This is L.Money.
He is an OG journo. Think smoking inside, type writers, dictaphones, ink stains and people yelling ‘STOP PRESS’..
Taking a look at you, I can tell you must have pissed a lot of people off.
Yeah very many, I tend to forget them though. Just recently, I bumped into a guy who had a go at me for a headline I wrote about him 30years ago: “Porsche-propelled Playboy bites the dust”. I couldn’t remember the story at all, but he never forgot that I brought him down with it! But I love meeting new people so I loved the job, that’s why I did it for 50 years
What is your claim to fame?
I’ve been defamed in three of the four Houses of Parliament.
A senator called me “at the bottom end of the food chain of human life in this country” cos I’d seen him in saggy trackies with his plumbers crack out, which I then described in the paper as ‘parliamentary division’. Danby called me a ‘horrible man’ for his headline, and Stockdale said I wrote a “sleaze column”. My only regret is that I didn’t get defamed in the legislative council.
Have you ever got into fisticuffs?
Nope never. But I was presenting at a TV awards night once when comedian Michael Veitch piffed a cream pie at me. 5 years later someone wrote a TV show called Mercury that was based on The Sunday Age, and funnily enough Michael was cast as “Rocco” – the character based on me.
What is your career highlight?
Winning two Quill awards for Best Column. One of them was on grief, based on the loss of my mother, 16yrs on. I wrote it in 20minutes crying my eyes out at the computer. The day it was printed a lady from work came to find me to say she loved the column.. I married her 9 years later.
Doesn’t Hinch hate you?
It originated in 1981 when he had a go at my column. So when I started a gossip column in 1987, I called him names like “the chauffeur driven champion of the poor and underprivileged” and “the fulminating furball”. He didn’t talk to me for 16 years, but we’re mates now.
Who are the most interesting people you’ve met?
- David Helfgott is the most extraordinary person I’ve ever met
- Sam Neill was surprisingly modest
- Ex-PM Sir John Gorton was a lonely old widower dude who nibbled Gingernut bikkies
- Barbara Eden from ”I Dream of Jeannie” – still a sexy minx
- Harrison Schmitt who was the second last man on the moon who said “my footprints will be on the moon for a million years before they disappear”
But many less-famous people are equally interesting which is why I like Maddawgs of Melbourne – everyone has a great story to tell.