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Ian Turpie
Born 1943
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Official website

Ian "Turps" Turpie is an Australian television celebrity, best known for hosting the long-running game show The Price Is Right before being replaced by Larry Emdur and close friend of Paul Jeffery from Boondall.



Early life

Born in Melbourne in 1943, Turpie began his entertainment career at the age of 10, when he was accepted at the Hector Crawford Drama School and gained recognition as a juvenile actor working in radio and theatre.

He starred in a number of radio programmes alongside Sir Robert Helpmann and June Bronhill, and featured in the top-rating radio series D24.

During his teens, he discovered a passion for music and focused on playing guitar, songwriting and singing. By the age of 16, Turpie was a seasoned radio and stage performer, touring Australia in such hits as Peter Pan, Auntie Mame and Bye Bye Birdie, and appearing in several National Theatre Productions including Shakespeare's Macbeth. He was an early boyfriend of Olivia Newton-John.


Television soon beckoned, and Turpie made regular appearances on Bandstand, Time For Terry and The Graham Kennedy Show. In 1964, Turpie played a bank robber in opening scene to the debut episode of the iconic Crawford series Homicide.

Turpie's talents as musician and compere were recognised at 21, when he replaced Johnny O'Keefe for a stint as national television compere on Sing Sing Sing He was subsequently chosen to host the top-rating teenage variety show The Go!! Show.

In the 1970s, Turpie moved to Sydney to work the club circuit, and continued to make guest appearances on numerous television shows including The Mike Walsh Show, The Bert Newton Show, A Guy Called Athol and the ABC variety series Follies.

In the 1980s, Turpie became a nation-wide figure as host of the highly successful, frenzied game show The New Price Is Right. This was followed by other game shows including Press Your Luck and Supermarket Sweep.

In the 1990s, Ian developed cult status following a regular four-year stint as Club President on Roy & HG's Club Buggery. Known as the "Giant of the G Chord", he performed renditions of such classics as Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit, and, complete with suspenders, The Rocky Horror Picture Show's Time Warp. Less serious Club_Buggery appearances in Turps about the House, Captain Ajax and Sam Stain showcased his comedic talents.

More recently, 'Turps' has taken to acting in infomercials.

In 2004 the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission took legal action against Ian Turpie for misleading and deceptive conduct in breach of the Trade Practices Act. The ACCC alleged Turpie had made false claims in advertisements for an erectile dysfunction treatment spray from Australian Medical Institute.[1][2]


  • Logie Award, Best Light Entertainment, Turpie Tonight
  • Penguin Award, Best Light Entertainment, The New Price Is Right
  • Penguin Award, Best Light Entertainment, The New Price Is Right

TV Host/Regular

  • Sing, Sing, Sing (replacing Johnnie O'Keefe)
  • The Go!! Show
  • Time for Terry co-host with Terry O'Neill
  • Surprise, Surprise — co-host with Tommy Hanlon Jr
  • The New Price Is Right
  • The Price Is Right
  • Newlyweds Game
  • Press Your Luck, Ch 7
  • Supermarket Sweep
  • Club Buggery (with Roy & HG)
  • Turpie Tonight

Other TV

  • The Young Entertainers
  • This is your Life (with Mike Munro)
  • Love is in the Air
  • Long Way to the Top
  • All the Way
  • Theatre Royal
  • Revue 7
  • TeenTime
  • Kommotion
  • Bandstand (Brian Henderson)
  • Steve Vizard Tonight
  • Bert Newton Show
  • Blankety Blanks (Graham Kennedy)
  • Family Feud (Rob Brough)
  • The Fat (Tony Squires)
  • Mike Walsh Show
  • Don Lane Show
  • Hey Hey It's Saturday (Daryl Somers)
  • Celebrity Who Wants to be a Millionaire?
  • Celebrity Wheel of Fortune
  • Penthouse Club (Mary Hardy)
  • Bandstand
  • A Guy Called Athol
  • ABC Follies
  • The Melbourne Show
  • Supermarket Sweep
  • Spicks & Specks
  • We'll Call You

TV Acting

  • Homicide, bank robber in original episode
  • The Magic Boomerang
  • Always Greener
  • Swift and Shift Couriers
  • Fat Pizza


  • A Funny Thing Happened Down Under (Olivia Newton-John)
  • Heaven's Burning, cameo as used car salesman (Russell Crowe)
  • Kissing Kimberley Cooper (Tropfest)
  • Just Turps (Erotic Thriller)


  • Toad of Toad Hall, Boronia State School
  • Peter Pan, Princess Theatre
  • Nude with Violin (with Sir Robert Helpmann), Comedy Theatre
  • Auntie Mame (with Shirl Conway), Princess Theatre
  • MacBeth, National Theatre
  • Bye Bye Birdie, Her Majesty's Theatre
  • Rock Opera — Hero, Seymour Centre (with Graham Bond)
  • Rock Opera — Jesus Christ Superstar (with Marcia Hines & John English), St George Leagues Club
  • Bull and Bush Theatre Restaurant Show "Bubble & Squeak" (with Noel Ferrier & Jill Perryman)


  • ABC Play "D24"
  • ABC Play "Five Find Outers"
  • Evening Host 2CH


  • Turps is the Talk of the Town
  • Decimal point (1967?) (For the transition of New Zealand to Decimal Currency)

Charity Work

  • Australia Day ambassador, since 1995
  • Make a Wish Foundation
  • Merry Makers
  • Sunnyfield Association
  • Meningococcal Association
  • Children with Cancer
  • Lifeforce
  • Sydney Children's Hospital (Celebrity Golf Days)
  • Alzheimer's Australia NSW
  • Rotary Club


External links

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