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‘You’ve got to laugh’: Farewell to veteran ABC newsreader Ian Henderson goes awry

The ABC’s farewell to Melbourne newsreader Ian Henderson went wrong last night when the broadcaster was forced to switch to the Sydney news after a series of technical glitches.

15 minutes into the bulletin, which was to be Henderson’s last after 25 years of being the face of ABC News in Melbourne, the show abruptly switched to the NSW feed featuring Sydney-based Juanita Phillips.

Melbourne ABC viewers were furious with the switch and, as expected vented their anger on social media.

The ABC later apologised and said Henderson would return tonight to say his goodbyes while Phillips apologised for not mentioning Victorian viewers had joined the NSW feed, saying: “We had no idea we were being seen in Melbourne until after the fact.”

An ABC spokesperson later said: “An unexpected technical fault during ABC News Victoria’s 7pm bulletin on Thursday night forced an unavoidable switch to a back-up transmission from ABC NSW.

“The timing of this fault during Ian Henderson’s scheduled final bulletin was unfortunate, to say the least. The good news is that Hendo will now be back on air at 7pm tonight to present his final, final ABC NEWS Victoria bulletin.

“We are investigating the cause of the fault and invite everyone to tune in on Friday to give Hendo the farewell he deserves. Our apologies to viewers. As Hendo says: ‘You gotta laugh.'”

Craig McMurtrie, ABC acting director news, analysis and investigations added: “I’m embarrassed by what happened but Hendo is such a gentleman that the way he took it in his stride is humbling. There is no way we are going to let him go without a proper goodbye, so I invite everyone to watch ABC News Victoria tonight for the farewell he so richly deserves.”

Henderson is to be replaced by weekend newsreader Tamara Oudyn, who will read the 7:00pm news bulletin Sundays to Thursdays and former ABC Europe correspondent Mary Gearin on Fridays and Saturdays.

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