Then on July 1st 1932, The Australian Broadcasting Commission was launched when his father introduced Prime Minister Joseph Lyons for the official inauguration. The ABC then controlled twelve stations – 2FC and 2BL in Sydney, 3AR and 3LO in Melbourne, 4QG in Brisbane, 5CL in Adelaide, 6WF in Perth, 7ZL in Hobart and the relay stations 2NC in Newcastle, 2CO at Corowa, 4RK in Rockhampton and 5CK at Crystal Brook.Like his father, who was there for the launch the ABC Radio in 1932, his brother Michael made announcements in 1956, during the opening night of ABC TV in Sydney.Initially his sole ambition was to be a cricketer, but when he arrived at the South Melbourne Cricket Club to find it had 14 players of Test and Shield standard, his aspirations were somewhat dampened, so his father “thrust” him into radio.Tony Charlton retained the reverence for sport he had as a boy, and began his broadcasting career as an office boy at Melbourne’s commercial radio station 3AW in 1949, which was then a racing station, until the legendary broadcaster Norman Banks moved there from 3KZ and chose Tony to be his sidekick in the station’s first VFL football broadcast.The following year he was headhunted by HSV Channel Seven, to then call the first televised VFL match the following year, before Nine made him an offer he couldn’t refuse in 1960, and on returning he was a producer, presenter and commentator for various sporting broadcasts for more than a decade, and later the ABC.He called every major event from Australian Rules Football, tennis, motor racing and the Olympics.The following decade, Michael was a co-creator of the current affairs program Four Corners, and initial host in 1961, before enjoying a long and successful career with the BBC in London.
Tony came from a broadcasting family with his father Conrad Charlton describing the opening of the Sydney Harbour bridge for The Australian Broadcasting Company’s 2BL on March 19th 1932.
TVW Channel Seven veterans will remember Tony commentating and conducting interviews, not only for Seven in Perth, but also the Nine network during the 1962 Commonwealth and Empire Games at Perry Lakes Stadium, which were produced by Darcy Farrell.
This happened to be a night match at the Melbourne Showgrounds, next door to Flemington Racecourse.
Television in Australia coincided with the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games, and Tony was at the forefront of the Nine’s Games coverage, when he moved to GTV.
His mother was also a friend to the wife of Australian wartime Prime Minister John Curtin.
As a youth, Tony captained the First XI of Scotch College in Perth, where he and elder brother Michael were educated.