AFTER a dummy run of 76 years, Aussie TV's first and foremost ventriloquist, Ron Blaskett, is set to slam the lid on his showbiz career and on his 56-year-old wooden-headed sidekick, Gerry Gee (a Frank Marshall figure).
"I had to give up because Gerry Gee is starting to think I'm real," Blaskett, 90, joked yesterday.
"While I'm at the peak of performing, it is time to rule the line." A show in Knox next month will be the last of who-knows-how-many thousands for Ron and Gerry, who teamed up in 1956,
While Ron called it stumps in 1999, he was talked easily into a comeback by fond fans, and has ridden the nostalgia wave since then, working clubs and nursing homes. "At some of the homes, people who haven't spoken for years through dementia are suddenly talking to the doll," Ron says, smiling.
Ron now has almost as many artificial parts as Gerry and is thought to be the world's oldest working ventriloquist. "I'm nearly 91 and I've just had 10 solid years of darn hard work. I think I can retire now."