King still copping it on the chin
HE’S been threatened, beaten and even shot at in the line of duty, but Martin King wouldn’t have it any other way.
The veteran current-affairs reporter isn’t fazed by angry outbursts, violence or intimidation— in fact he sees it almost as a badge of honour.
Even after 23 years at Channel 9, where he has worked on the Willesee program and A Current Affair, King has no plans to slow down.
‘‘I wouldn’t know what to do if I wasn’t doing this,’’ he says.
‘‘I’m now 56 but I feel young, I feel good.
‘‘I still love being on the road and being with people.
‘‘Nothing makes me happier than interviewing some grizzly old character.’’
The award-winning journo has spent a month in the Peruvian jungle exposing animal traffickers; talked cult leader David Koresh into letting him film inside the Waco compound and spent time behind bars to reveal the true state of the New South Wales prison system.
King has also interviewed some of the world’s most famous faces — talking to people such as Sir Anthony Hopkins, Luciano Pavarotti and Pamela Anderson.
With his formidable body of work it is little wonder King estimates he probably has ‘‘a couple of books in him’’.
Nor is it any surprise that he has a reputation as a hard-nosed, sweettalking master of foot-in-the-door journalism.
But his dedication to the job means King has made more than a few enemies along the way.
He says there have been times that police cars have circled the block outside his house at night and security guards were sent to his children’s schools to protect them.
‘‘I’ve been kicked, punched, shot at, sworn at and threatened more times than I can remember, but I love my job,’’ he says emphatically.
He admits that when he first had a job offer from Mike Willesee he was nervous about making the leap from newspapers to television. It took months to find his feet. ‘‘When I started at Channel 9 the mobile phone had just been invented, executive producers wore flares and our scripts were written on a typewriter,’’ he says, laughing.
Martin King won’t quit.