Daryl: “I deeply regret any hurt… some material from the past is plainly inappropriate”

Updated: Daryl Somers acknowledges hurt felt by Kamahl.

Daryl Somers has issued a statement following recent comments by singer Kamahl around racial comedy on old episodes of Hey Hey it’s Saturday.

Dear All,

I am currently in the middle of recording Dancing with the Stars: All Stars, but I thought I should acknowledge the recent media commentary regarding historical footage of Hey Hey It’s Saturday that people have understandably found offensive. I want to make it very clear that I and all members of the Hey Hey team do not condone racism in any form. I have always considered Kamahl a friend and supporter of the show, so I deeply regret any hurt felt by him as a result of anything that took place on the programme in the past. I wholeheartedly support diversity in the Australian entertainment industry and I am committed to continuous learning and development in that regard.

Hey Hey It’s Saturday never set out to offend anybody but always strived to provide family entertainment. I am proud of the fact that it was the longest running comedy / variety programme on Australian television lasting for thirty years. I certainly appreciate, however, that in the context of modern society some material from the past is plainly inappropriate, and would not go to air today.

Best regards,



17 Responses

  1. Of all the people whose career doesn’t deserve reviving, it’s Daryl. He’s a cringe machine best left in the 70s.
    Hey Hey was painfully racist, sexist and homophobic for decades, and if you don’t recognise that, the same goes for you.

  2. Those old clips make for very uncomfortable viewing but let’s not pretend that Hey Hey was some really strange show that didn’t fit in with Australian values at the time. It was enormously successful and ran for so many years because the humour captured the public opinion at the time. Australia was (and in some regards still is) a very racist country.

    1. True, look at shows like The Comedy Company, Fast Forward, Paul Hogan and back to the old IMTs etc. They would have all got away with the same kind of material back in the day and the public loved it. So it says more about us as a country at the time. But for some reason Daryl thought bringing up his old show in 2021 would be a good angle to use to promote his TV comeback but it’s had the opposite effect.

      I was really too young to appreciate Kamahl’s music at the time but was interesting to see him doing the rounds this week. He made the startling point that he was treated like royalty when he performed in the US but in contrast was treated like little more than a novelty act here back in those days.

  3. Question: Would Daryl be really issuing this grovelling apology if he was not recording DWTS and about to burst back onto our screens ?
    Answer: I think we all know the answer …

      1. He said in an interview with Melanie Mahony in 2009 the reason he didn’t appear in the HHIS reunion was because “I was invited, there was no airfares or accommodation provided and I didn’t think it warranted that”. He also had no music to promote. His last release before the 2009 reunion was issued way back in 1996.

        1. And from the links in these articles it’s worth remembering even in 2009 that the show thought blackface was OK, and only apologised in the context of an American being a judge and it not being acceptable over there.

          1. Funny thing though it wasn’t the cast of the show performing in blackface. Ok they let an act in blackface perform on the show, but I find the whole blackface thing gets taken way out of proportion, like just about everything else these days. There is bigger problems in the world than someone taking the mickey out of someone in jest. I’m sure someone will now call me an ignorant racist.

  4. Always thought HHIS was, like the Benny Hill show (which also ran for over 30 years), of it’s time when it began, but never moved with the times. Quite a few bits would be quite cringeworthy now.

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