Born in Bassendean, a suburb of Perth, Western Australia. He had experience in Perth on television in its early years, with his rapid drawing style and flair for amusing entertainment.
He moved to the United Kingdom as an art student at City and Guilds Arts School, Kennington, South London at the age 22, notably illustrating Robert Harbin's Paper Magic (1956).
He returned to Perth after art school and was involved in Children's Television shows. Some years later he returned to the UK to live. He has regularly returned to Perth over the years for family visits.
He initially rose to fame in 1960 for his novelty song "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport", featuring the distinctive sound of the "wobble board" - a large piece of Masonite which was played by "wobbling" it back and forth. He went on to use an array of unusual instruments in his music, including the didgeridoo (the sound of which was imitated on "Sun Arise" by four double basses), jew's harp and, later, the stylophone. His biggest hit, however, was a gimmick-free rendering of the sentimental song "Two Little Boys" (1969), a departure for him in that he usually recorded either his own compositions or traditional songs.
He also made several television appearances in which he would paint pictures on large boards in an apparently slapdash manner, with the odd nonsense song thrown in, but with detai...