Rex was born Leo Marcus Sayers in Auckland in 1902. His parents were Harold Harding Sayers (Dentist) and Ivy Charlotte Akersten, who was an outstanding pianist and started work accompanying Vaudeville productions in her late teens. In the 1920’s she was Music Director and Conductor, Fullers Opera House (Vaudeville) Auckland

Rex became widely known as an announcer for station 1YA, beginning in a part-time position in 1937 before becoming full-time in 1940.

He joined the Army in WW2, becoming organiser/conductor/compere of the "Kiwi Concert Party" in the Pacific. NOW the Kiwi Concert Party is very famous (there are three books and countless articles about it) - BUT there were actually TWO of them. The famous one (conducted and organised by Terry Vaughan) served in the Middle East. The Pacific one (organised by Rex Sayers) was much smaller (1/3rd the size) and less well funded than its famous cousin. Nevertheless they were both reputed to be of very high standard.

Rex toured with a number of theatre companies after WW2, and worked in Dunedin radio before returning to Auckland's 1YA in 1951.

He began an involvement with television early in the 1960s soon after screening first began in Auckland. Working part-time, he was one of the first continuity and news announcers to appear on television, and went on to compere "Ten to Win" on the NZBC.

He was also familiar as an actor on the stage and in television and radio plays.

Rex died in 1978.

My thanks to Harry Dutton for these details - if anyone has more information please feel free to add a comment or e-mail me.

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