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.