Renowned satirist John Clarke has died, aged 68.
The New Zealand-born comedian, best known for performing in short, satirical TV sketches with Bryan Dawe, died on Sunday while hiking in Victoria this weekend, ABC News confirmed Monday morning.
In 1998, as Sydney prepared to host the Olympics, Clarke masterminded 'The Games', a satirical mockumentary which documented the organisation of the event.
Clarke's brilliant satirical mind and his note-perfect comic timing with partner Dawe endeared him to audiences across Australia, most notably in their regular sketch on Thursday evenings to close out the 7.30 Report.
We are aware of what he has meant to so many for so many years, throughout the world but especially in Australia and New Zealand.Clarke Family
The ABC paid tribute to Clarke, a "great admired and loved figure on the national stage".
"Australian audiences have relied on John Clarke for always getting to the heart of how many Australians felt about the politics of the day and tearing down the hypocrisy and at times absurdity of elements of our national debate," ABC managing director, Michelle Guthrie, said in a statement.
"We have lost a giant presence on our screens. Our hearts go to John's family, his wife Helen and two daughters, Lorin and Lucia."
He was also a novelist and poet.
Statement From John Clarke's Family
"The much loved and respected satirist and writer, John Morrison Clarke (b 1948) has died suddenly of natural causes on Sunday 9 April. Beloved husband of Helen, father of Lorin and Lucia, grandfather of Claudia and Charles and father-in-law of Stewart Thorn.
John died doing one of the things he loved the most in the world, taking photos of birds in beautiful bushland with his wife and friends. He is forever in our hearts.
We are aware of what he has meant to so many for so many years, throughout the world but especially in Australia and New Zealand. We are very grateful for all expressions of sympathy and love which John would have greatly appreciated.
John's family has asked that their privacy be respected at this sad time."
More to come.
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