Comedy legend's family don't want Dan Andrews' 'fingerprints anywhere near' memorial service

Australian icon's family 'greatly distressed' by Victorian government's inaction during Melbourne Comedy Festival controversy.

Comedy legend's family don't want Dan Andrews' 'fingerprints anywhere near' memorial service
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The late comedy legend Barry Humphries will be honoured with a state funeral in Sydney, following claims his family has decided to decline the a proposal for a joint Sydney-Melbourne memorial.

This has raised doubts about the likelihood of a dual-city event.

Entertainment reporter Peter Ford revealed on 3AW Breakfast that Humphries' family is "greatly distressed" by some aspects of the memorial discussions.

The family reportedly does not want Victorian Premier Dan Andrews or his government involved in the service, with Ford going as far as to say that they don't want Victorian Premier Dan Andrews' "fingerprints anywhere near" the memorial service.

The decision is reportedly due to the Victorian government's inaction when the Melbourne Comedy Festival, supported by the government-funded major events committee, removed Humphries' name from one of its top awards. The removal was a response to the comedian's controversial comments about transgender people, which are shared by many Australians but controversial in progressive circles.

Ford stated that the family believes Andrews could have intervened in the matter and corrected the situation. Instead, they now want to keep the Victorian government at a distance from the memorial.

Humphries, who passed away last month at the age of 89 due to complications from hip surgery, was celebrated for his multiple personalities, including the iconic Dame Edna Everage.

Born in Melbourne, Humphries helped put the Moonee Ponds suburb on the map. However, Sydney is now set to be the backdrop for his farewell.

Last month, NSW Premier Chris Minns offered to honour the Australian comedic legend but did not want to "front run" any potential Sydney-based ceremony.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese later informed English journalist Piers Morgan that a state funeral for the "quintessential Australian character" would be co-hosted by both Sydney and Melbourne, with the Commonwealth also playing a part in the event. 

This news caught Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews off guard, as he had not been informed of the tri-government service plans. "I can't confirm for you where the service will be, or where the funeral will be," Andrews stated last week.

The exact details of the state funeral in Sydney, including the location and date, have yet to be announced.

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  • By Avi Yemini

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