National treasure broadcaster plans own funeral as he prepares ‘last goodbye’ for new show

National treasure broadcaster plans own funeral as he prepares ‘last goodbye’ for new show

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TV star Ray Martin is in the process of planning his own funeral after being alerted to the fact that, statistically speaking, he only has two years to live.

The 79-year-old broadcaster is considered a national treasure in his native Australia, having been on screens over the past 59 years.

He is best known for presenting programmes including A Current Affair, The Midday Show and 60 Minutes and is also the country’s most awarded TV star, having won the Gold Logie five times.

But he’s now facing his own mortality in a new documentary series, in which he takes a deep dive into the topic of death.

The series Ray Martin: The Last Goodbye not only sees him planning his own funeral, but also discovering the trends, rituals, practicalities, and emerging tech around the way we lay ourselves to eternal rest.

Meeting with morticians, medical students, undertakers and death deniers, he seeks to understand his country’s relationship with death.

TV star Ray Martin is planning his own funeral (Picture: SBS)

It comes after the 79-year-old was told he has around two years to live (Picture: SBS)

Watching on as people say goodbye to loved ones with Samoan lullabies to explosive firework farewells, he also investigates how people are now not simply deciding between being buried or cremated, and instead might want to be composted or turn to cryonics in the hopes of being resurrected in the future.

Ray is part of the ‘baby boomer’ generation, who face an average age of death of 83 in Australia, however that number is reduced by two years for men.

The Australian broadcaster has appeared on TV for nearly 60 years (Picture: Peter Carrette Archive/Getty Images)

He has won TV’s top award, the Gold Logie, five times (Picture: Patrick Riviere/Getty Images)

Despite being in his twilight years, last year the veteran broadcaster said he had no plans of slowing down.

‘I’m never going to retire. David Attenborough is in his 90s and he’s my role model. He says you’ve got to keep doing what you love,’ he told Woman’s Day magazine.

‘I lived in New York for 10 years as the ABC correspondent and I worked eight days a week. Yet I think of all the things I didn’t do and should have done.

‘You’ve got forever to sleep; you’ve got to have a go.’

The Last Goodbye will air on SBS in Australia.

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