News Limited Network reports
A rejuvenated Bert Newton has bounced back from heart surgery to embark on a gruelling national tour in the Grease musical.
The 75-year-old TV legend underwent a quadruple heart bypass in Melbourne in November 2012 after complaining of chest pains.
After six months of rehab at home, Newton is now back in the spotlight, playing Vince Fontaine in the Australian tour of the hit musical.
Keeping up with the young cast has been an inspiration to him, he told Fairfax newspapers.
"The average age of the cast in the show, if you take me out of it, is about 22. The energy and excitement is quite contagious," he said.
"I like people of my vintage but it's important to have a few young people around you too. And that's why I'm liking this show."
Newton started his career as a 15-year-old junior announcer on Melbourne radio station 3XY and began his association with the Nine Network in 1959, striking up a partnership with Graham Kennedy on In Melbourne Tonight.
He has been a fixture of Australian television and stage ever since.
Newton said he cherished the early years of his career and is glad he is not entering show business today.
"The sort of television I did with Graham (Kennedy) and Don (Lane) is not around anymore, because there's not much live television. I miss doing that sort of thing.
"I'm just happy I'm not a young person coming into the industry now. I think it was easier at the start because we all learned together, even the audience."
Newton has four gold Logies and was inducted into the Logies Hall of Fame in 1988.
* Grease had its Australian premiere in Brisbane tonight, before moving to Sydney and Melbourne.