifer Collins said: “John was an unforgettable presenter whose comedic timing and wit helped cement Play School as one of Australia’s most popular children’s programmes.”

He continued, “John had a funky sense of humor and wasn’t afraid of double entendres. His presence has always managed to engage both our toddler audience and their parents alike with the show. I would like to extend my condolences to John’s family at this sad time.’

Hamblin was a regular in dramas throughout the 1970s, including Number 96, Class of ’74, The Young Doctors, Case for the Defense and 1982’s Sons and Daughters.

Guest roles included All Saints and Love My Way.

He also played Michael Chamberlain in the 1984 TV movie The Disappearance of Azaria Chamberlain

Fans flocked to social media to pay tribute to the beloved children’s entertainer.

‘Vale John Hamblin. We have loved you in our family for several generations. Thanks for all your playful good cheer,” wrote one.

“An iconic part of my childhood and many others”. Thank you John Hamblin. walk well ❤️’ wrote a second.

“Thank you John Hamblin for your wonderful wit, love and joy in teaching young children and for all the double entenders entertaining the adults at the same time,” tweeted another.

John is survived by his children Emma and Myles.

There’s more to come…

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