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Rupert immortalised in hall of fame for birthday

By Jessica Tasman-Jones

What to get a billionaire octogenarian for their birthday? Twenty-First Century Fox chief Rupert Murdoch got immortality, of a sort, when he was inducted into the US television hall of fame.

The March 11 ceremony, where he was inducted alongside five others, coincided with his 83rd birthday, something the family business patriarch described as an annoyance, because he doesn’t like looking back on the past.

According toAcademy of Television Arts & Sciences chairman and chief executive Bruce Rosenblum, the honour recognises individuals whose “careers have made a significant impact on the medium”.

Murdoch has owned his majority stake in the broadcast studio since the 1980s. The studio has been behind The Simpsons, the longest running animated show in history, as well as popular nineties sci-fi series The X-Files and the reality talent quest show American Idol. It is also behind the politically conservative television channel Fox News, which was the most watched cable channel in the US in 2013 for the 12th year running.

His sons, James and Lachlan, joined him at the ceremony, which took place at the Beverly Wilshire hotel in California.

Murdoch joins the likes of Lucille Ball, Walt Disney and Barbara Walters in the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences hall of fame. His fellow inductees this year were former Seinfeldactress Julia Louis-Dreyfus (whose family run the shipping and commodities giant Louis Dreyfus Holding), talk show host Jay Leno, writer-producer David E Kelley, and ABC executive Brandon Stoddard. The sound pioneer Ray Dolby was honoured posthumously.