TV veteran and Logie award winner John Crook, who pioneered travel television, has died.
The longest standing member of the International Food Wine Travel Writers Association Australasia (IFWTWA), Crook began his career presenting A Crook Affair, one of the longest running live talk shows in the country on Network TEN, and hosted John Crook’s Down Under Show, taking out two Logies in the process.
Crook’s extensive career also saw him lead a film crew on the front line during the Vietnam War, interviewing Australian servicemen.
Just months before he died from a long illness, he told IFWTWA committee member Kirstie Bedford it was the tropics which particularly took his interest, in Saigon, and later on location in the rubber plantations of Nui Dat and Vung Tau.
John said he was determined to use that experience to help open the doors of travel; not just to these war torn regions, but also to other nations.
Radio also played a key role in his career and is a medium he was involved in until the months before his death – producing a prolific amount of daily radio programs on travel, food and wine on the ‘Around the Word Radio Travel Show’.
A self confessed Francophile, John was always tempted to travel abroad – and top of his list was not just Western Europe but South Africa, Denmark, and the United States.
Always prepared to offer sound advice, John had recently passed on some valuable tips for those wanting longevity in the industry saying don’t make promises you can’t keep, keep alcohol usage to a minimum, send your articles to hosts and always be on time to avoid unnecessary delays to the schedule.
John was proud of his long service with IFWTWA Australasia and it was discussed with him months ago that an award would be set up in his name, given his 50 years of service to the travel sector.
Chairman of IFWTWA Australasia Graeme Kemlo says John was honoured at the suggestion and it’s an idea which will come to fruition in coming months.
“Over recent months, we’d been discussing the opportunity of an award in John’s name and he was humbled by the discussions. We are so pleased to have had John as our longest serving member and his legacy in the incredible stories he told, and the industry he supported, is a great tribute to him.”