MELBOURNE, Feb 9, 2009 (AFP) - A retired television anchor, who famously covered the last big wildfires in Australia 26 years ago, was burnt to death with his wife as flames engulfed their home at the weekend.
Brian Naylor, 78, the face of the news for people in Victoria state as an anchor for the Seven and Nine networks during a 40 year media career, was one of at least 126 people who died in the fires.
Naylor - who signed off each bulletin with "May your news be good news, and goodnight" - was remembered in parliament Monday as the nation mourned victims of the worst wildfires in Australian history.
"The reality of the loss took on a familiar face with the death of Brian Naylor and his wife Moiree at their Kinglake West home," Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard told a hushed parliament.
"I'm one of the millions of Victorians who for years only got the news because Brian told us. He was loved and trusted like a reliable uncle."
Naylor and his wife died on Saturday as a fire raced through the home where they had lived for many years in Kinglake West, with their bodies reportedly found together.
Former Nine Network news director John Sorrell, a long-time friend of the Naylors, said he was not surprised the pair died together.
"They are the sort of people who might have even died in each other's arms - as silly as it sounds," he told The Age newspaper.
"When they looked at each other, there was light in their eyes. They were very much in love."
A large photograph of a younger Naylor, dressed in a suit with microphone in hand amidst the rubble of a burnt-out house during 1983 bushfires that killed 75 people, was carried by The Australian newspaper Monday.
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