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Clowning around with bastards

Posted by: Derryn Hinch | 13 May, 2011 - 3:47 PM

For more than 40 years Zig and Zag were Melbourne’s favourite clowns. For generations of Aussie kids their clown faces and funny hats were instantly recognisable. They were a fixture at Moomba.

AUDIO: The victim details the sordid story to Hinch

AUDIO: Roy Lyons' niece calls in to defend her uncle Roy

As Zig and Zag, Jack Perry and Doug McKenzie, drove a toy car at their first Moomba parade in 1956 and that same year broadcast the first episode of Peters Fun Fair on Channel 7. It was the first children’s show ever broadcast in Australia. Also on Peters Fun Fair was Roy Lyons as Cousin Roy.

For more than 40 years Zig and Zag appeared every year as favourites on the Channel Seven Good Friday Appeal for the Royal Children’s Hospital.

Everybody could sing their theme song You and Me and knew their catchphrase ‘no-o-o trouble’.

And publicly there was no-o-o trouble. They were even named joint Moomba Monarchs in 1999. That honour was withdrawn when it was revealed that Jack Perry had been convicted in 1994 of sex offences against his grand-daughter. The case had received no publicity and the comic team kept working with kids.

The scandal not only meant that one of Australia’s most famous clowns was a pedophile but that his partner, McKenzie, knew it and for years continued the charade as a comic duo with his child-molesting partner.

After the scandal was made public and they were stripped of the Moomba honours I’m told Zig and Zag never spoke to each other again.

I’m going back to this not because of Zig and Zag but to wonder how much McKenzie knew of Perry’s child-molesting – as far back as the 1960s.

Because it seems there was more than one pedophile in the cast of Peters Fun Fair. There were other predators who targeted young girls in the live audience for the show.

One of them: Cousin Roy. Roy Lyons.

One of his victims has contacted me to tell her story for the first time. She and her girlfriend were 11 years old when they were invited by her girlfriend’s older cousin to be in the studio audience in 1963 and 1964.

They were later separated and taken into separate rooms where, she says, they were made to undress. She said Roy Lyons touched her, made her touch his penis and then rubbed his penis up against the girls.

She remembers they were then taken to the Hotel Australia for a treat because the hotel had an ice-cream parlour.

More than 45 years later this woman, now 57, wants to tell her story because she wants people to know about these men and about that family show which hid a pedophile ring.

You wonder, over the years, how many people knew, and how many covered it up. These sick clowns hid behind those masks for decades. They were laughing at you. And all those trusting little kids. What a pack of bastards.

Blog comments Your Say

  • @ Pamela, I am fuming reading your comments.
    As a family member why can't Teri and Edwina have an opinion. You've have completely ignored their comments, accustaions are not enough, there needs to be proof!!! What really makes me angry about this entire episode is Roy is no longer alive to defend himself so why now is his name being dragged through the gutter. It is a very long time ago, memories do fade, and 40 years is a long time. I know Roy's daughter and I can see the pain she is going through after hearing such slanderous comments being made against her father..stop with the nasty and vicious accusations when there is no proof to support these accusations. All I can say is thank god Roy has such wonderful family and friends who can defend him as heaven knows Roy can't deny these accusations himself......

    lisa Saturday 4 June, 2011 - 7:18 PM
  • Indeed, as a small child survivor myself from that very early television era in Melbourne of the 50's and 60's, Edwina and Terri's comments here demonstrate in a remarkably clear way just how peodophiles are able to feel safe to seduce, groom and hide, always placing themselves in situations where they will indeed have easy TRUSTED access to children. Their comments also display vividly why victims are silenced by adults who will not believe them, even when the child becomes an adult! If they bothered ever to read any literature on peodophilia they would know that it is always perpetrated in SECRET â?? it is not witnessed in public view whether within a family setting or a public setting. Terri has absolutely no proof that her â??Uncle Royâ?? was not a peodophile even though she is certain the victim is now â??lying all these years laterâ??. If she knew anything about the pain and struggle of the victims she would know that it usually takes victims well into adulthood (if ever) to get the sheer courage to tell, knowing that they will probably not be believed!!! The whole problem is that ADULTS will not listen nor believe when told! Shame on you both for hearing but not believing!

    Pamela Tuesday 24 May, 2011 - 10:31 AM
  • Dave, what part of Gavin's post did you not get? Breaking silence on crime is now suddenly "vigilantism"??? Dave, I think you might be part of the problem....

    Justine Monday 23 May, 2011 - 11:17 PM
  • Gavin your last sentence just blew your argument away. Natural justice has never relied on vigilantism!

    Dave Friday 20 May, 2011 - 11:42 PM
  • In the range of horrid behaviour by humans. I can't think of one that is worse than an adult forcing themselves on a child. It strikes at the heart of a fair and just society.
    Any decent and fair minded person want's to see natural justice take place. No one want's an innocent person to be labeled guilty by a kangaroo court. The victims don't want that. However the perpetrators do.
    I can't make a judgment if Zig or Zag are guilty or not. However I will say my desire to see any cult of predators face an open and transparent process to achieve justice for the victim is strong.
    Perpetrators of this crime are totally committed to obstructing the truth ever seeing a process of natural justice. As they have families and friends who will be crushed should this happen. This often results in the victim witnessing their attacker go from strength to strength during their lives. While they suffer in fear from a conspiracy of silence from the very people charged with the duty to defend them.
    Ask yourself are you worried if you speak up? If so you most likely have purchased a piece of that silence. There is no comfort in that silence. And I want my children to have a just society to live in.

    Derryn is doing something we all should be doing. Demanding natural justice is given a fair go.

    Gavin of Melbourne Wednesday 18 May, 2011 - 3:04 PM
  • Thirty years after your death. Derryn, how would your family feel if your life's work and reputation were shattered based upon the recollection of one person who--as shown by other posters--has made several factual errors?

    Did you even check that person's facts with the family? Others? Public records? Anything?!

    Neddy Wednesday 18 May, 2011 - 1:20 PM

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