Peter Harvey influenced a generation – viewers and journalists. His trademark authoritative baritone will be missed. Though most of us never got to meet him through his many years at Channel 9 we all feel like we ‘knew’ him, and the feelings expressed on social media by colleagues and the public are rarely seen for someone who’s job it is to report the news, not be the news, which he did so very well. We trusted Harves.
In his last interview with Jane Hutcheon on One Plus One, Peter spoke of a career and life full of satisfaction. It’s an excellent interview and worth watching here. This piece from Mark Burrows encapsulates the loss a family & a network – even a nation – feel.
These words from Nine CEO David Gyngell succinctly express how many people felt about Peter Harvey:
MESSAGE TO NINE ENTERTAINMENT CO STAFF FROM DAVID GYNGELL
It’s with a heavy heart that I confirm the passing of the great Peter Harvey.
As all of you know, Peter had been battling terminal illness for the past six months. And as we all witnessed, he confronted the inevitable with his trademark mix of courage, selflessness and humour.
That was simply inspiring. But not the least bit surprising.
And it was the mark of the man that Peter insisted on coming to work and fronting the cameras right to the end – always grateful of ours and the literally thousands of well wishes from the public, but actually embarrassed about being the centre of so much ‘ fuss’. As usual thinking little of himself and much more of others, principally his beloved family.
On behalf of everyone at Nine I extend our heartfelt sympathies to Peter’s wife Anne and their children Claire and Adam. Their loss is profound and our thoughts and prayers are with them.
Likewise, this is the saddest of days for the Nine Network. Peter Harvey – Harves as he is known to everyone – is and will remain an indelible part of Nine. Like Tony Greig who we also lost so sadly recently, Peter was a huge chunk of the DNA of this place. He will consequently always be a legend at Nine.
Harves has been with us since way back in 1975. A remarkable 38 years in which he brought his gravitas, understanding, authority and humour to every story he touched. From the Whitlam dismissal of that first year, through two amazing decades reporting federal politics before switching bases to Nine in Sydney from where he travelled far and wide, covering everything from the Gulf War, to famine in Africa, the ninetieth anniversary of Gallipoli, the overthrow of the Marcos administration in the Philippines to the quirky human interest local stories only he could do justice. And everything in between. He reported from every continent and invariably did so with distinction. And for the past ten years in addition to his News duties, Harves became the one-of-kind mailbag segment man for 60 Minutes with his unusual and laser-accurate take on news and public debate.
In short, there’s pretty much nothing Harves hasn’t done, and certainly nothing he hasn’t done really well. He’ll be remembered fondly forever for his famous deep-throated ‘ Peter Harvey, Canberra’ sign-off of course, but for much, much more .
Peter’s legacy will be his continuous highly quality award-winning journalism for the better part of five decades, and the huge respect of his peers across Australian journalism and politics. And that of young journalists wherever he worked, for whom his time, advice and warmth was legendary.But beyond that, Peter Harvey so clearly won the respect and friendship of his audience – the millions of people who came to trust him, and enjoy what he did and the special way he did it.
Australians can pick a good bloke. And they found one in Harves. Indeed, the best of the best.
He was a larger-than-life figure. A wonderful story teller and a lovable, generous big bloke with a huge heart and that distinctive one-in-a-million voice. A man who loved his family above all, then his craft which he honed to an art form, and then his colleagues. And who could laugh at himself and the rest of us, and make us all smile.
Peter Harvey will be fondly and deeply missed.