Holiday? No, you’re in the hot seat
TIM McMillan wanted a holiday. Instead he got a job as Channel 9’s weekend news presenter.
The Nine News reporter recently fronted Melbourne news chief Michael Venus about having some time off over Easter. That was a problem for Venus, who had earmarked the 33-year-old to read news alongside Grant Hackett for three weekends.
McMillan was stunned. It will be his first stint as a lead reader — and he hasn’t even done a news break. Nine News Channel 9, weeknights, 6pm Latest news and sport Duration: 30 minutes
‘‘It was a complete surprise and a bit daunting if I’m completely honest,’’ McMillan says. ‘‘I always imagined a newsreader would be older than me. I’m absolutely thrilled to get the opportunity and it’s nice to know Michael has faith in me.’’
Venus thinks McMillan, who recently won Walkley and Quill awards for a tragic story about family abuse, has the goods. In his short time at Nine he has distinguished himself with incisive reports about the Gippsland floods, the Black Saturday bushfires and several court sagas.
Venus says: ‘‘He (McMillan) has enormous potential as a news presenter. He possesses two essential qualities: authority and warmth.
‘‘We’re confident he’s going to do extremely well.’’
McMillan has done practice readthroughs and sought advice from presenters Tony Jones and Brett McLeod in the lead-up to his first bulletin. He’ll also speak to Peter Hitchener and Jo Hall.
‘‘The advice I’ve been getting from those who have done it is that it’s easy to stand there and spit out the words, but it’s much harder to have the necessary poise and conviction.’’
McMillan says his parents Ray and Denise and his wife Jo will be watching his performance as eagerly as Venus.
‘‘Knowing that the eyes of those I know best are going to be scrutinising me is making me even more nervous,’’ he says.