Today's Birthday 13/6

Callum Godde
Today's Birthday, June 13: Australian musician, TV personality and radio DJ Red Symons (1949 - )

Today's Birthday, June 13: Australian musician, television personality and radio broadcaster Red Symons (1949 - ).

The multi-talented Red Symons recently hung up the headphones after being pushed out of his long-time radio presenter role.

The former Skyhooks band member and Red Faces judge announced he would not return as ABC Radio Melbourne Breakfast host in 2018 after 15 years behind the microphone for the national broadcaster.

"Why am I going? They haven't said, and I haven't asked," the 69-year-old told his ABC 774 listeners in late November.

He broke his five-month radio silence in late May, suggesting on 3AW that ABC cost-cutting was likely a factor in his departure.

Born Redmond Symons in the English seaside town of Brighton in 1949, he immigrated to Australia with his family in 1958 at age nine and mostly grew up in Melbourne's Yarra Valley.

The youngster earned a University of Melbourne science degree in pure mathematics and computer programming before setting his sights on a music career.

He was in the audience and part of another act, Scumbag, when The Skyhooks played their first gig at Carlton's St Jude's Hall in 1973 and joined the fledgling band as a guitarist and vocalist the following year.

The uniquely Australian rock outfit burst onto the scene with watershed LP Living in the 70's in 1974, which sold an unprecedented 250,000 copies.

The guitarist's quirky riffs on hit singles Living in the 70's and Horror Movies paired well with his cross-dressing, makeup-clad stage costumes.

After another two albums, Symons abruptly quit the band in 1977, citing a loss of passion, and the group disbanded altogether in 1980.

Symons' ploughed on as a television personality, though, and his dry wit was on show as the harsh and sarcastic judge on Hey Hey It's Saturday's weekly Red Faces talent segment in the 1980s and 90s.

Over the past three decades, the part-time newspaper columnist has also appeared on Neighbours, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and Australia's Got Talent.

Symons endured a difficult 2017.

He apologised after asking fellow ABC broadcaster Beverley Wang "what's the deal with Asians?" on a podcast, spent two months recovering off-air after a fall and divorced from his wife of 17 years Elly, the mother of his three sons.