Entertainment correspondent Richard Reid parlayed his unique qualities and interests into a career
IT’S no wonder Richard Reid is loved Australia wide.
The irrepressible entertainment correspondent, who is one degree of separation from any A-list Hollywood celebrity you choose to mention, is delightfully charming as he talks via the phone from Sydney. He’s chatty, just as you’d expect, and high-energy. But he’s also openly reflective, surprisingly down to earth and keeps a wicked sense of humour close by at all times.
When he inquires as to which television soaps I watch and I confess to it being none, he feigns horror.
“Oh you poor thing,” he gasps.
“How did you get stuck interviewing me?”
It appears Richard knows no way of being other than enthusiastic, positive and funny. He says despite the fact he sometimes wants to be taken seriously, people just find what he says, or perhaps how he says it (with animation, affectation, American accent and all), to be humorous.
“I love that, because there’s so many Debbie downers and negativity in this world. I think if we could all just have a laugh and not take ourselves so seriously, that’s the way to be,” he says.
Richard is visiting the Sunshine Coast this weekend as part of The Sunny Coast Club – the Daily’s corporate engagement program that provides networking opportunities while raising funds for local charities, community groups and not-for-profit organisations.
While he admits to only having been to the Sunshine Coast once before (as international style guru for Nine Network’s Domestic Blitz), he remembers it fondly.
“We did a story up there and I just recall it being so picturesque and beautiful,” he says.
“It’s going to be really fun, I’m looking forward to it for sure.” Currently spending more time in Australia than Los Angeles – “which I adore!” – Richard is a regular panellist on Studio 10 and says he sometimes pinches himself to be working with legends of the broadcast industry such as Ita Buttrose, Denise Drysdale and Jessica Rowe.
The irony that he’s become one of Australia’s most sought-after personalities after spilling the beans on
Hollywood’s elite isn’t lost on him.
“Absolutely! You know, I had a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that anyone would consider me to be a celebrity at all,” he says.
“But then I really thought about it and if you figure celebrities are known because they’re good at something – and I tend to be very good at talking to people and making people feel happy and comfortable – it’s a great reason to have people know who you are.”
Richard says he was raised in very humble beginnings in the small town of Salem, Oregon, and used to dream of someday talking to big celebrities. In pre-teen years, while his peers were playing baseball or football, he was reading gossip magazines, which he describes as having been his escape.
“For me to have actually achieved those goals, to me, it’s mind-boggling. Don’t be afraid to dream big in this life because you can actually achieve what you want.”
In the early days as an entertainment reporter, Richard looked to American broadcast journalist Barbara Walters for inspiration, asking himself in any given situation, “What would Barbara Walters do?”
But nowadays he believes looking to other people rather than just being yourself is a sure-fire recipe for failure.
“You have to be 100% authentic in this business and that’s how you succeed,” Richard says.
“If you’re not a little bit crazy in this world or, you know, march to a different drummer, there’s no point. You have to play up to your strengths and if that’s being a little bit crazy, then heh, play it up!”
Richard is the first to admit most celebrities have a little bit of that in them.
His most awkward celebrity moment? Being caught staring at Mariah Carey’s chest.
“She looks at me and goes, ‘Hey, my eyes are up here!’ I said, ‘Oh I’m so sorry’ and she says, ‘Don’t worry, I’m used to it, they’re pretty great aren’t they?’ ”
Who would he still love to meet?
Jack Nicholson, because he doesn’t talk to anybody and doesn’t do interviews. And Sofia Vergara.
“She’s so successful for just being herself,” he says.
“I would love to meet her – and she’s easy on the eye too.” At which point I remind him he could have another Mariah Carey-sized issue to deal with.
His next Hollywood celebrity break-up prediction?
“I don’t think you need to be a brain surgeon to see that Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez, her current squeeze, they’re just having a good time but they won’t go the distance,” he says.
“I would also keep an eye on Kim (Kardashian) and Kanye (West). Just sayin’.”
In the age of social media, I’m curious as to how Richard stays on top of Tinsel Town’s goings-on.
He admits social media has made it more difficult to get the scoop on celebrities who self-publish what they want you to know. But, as Richard points out, it’s what they don’t want us to know that makes for the interesting titbits.
Richard says he still tackles his job the same way he always
I had a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that anyone would consider me to be a celebrity at all.
If you’re not a little bit crazy in this world or, you know, march to a different drummer, there’s no point.
has – he picks up the phone, calls his paparazzi friends and movie-studio connections or publicists and does his homework.
The man who holds a degree in film and theatre literature from New York City’s Hunter College of Arts and Sciences (graduating with honours) has a few surprises on the horizon as well.
“I’m in Sydney right now working with a friend of mine so that’s very exciting,” he says.
“It’s early days but I’m developing a podcast about Australian superstars.
“And I’m just starting to work on a script for a TV pilot – it’s going to be a comedy.”
Well of course it is. And although I probably won’t be taking up daytime soaps any time soon, I assure Richard I’ll be watching – and most definitely laughing.
If you’d like more details on The Sunny Coast Club membership, phone the Sunshine Coast Daily on 07 5430 1032.
Richard Reid is bringing his funny, affable, infectious personality to the Sunshine Coast this weekend.
Richard poses with media personality Jo Casamento at an event in Sydney.
Richard was a hit at the C.ex Club in Coffs Harbour in February this year.
The entertainment reporter held a captive audience at the Harbour Club event in Coffs Harbour.
A-LIST ASPIRATIONS: Richard Reid has always known the entertainment world was his calling. Richard Reid will visit the Sunshine Coast this weekend as part of The Sunny Coast Club, a corporate networking and fundraising program.
Richard believes positivity and laughter is vital in this world.
Richard speaks on stage at the Mackay Club.