FRED Tribute: Ross Higgins (1930-2016)

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Ross Higgins (1930-2016). Image: News Limited.

FRED the ALIEN Productions pays tributes to Australian comedian Ross Higgins who died on Friday at the age of 86.

Higgins was the voice behind Australia’s longest running advertising mascot, Mortein’s Louie the Fly, who has been going ‘straight from garbage bin to you’ since 1957.

The comedian will best be remembered for portraying Ted Bullpitt. The suburban sexist bigot first appeared on the sketch comedy series The Naked Vicar Show (1977-78) and ultimately received his own sitcom, Kingswood Country (1980-84). Bullpitt’s responses to Australia’s growing multicultural melting pot society was the source of much of the show’s humour.

‘I love the business. I’ve enjoyed it all enormously.’

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From pesky Louie the Fly to ‘grumblebum’ Ted Bullpitt, Higgins was behind two of the most iconic figures on Australian television. Images: Mortein and Seven Network.

In a 2008 interview, Higgins discussed Kingswood Country‘s infamous brand of comedy, saying, ‘A few times I had [to say] things that I worried about because they got a little bit close to the mark but we got around it.’

Reflecting on his extensive career, which encompassed radio, theatre, and music as well as television, Higgins said, ‘There’s a lot of luck attached to everything. I guess you’ve got to have some talent too, to back it up, but really there’s a lot of luck attached to being in the right place at the right time.’

For Higgins, the entertainment industry is where he belonged. ‘I’ve enjoyed it all enormously.’

Watch FRED the ALIEN’s tribute here:

Ross Higgins was interviewed in 2008 by news.com.au. Seasons of Kingswood Country and selected episodes of Bullpitt! are available on DVD.

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