Australian TV legend Bert Newton has had his leg amputated after a life-threatening infection.
According to media reports on Monday morning, the 82-year-old icon of the Australian entertainment industry, Newton had the surgery in Melbourne on Saturday afternoon.
Newton is believed to have been in hospital for the past six weeks after a toe infection over Christmas failed to heal.
Entertainment reporter Peter Ford broke the news to Melbourne radio station 3AW’s breakfast duo Ross and Russel after receiving a call from his wife of 47 years Patti Newton.
“Bert was given the ultimatum: You only have a couple of months to live (but) if you have this operation and we amputate your leg you could have many years ahead,” he said.
“Bert clearly chose to stick around.”
Ford said Newton was in “reasonably good spirits”.
Nine News reported Newton had his leg amputated below the knee in what was described as a “life or death situation”.
A series of specialist doctors and vascular surgeons had investigated the worsening infection, although it had not seemed too serious when it began around Christmas.
In a horror run of health for the popular showbiz couple, Patti is also recovering from a broken ankle after a fall. She shared a photo of herself in a moon boot two weeks ago on her official Instagram.
Her management says she will not be making any further comments at this stage.
Newton has battled several health issues in the past, including hospitalisation with pneumonia in 2017.
He also underwent quadruple bypass surgery the following year.
Patti had previously shared a photo of her husband back in November wearing a mask while in hospital.
“Bert’s been in hospital, all good,” she said.
“He’s got a Lot of Living to Do.”
But several entertainment personalities have posted their reaction to news of the operation on her Instagram page.
“Dear Patti just heard news about Bert… So, so, sorry to hear of such dramatic and stressful changes to both your lives. Sending much love and strength to both of you,” radio presenter Jane Kennedy wrote.
“Sending so much love to you and Bert with everything that is going on in your world. You are such an amazing couple and we wish you only good things ahead,” wrote television presenter Angela Bishop.
The Newtons have two children and six grandchildren. Their son Matthew, is an actor and has appeared in several Australia films and TV dramas. Their daughter Lauren married swimmer Matt Welsh and have six children between them.
Newton won four Gold Logies during his career spanning seven decades, acknowledged globally as an industry pioneer in Australian television since broadcasting began in 1956.
For more than 30 years, Newton appeared as the funny sidekick on The Don Lane Show before becoming the host of Channel 10’s Good Morning Australia.
He has also starred in several theatre productions including The Wizard of Oz, Wicked, Beauty and the Beast and The Rocky Horror Show.