The veteran ABC Victorian newsreader had already bid farewell to colleagues and friends, and was minutes into what was supposed to be his final bulletin on Thursday night when there was a technical meltdown.
Television screens across Victoria froze and the public broadcaster was forced to air ABC News NSW, derailing Hendersons plans to say goodbye to the most important people of all — the audience.
For Henderson, who has spent the past 38 years in the lounge rooms of Victorians, it was an unacceptable way to show himself out.
“Thank you for all your kind and thoughtful messages of the past fortnight and for welcoming me into your homes all these years,” he said.
“Over the years, weve experienced the highs and lows of live television together, of which last night was certainly one.
“But from tomorrow night I join you on the other side of the TV screen and Im very much looking forward to getting my news from my talented colleagues Tamara Oudyn and Mary Gearin.”
“Id like to thank all my colleagues both behind the scenes and in front of the camera whose hard work and diligence makes all this possible,” he said.
And, with a small smile that his colleagues have privately dubbed the “Hendo twinkle”, he had one final message to the audience.
Topics: journalism, television-broadcasting, information-and-communication, broadcasting, abc, melbourne-3000, vic
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ABC newsreader Ian Henderson has finally had his chance to say goodbye to viewers after a "catastrophic technical failure" cut short what was meant to be his last bulletin in 25 years.
On Thursday, about seven minutes into the bulletin, a story on Opposition Leader Bill Shorten visiting a school in Brisbane froze on the screen for about 30 seconds.
The screen then switched to the ABC news bulletin filmed out of Sydney with newsreader Juanita Phillips, creating confusion for viewers and robbing the beloved anchor of his chance to say farewell.
"Well as you may have noticed, we made a bit of news of our own last night for all the wrong reasons," Henderson said on Friday night.
'A catastrophic technical failure blacked out our studio for a couple of hours, so I'm back for an encore performance tonight.
"We'd like to say sorry for the confusion and lack of an explanation last night. Everyone was really scrambling to try and figure what had gone wrong."
Ian Henderson on Thursday night after a technical glitch marred what was meant to be his last night in 25 years. Credit:ABC
Weatherman Paul Higgins ended his segment with a special forecast: "A long and happy retirement for our Hendo".
Higgins told Henderson that accolades had been pouring into the station since he announced his retirement on October 2.
"Along with all of your colleagues here at ABC News, I'll miss your camaraderie, wisdom, your guiding hand in the newsroom, your eloquence, your wit and fierce advocacy for journalistic standards."
Henderson signed off "his long and happy stint at the ABC" with a thank you to viewers for all their "kind and thoughtful" goodbye messages.
"And for welcoming me into your homes – it has been real privilege and a rare pleasure," he said.
"Over the years we've experienced the highs and the lows of live television together, of which last night was certainly one.
"But from tomorrow night, I join you on the other side of the TV screen and I'm very much looking for to getting my news from my talented colleagues Tamara Oudyn and Mary Gearin."
Appearing emotional, Henderson thanked all his colleagues from behind the scenes and in front of the camera, "whose hard work and diligence makes all of this magic possible".
"To all of you, travel well, and should our paths cross down the track, make sure you say hello.