Red Faces

Red Symons

Red Symons (born 13 June, 1949 in Brighton, England, United Kingdom) is an Australian musician, writer, and radio host, probably best known as lead guitarist with Skyhooks and as the snide judge of "Red Faces", a segment of the long-running Hey Hey It's Saturday variety television show. He currently hosts 774 ABC Melbourne's breakfast show.

Born in England, he emigrated to Australia (on the same boat as the members of the Bee Gees) at the age of 9, in 1958. Symons was a student at Emerald Primary School then Upwey High School in Victoria. Symons studied pure mathematics and computer science at The University of Melbourne, earning a Bachelor of Science degree, before joining seminal Australian rock band Skyhooks as a guitarist in the 1970s. He also worked in the theatre as a musical director for several organisations, including the Pram Factory, a famous 1970s Melbourne theatre group.

Through the 1980s and 1990s, he combined his on-air role on Hey Hey (also playing in the house band) with composing for various film and television shows, and jingle writing.

In 1992-95, he played the role of the Narrator in "The New Rocky Horror Show", touring Australia and Singapore.

When the show ended in 1999 Symons began writing for The Age newspaper and appearing in a weekly spot on 774 ABC Melbourne, a radio station. At one point he filled in for Lynne Haultain on the breakfast program for that station, where he was such a success that he was retained permanently in that slot.

In February 2002 he hosted the game show flop Shafted, which was cancelled in April of the same year. Later in 2002 he was a contestant on Celebrity Big Brother Australia.

Symon's on-camera persona is a sarcastic killjoy, a role he apparently adopted through his role of third judge on "Red Faces". In a made-for-television Australian national IQ test, he tested higher than any of the other celebrities.

In October 2005, Symons competed in and won the Celebrity Family Feud special on Temptation alongside his wife Elly. He also competed in Australia's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? getting as far as the $500,000 question in 2004, at which point a wrong answer caused him to lose the majority of the money, going away with $32, 000 for his chosen charity. He also competed in the Network Ten's Australia's Brainiest Comedian in November 2005 where he came third.

He is also a regular guest on ABC's The Einstein Factor. In 2007, he signed up with Channel Seven and to become a judge on Australia's Got Talent.

He is the elder brother of London-based journalist and author Jane Symons.

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