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Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum returns to TV for special This Is Your Life tribute to Tina Arena

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TV legend Ian “Molly” Meldrum has returned to the screen in a surprise appearance on Seven’s This Is Your Life to pay tribute to a longtime celebrity friend.

Meldrum, 79, has rarely been seen since he was injured in a fall from a ladder at his home in December 2011. The injury left him with a fractured skull, swelling on the brain and several broken bones.

But in the final This Is Your Life for 2022 tonight, the Aussie entertainment legend returned to TV with a heartfelt message for its featured guest, singer Tina Arena.

“Hi Tina! It’s your friend, boring old Molly. Oh my god, I won’t leave you alone, Tina. You and I have been friends for a long, long, long time,” Meldrum told her in a prerecorded message.

He referenced parties she’d attended with him, joking: “I won’t say a word, everyone behaved … Bulls**t.”

He added: “Do yourself a favour and have a great night.”

Arena was visibly moved by the tribute, telling This Is Your Life host Melissa Doyle: “There’s a soul, there’s a spirit. There’s someone who really did give an enormous amount to the arts in this country. He was always unbelievably supportive, an extraordinary man.”

Meldrum was just one of the many high-profile Aussies who showed up to pay tribute to the powerhouse performer.

Among the celebrity guests were Darren Hayes, Kate Miller-Heidke, Melissa George, Natalie Imbruglia, Mary Coustas, Manu Feildel and Matt Corby.

International superstars Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, Sir Tim Rice and Andrea Bocelli also appeared on the program, with Bocelli opening up about his “wonderful memories” performing with Arena.

“I remember with affection the moments we spent together on stage, I remember with admiration the beauty of your voice, and I’m happy this show tonight will remind everyone of those moments we spent together,” Bocelli said.

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