John Hamblin

John Hamblin (born 1935) is a retired English Australian children's television presenter and actor of stage and screen who has appeared in numerous soap operas and made-for-TV films. He is best known for his 29 year stint presenting children's program Play School from 1970 to 1999 and drama The Restless Years [1]

John Hamblin
Born1935 (age 8384)[1]
NationalityEnglish Australian
OccupationTelevision presenter, actor
Years active1959-1988, 2000-2009
Known forHost of Play School
The Restless Years

Hamblin was born and grew up in Suffolk, England. His father had flown with the Flying Corps during World War I and Hamblin himself joined the Air Force and did his national service in Cyprus in the late 1950s before returning to England. Initially he trained at art school, but decided on a career in acting instead and studied drama to become an actor. He started his career in repertory theatre with the Theatre Royal in Windsor, before an appearance in the cult TV series The Prisoner - the episode 'A Change of Mind'. He came to Australia in the early 60s as a Ten Pound Pom and worked with the Sydney Theatre Company and also secured roles in television throughout the 1960s, 70s and 80s, including roles in soap operas Number 96, Class of '74, The Young Doctors (as Dr Dan Wheatley), Case for the Defence and Sons and Daughters. After a brief hiatus he returned to television in guest roles in All Saints and Love My Way in the 2000s. Having been a presenter of Play School he was the second most prolific presenter, appearing in 357 episodes[1] while fellow presenter Benita Collings appeared in 401 episodes.[2] Hamblin played the role of Michael Chamberlain in The Disappearance of Azaria Chamberlain. He published a memoir in 2008 and retired in 2009. He currently resides in Tasmania.


Year Title Role
1959Quartermass and the Pit (miniseries)Newsvendor
1959Season of Passionuncredited
1960Scotland Yard (TV series)Thomas Miller
1967The Prisoner (TV series)1st Woodland Man
1969RipTide (TV series)Wallace's Mate
1971The Comedy Game (TV series)
1972Number 96 (TV series)Dr. Mike Cavanagh
1974This Love Affair (TV series)Andrew
1974-1975Class of 75 (TV series)Donald Blair
1976The Bushranger (TV movie)Sergeant Dunbar
1977The Young Doctors (TV series)Dr. Dan Wheatley
1978Case for the Defence (TV series)John Cass
1979Skyways (TV series)Bob Kennedy
1978-1980The Restless Years (TV series)A.R. Jordon
1980Spring and Fall (TV series)
1980The Timeless Year (mini-series)Robert Campbell
1982Secret Valley (TV series)Mr. Melrose
1983Who Killed Baby Azaria? (TV movie)Michael Chamberlain
1983Starting Out (TV series)Dr. James Holt
1984Run, Chrissie Run!Cathys father
1984The Last Bastian (miniseries)Anthony Eden
1984Runaway Island (TV series)Lachlan McLeod
1984Crime of the Decade (TV movie)Ian Henderson
1984A Street to DieDr. Walker
1985Winners (TV series)Doctor
1986Tusatala (miniseries)Dr. Eisner
1987Sons and Daughters (TV series)Frank Porter
1988Rafferty's Rules (TV series)Tom Herman
2000All Saints (TV series)Alex Knight
2001Pizza (TV series)Judge
2006Love my Way (TV series)Clive
2009There's a Heaven Above You (film short)Party Background


Year Title Role
1970-1999Play SchoolHimself as host


  1. Craig, Natalie (20 May 2008). "Don't tell the children". The Age. Retrieved 21 May 2010.

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