Happy birthday to TV legend Ernie Carroll, the man behind Ossie Ostrich, who turns 90 today!
Former Hey Hey it’s Saturday cast members gathered last week to celebrate with Ernie including Daryl Somers, Jackie McDonald, John Blackman, Red Symons, Wilbur Wilde and Andrew Fyfe.
Carroll joined Melbourne GTV-9 in 1956 as a producer for children’s television, and worked on The Tarax Show before writing for Graham Kennedy.
Ossie Ostrich first appeared on The Tarax Show, before Carroll hired Daryl Somers to work on Cartoon Corner between 1971 and 1977.
Hey Hey it’s Saturday also began in 1971 with Carroll co-hosting as Ossie after the first 8 weeks until 1994, interrupted briefly for a year with The Daryl & Ossie Show on 10 in 1979. He reprised the much-loved character for reunions in 2009 and 2010.
Somers once said of Ossie, “Throughout the history of Hey Hey, I never spoke to Ernie during the show. I would always directly address Ossie. To me, Ossie was real.”
Both men also founded Somers Carroll Productions which produced shows such as New Faces, The Russell Gilbert Show, and various Hey Hey specials.