Salesman of the Century
Tony Barber’s name is synonymous with Australia’s most popular television game show Sale Of The Century, which proved an ideal medium for his quick-witted and lively personality. A man of many talents, Tony’s services as Master of Ceremonies are much sought after in the corporate sector. His Sale of the Century style ‘corporate company tailored’ trivia nights are also enormously popular.
Born in England, Tony arrived in Australia in 1947 aged seven, where he survived the Sisters of Mercy, the Christian Brothers and seven years training to be a Royal Australian Naval Officer. “The sisters of so-called mercy taught me to sing and dance, the brothers taught me to bob and weave and the navy taught me to play rugby” says Tony.
Starting as a cadet announcer at 6GE in 1961, by the end of 62′, Tony was Perth’s leading DJ as well as the star of the Charles Hotel floor show and two nights a week at the Lido Coral Room.
Throughout the sixties, Tony pursued his career via Hotel Talent Quests and as the resident compere and vocalist at the legendary Spellsons nitery in Pitt St. While also holding down a “day job” as an advertising executive, Tony’s break came when he cast himself as the “Cambridge Whistler” in a television cigarette commercial.
The commercial captured the public’s imagination, as well as the eye of Bruce Gyngell who was then directing the Network 7 Revolution. As a result, Gyngell proposed Tony as Host for the Grundy daytime quiz show Temptation.
Tony’s success on Temptation was followed by the extremely popular Family Feud, which in turn lead to Sale Of The Century, which Tony hosted for eleven years. Overall, including the Temptation, Family Feud and Sale of the Century, Tony estimates he’s hosted over 8,500 individual episodes of successful Grundy Games.
Since then, Tony has performed his highly entertaining one man musical biography Who am I to over a quarter of a million patrons in over three hundred venues. He has also published his autobiography of the same name, which made the national best-seller lists and was critically acclaimed.
He works as Entertainment Co-ordinator and Presenter with Visy Industries, Australia’s biggest manufacturer and distributor of packaging and paper products, as well as for the Pratt family and associated companies and charities.
His long term client associations include Westfield, Hyundai, Diners Club, Trafalgar Tours, and Renaissance Television and Primelife Corporation.
Tony had 5000 people well under control and without his professional style the event would not have worked half as well.