Rolf Harris: Celebrated entertainer to sex offender

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538em;”>Rolf Harris faces jail for indecent assaultAbbott ‘gutted’ by Harris verdictWho is Rolf Harris?

Rolf Harris was born in Bassendean in Perth on 30th March 1930. As a young boy Rolf was a champion swimmer who went on to attend the University of Western Australia and then Teachers Training College. When he was 22 Harris moved to England and attended the City and Guilds Art School in South London. It was here he met and married Alwen Hughes. He returned to Perth in 1959 to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. Rolf Harris and Alwen had their first daughter, Bindi, in 1964.

The hit songs:

It was during his time working on a Perth TV station show Spotlight that Rolf recorded his first single Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport. It was the first time a wobble-board had been used, something that went on to define Harris’s musical act. The song was a hit in Australia and abroad in the UK in 1960. Other hits include Sun Arise, Two Little Boys, Jake the Peg and Six White Boomers. Harris also made a didgeridoo contribution to Kate Bush’s 1982 album The Dreaming.

The television persona:

Harris began his television career in England in 1953 when he started doing a five minute spot with a puppet called “Fuzz” on a one-hour Children’s show called “Jigsaw.” Harris later appeared on a number of British television shows as a singer and a quick-sketch painter. He was a guest on David Nixon’s Comedy Bandbox and Jokers Wild, before staring in his own shows, Hey Presto, It’s Rolf in 1966 and The Rolf Harris Show. Harris would paint caricatures for the audience and the phrase “Can you tell what it is yet?” became heavily associated with his onscreen persona.

Honours and awards won:

1977: Order of the British Empire

1989: Member of The Order of Australia (AM)

1982: Appeared at the Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Brisbane

2006: Painted a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II to mark her 80th birthday in June.

2007: Honorary doctorate, University of East London

2008: Inducted into ARIA Hall Of Fame

2010: Honorary doctorate, Liverpool Hope University.

2012: Harris performs at the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations in London.

2012: Officer of the Order of Australia in Her Queen’s Birthday Honours list, for distinguished service to the performing and visual arts, his charity work and promoting Australian culture.

2012: BAFTA Fellowship 2012, the highest accolade bestowed upon an individual in recognition of their outstanding and exceptional contribution to television.