Veteran television newsreader Ian “Roscoe” Ross has been remembered as a “warm, loyal friend” with a great sense of humour at a funeral service on the Gold Coast.
Ross, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer before Christmas, died on April 30.
His former Nine colleagues Tracey Grimshaw, Steve Liebmann and Liz Hayes joined mourners at the Allambe Memorial Park in Nerang, as well as his former Seven peers Chris Bath, Mark Ferguson, Jim Wilson and Mark Beretta.
Former Nine newsreader Brian Henderson and ex-Seven News director Peter Meakin also attended.
Media personality Prue MacSween, who is undergoing chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer, gave a moving eulogy detailing Ross’ support despite his own health problems.
“Even in his final days when he was really struggling he was sending me messages of support and love for my current battle.
“Roscoe never had an inflated opinion of himself. He was entirely modest and humbled by his success and his celebrity.
“He was warm and kind to everyone, no matter who they were … Everyone loved Roscoe, a ruby of a man to all of us.”
Grimshaw revealed former Seven CEO David Leckie’s strategy to coax Ross out of retirement to join the network in 2003. The move paid dividends dragging the second-placed Seven news to the top of the competitive Sydney market.
“(Leckie said) `We wanted to win people over from Nine, so we needed to make them feel like they were watching Nine, even though they weren’t. And there wasn’t a warmer, better Nine face than Ian Ross’.
“It worked pretty well.”
Ross’ daughter, Amanda, spoke of her father’s “quiet dignity” as he battled with cancer.
“He never had one moment of self pity. Whenever we asked him how he was feeling he’d say, ‘Don’t worry, I’m fine.’
“Dad was a loyal friend, a loving brother, a kind father, a proud grandfather and very, very funny man.”
Ross started his media career in 1957 at Sydney radio station 2GB before moving into television as a reporter with the Nine Network. He spent 38 years at Nine before switching to Seven.
In 2003, Ross headed Seven’s 6pm news bulletin in Sydney until 2009.
Ross is survived by his partner of 22 years, Gray Bolte, his ex-wife, three children and eight grandchildren.