COLIN VICK­ERY

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Front Page -

RICHARD Wilkins has a swag of amaz­ing mem­o­ries from his 25 years on Aus­tralian tele­vi­sion. He also has a few re­grets. The highs are easy to list. The 57-year-old has in­ter­viewed all of his show­biz he­roes in­clud­ing Rod Ste­wart, Billy Con­nolly, Hugh Lau­rie and Bruce Spring­steen.

In the past week he has chat­ted with Justin Bieber, Zac Efron, One Di­rec­tion, Tony Ben­nett and Ri­hanna.

Get­ting paid to in­ter­view the world’s top stars would have to rank as one of the best jobs around.

‘‘ It is weird and kind of cool all at the same time,’’ Wilkins says of reach­ing 25 years on TV— all at Chan­nel 9.

Wilkins joined Nine in 1987 to host mu­sic pro­gram MTV. Af­ter a cou­ple of other host­ing gigs, Wilkins set­tled in as Nine’s and To­day’s en­ter­tain­ment ed­i­tor.

That is where the re­grets come in.

‘‘ Fairly early af­ter get­ting the MTV gig, I got of­fered a job to work for MTV in Amer­ica,’’ Wilkins says.

‘‘ I re­ally sur­prised my­self by knock­ing that back. It is in­ter­est­ing to think what would have hap­pened if I’d done that.

‘‘ I wanted to host Mid­day af­ter Ray Martin (stepped down). I was lob­by­ing fast and fu­ri­ously. That job felt like it would have been a nat­u­ral pro­gres­sion for me.

‘‘ They (Nine) went an­other way and put Der­ryn Hinch in there and then put Tracy Grimshaw and David Reyne in there. I re­mem­ber be­ing pretty p----d off both times.

‘‘ There was a time long be­fore Karl (Ste­fanovic) came along when man­age­ment were woo­ing me to be Steve Lieb­mann’s suc­ces­sor on the To­day show.

‘‘ I was dis­ap­pointed not to get that and other things but I got re­ally philo­soph­i­cal about it. I think ev­ery­thing hap­pens for a rea­son.

‘‘ It was prob­a­bly six or seven years ago that I came to terms with ‘ This is what I do, this is who I am’.’’ To­day, Chan­nel 9, week­days, 6am Star power: Richard Wilkins.

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