Iconic TV moment: What happened next?
Bert Newton remembers the last day of his 14 years of hosting Good Morning Australia like yesterday.
He literally got into an elevator at the Melbourne South Yarra studios and ended the iconic Network Ten show right there and then, back in 2005.
"They were going to have a farewell party, but I'm not into them, I don't like farewell parties," he tells news.com.au
"I guess I don't like too much closure. So I was going to finish the show, give them a good wave and go home.
"The last shot of the show was me leaving the studio, getting in the lift and the lift door closing.
"In reality I went to my car and drove home straight from the lift and Patti had left out some sandwiches and a bottle of champagne.
"As I sat down at home I realised I was still mic-ed up.
"It was actually a bit of an anticlimax because I had to drive back to Ten to give them the microphone."
Sitting with Bert Newton in his favourite Melbourne cafe, the same place he recently celebrated the birth of his fifth grandchild, a baby girl Perla, you could easily find yourself talking with Newton for five hours about his remarkable TV career.
In his 14 years hosting Good Morning Australia (GMA), or any of his-long running television hosting jobs for that matter, there is one thing Bert Newton never did - read from an autocue.
Newton, now 80 and as quick and sprightly as ever, says he always has a strict rule when it comes to the autocue, and that is, don't read it.
Most of Australia's modern day television presenters would be lost without it, but for Newton he believes the autocue is impacting the quality of television.
"If I had one criticism of television now, I so seldom get the feeling that someone is actually talking to me and I think one of the reasons is because of the autocue," he says.
"If I was producing a television show now, there are two things that would go immediately, the autocue and the pen or pencil.
"Because every compare now is twiddling a pencil and it takes your eye off the magic."
Newton realises that the best of his television career maybe over, but that doesn't mean it is the end of his career.
If the right gig game up, he would jump at it, however at the same time he isn't bitter things have slowed down.
"I'm not retired, but I've got to be honest, the phone doesn't ring quite as often, but I'm enjoying it," he says.
"Even though I had nothing to do with it, the timing has been wonderful because I spend plenty of time with my grandchildren and I've got a wonderful wife in Patti, we celebrate 45 years of marriage this year. I'm also so proud of my children Matthew and Lauren.
"If something came along that appeals to me I would enjoy doing it, but I never get into a situation where I think, why not me?
"I've been so lucky. If I was to be ungrateful in any way for my career, that could make me a person of not too much substance.
"I've been lucky, but in fairness, I've also worked hard too."
One of those jobs that Newton worked very hard at was hosting GMA.
It was in 1992 that Newton hosted two and half hours of television on GMA Monday to Friday.
Ten had tried to poach Newton a couple of times while he was at Channel 9, but they eventually got their man after her left the station and things were quiet in the early 1990s.
"I had left Nine and then I went back to Channel 7 for a couple of years and was doing a bit of freelance work and theatre and things were pretty quiet," he says.
"Then all of the sudden the gig was offered to me by the late Gavin Disney, who produced quite a few successful shows including, Hey Hey It's Saturday, and he asked me would I do a morning program.
"I met with management and they liked the idea. It started out as The Morning Show, but then after a couple of weeks the title Good Morning Australia came available and then they made it GMA.
"I thought it would be a good gig for a couple of years, not realising that we'd get 14 years out of it."
With Lauren and Matt in High School, he had more flexibility and the timing was just right.
"It worked out nicely," he says.
"It was a big ask because I had to be there very early in the morning, but that sort of thing has never concerned me.
Newton puts a lot of the success of the show down to the fact they had a very steady crew behind the scenes, including long time executive producer Leanne Mercer, floor manager Rob "Belvedere" Mascara, and music director John Foreman, who he and Patti discovered when he was just nineteen.
He can't praise all three enough.
"I had great back up with Belvedere, he was the floor manager and we made a star out of him," Newton says.
"He's someone I'm still in contact with and now in his forties. Apart from the fact he was good fun and he was willing to learn, he was a devotee of television.
"He was one of those young people who knew exactly where people like I had come from, and there was a lot of respect but also a lot of laughs."
Then of course there was the legendary advertorial presenter Moira McLean, who worked on the show for thirteen years.
Newton says at one stage the advertorials were raking in $70 million for Network Ten, pretty much propping up the entire network.
"I think the important thing to remember always about advertorials, and this is still true, they are basically paying for the program," he says.
"I can't remember what precise year, but at one stage I think it was a difficult year for Ten and we were providing something like $70 million per annum in advertising.
"That in itself is a good safeguard when contract time comes around!"
Over the years Newton had pretty much every Australian celebrity on GMA, including sitting Prime Ministers at the time Paul Keating and John Howard.
Throughout his career Prime Ministers had always wanted to appear on any show Newton hosted, because millions watched it.
This included the late Malcolm Fraser.
"For some reason I was one of Malcolm's favourites," Newton says.
"He would actually make a personal phone call to me and ask if he could go on the show.
"It developed into a situation where he would come on with prepared lines, little jokes.
"I advised him one morning after a show that if he's going to do a little joke, not to do it from a slip of paper that was obviously passed onto him by one of his advisers.
"I said to him 'Malcolm, it's a dead set giveaway, you know?' and he laughed."
It may come as a surprise, but Newton has fond memories of Labor Opposition Leader Mark Latham appearing on GMA.
"I liked Mark because he was so different," he says.
"He called a spade a spade and he came from left field to become Leader of the Opposition.
"He was the sort of bloke you would like to have a beer with."
When the axe finally came on GMA at the start of 2006, Newton wasn't shocked.
"I felt it in my bones, 14 years is a long time," he says.
"There are other programs that have had longer runs, but we are talking about two and half hours of television a day, and it had been very successful.
"We lost a couple of production staff that I thought were very important to the show and they went on to bigger and better things, so good luck to them.
"I also thought perhaps it might be the right thing for me to have a break for a while."
Ten replaced GMA with 9am With David and Kim, hosted by David Reyne and Kim Watkins.
Since then both The Circle and now Studio 10 have taken GMA's place.
When the show was axed Ten wanted to keep Newton, but he had a yearning to go back to what he calls his television home - Nine.
After GMA and to this day there has always been a rock solid supporter of Newton, his wife Patti.
He is looking forward to celebrating 45 years of marriage later this year, perhaps with a glass of champagne and a sandwich.
"We've been married nearly 45 years but we've known each other for probably around 60 years," Newton says.
"When we were both kids we were both on various television programs and radio programs.
"I initially got to know Patti's mother's before I knew Patti.
"It's been a great partnership. I mean I think she thinks she keeps me on the straight and narrow, but there were a few diversions from that straight and narrow that she doesn't know anything about!"
With that Newton finishes his sugar free Coca-Cola. He is on a health kick these days ever since undergoing a quadruple bypass heart surgery in 2012 and he heads back to what he calls "the ranch," to see both Patti and the grandchildren.
Morning television was a better place for GMA in Australia and Newton has only fond memories of what was just another successful era for one of Australia's most loved television hosts in history.
Luke Dennehy is a freelance entertainment journalist. Follow him @LukeDennehy