Tag Archives: Jennifer Byrne

SYDNEY FESTIVAL 2021 TALKS PROGRAM ANNOUNCED

Chief photographer with the Sydney Morning Herald’s Nick Moir’s ‘Run’ at the heart of the firestorm

Sydney Festival has unveiled its thought-provoking program of talks, panels and workshops, partnering with The Walkley Foundation, Sydney Writers Festival and UTS to present some of the country’s most celebrated and incisive journalists, writers and thinkers, adding to the already announced 2021 line-up of more than 140 events across three weeks from January 6 – 26.

A series of one-hour biographical portraits of Walkley Award-winning or recognised journalists, Walkleys Live: The Journalist Gene at the Town Hall will see each exploring the national and international context of their work, their influences and inspirations, and the professional drive, courage and values that sustain their reportage.

Recently announced 2020 Gold Walkley Award-winner Mark Willacy headlines the series discussing his unflinching Four Corners investigation “The Killing Field” which, along with his continued coverage, exposed shocking alleged war crimes and cover-ups within the ranks of SAS soldiers operating in Afghanistan, and triggered an investigation by the Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force. Continue reading SYDNEY FESTIVAL 2021 TALKS PROGRAM ANNOUNCED

Molly Tells, Um, His Story

The very unique Ian Molly Meldrum
The very unique and much loved Ian Molly Meldrum

Considering Molly Meldrum’s meandering and stumbling interview style, it seems a minor miracle that he lasted on Countdown for so long (thirteen years, from 1974 to 1987). Journalist Jennifer Byrne famously described Meldrum as a ‘truly awful’ interviewer. Others described Countdown as ‘the ultimate squirm tv’ (Deborah Conway). Still, he has been recognised for his contributions to Australian music over the years, from his earliest days at Go-Set rock magazine in 1966.

Though Meldrum had Jeff Jenkins help on this project, the story is told in Meldrum’s voice. It is a very funny, anecdote laden book with all of Meldrum’s most famous interviews and celebrity stoushes, though he is very quick to kiss and make up. Meldrum’s take on Elton John’s 1984 Sydney wedding to Renate Blauel? Elton simply wanted to knock Michael Jackson from the headlines. (Jackson’s hair had accidentally been set on fire while filming a Pepsi ad two weeks earlier). In an ironic twist, when Jackson toured Sydney more than a decade later he married the pregnant Deborah Rowe here. Sydney seemed, for a while at least, to be the place for the famous and sexually confused to tie the knot.                              Continue reading Molly Tells, Um, His Story