Former ABC motoring personality Peter Wherrett has died of cancer, aged 72.
Before Top Gear and other motoring television there was the ABC’s Torque, a show that championed motoring in the 1960s and ’70s.
In 1973 an ABC producer asked the then journalist to present the pilot program of a show on cars and motoring. Torque went on to deliver a massive and long-running success for ABC with eight series.
Wherrett was known for his humour, sharp intelligence and a genuine love of what he was achieving. At the end of the seventies he traversed the world filming a major series on the history of the motor-car, called Marque.
Accompanied by a very successful book, the series took 18 months to complete and was another prime-time winner for ABC TV. During the ’80s he explored the need to explore alternative energy sources in the series The Balance of Power.
In later years he was a motoring presenter on TEN’s Healthy, Wealthy and Wise.
But his life was not without controversy.
In 1985 he was caught driving under the influence of alcohol. A second driving incident attracted another sensational round of publicity. But it was in a biography with his brother Richard, a famed Sydney Theatre Company director, that he admitted to part-time crossdressing, which he said dated back to his formative years.
Torque remains a shining early example of motoring television in Australia.
Peter Wherrett is survived by his son Steven Wherrett, daughter Jane Whitburn and six grandchildren.
Source: ABC News