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Rolf Harris Stripped Of ARIA Hall Of Fame Honour

1 July 2014 | 1:39 pm | Scott Fitzsimons

Entertainer convicted on 12 counts of indecent assault

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Australian entertainer Rolf Harris has been kicked out of the ARIA Hall Of Fame after he was convicted on 12 counts of indecent assault overnight.

Arguably the highest honour for an Australian musician, he is the first musician to be removed from the Hall Of Fame.

In a statement issued to theMusic.com.au ARIA CEO Dan Rosen said, “Following his conviction in UK courts, the ARIA Board has made the decision to withdraw the ARIA Hall of Fame award bestowed upon Rolf Harris.

“He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008 for his contribution to the Australian recorded music industry.”

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ARIA had declined to comment to theMusic.com.au on the matter during the past six months while the investigation was ongoing.

Harris was inducted in 2008, alongside Dragon, Max Merritt, Russell Morris and The Triffids. At the time the honour's ranks included INXS, The Bee Gees, Slim Dusty, AC/DC, Men At Work, Cold Chisel, Nick Cave, Midnight Oil and others while Kylie Minogue, The Wiggles, Yothu Yindi and John Williamson are amongst those who have been inducted since then.

Earlier today the British Academy of Film and Television Arts also removed Harris' Fellowship honours.

A BAFTA statement said, “The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has made the decision to annul the BAFTA Fellowship bestowed upon Rolf Harris in 2012 following his conviction.”

The UK jury convicted Harris on all 12 charges, which related to indecent assault of teenage females between 1968 and 1986, just before midnight Australian time yesterday. They reached their decision after eight days deliberation. Media reports from the UK indicated the Harris showed no reaction when the verdict was delivered and his team moved quickly to say that neither he nor his family would be issuing a statement.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott told ABC radio this morning, “It's a terrible business… I feel gutted and dismayed, but it's very important that we do everything we can to protect young people.”

As well as the ARIA and BAFTA honours, Harris received a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) in 2006 after previously holding OBE (Order) and MBE (Member) honours.

He painted a portrait of the Queen and was one of the performers to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee outside Buckingham Palace in 2012.

In 1985 Harris starred in a 20-minute educational video titled Kids Can Say No, which has since surfaced online.