Eddie locks in 30 years

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - TELEVISION - DAR­REN DEV­LYN

AS HE cel­e­brates his 30th an­niver­sary in TV, Eddie McGuire’s in a re­flec­tive mood.

McGuire ( pic­tured), who first stared down the lens when work­ing as a re­porter for Chan­nel 10 in 1982, tells how his ap­proach to ca­reer and life has not changed since his child­hood in roug­hand- tum­ble Broad­mead­ows in Mel­bourne’s north­ern sub­urbs.

His phi­los­o­phy, in­her­ited from his par­ents, is based on ig­nor­ing the doubters, not stress­ing about fail­ure and hav­ing a red- hot go.

His dad Ed­ward was born in Scot­land in 1918, worked in the coal mines in Glas­gow and served dur­ing World War II.

In 1958, Ed­ward and his wife Bri­die moved to Broad­mead­ows to en­sure they could give their fam­ily a bet­ter life.

‘‘ They lit­er­ally landed here with two kids, two suit­cases and five pounds in March 1958,’’ McGuire says.

Ed­ward dug ditches and Bri­die worked on assem­bly lines to give their chil­dren Eddie, Frank, Eve­lyn and Brigette the best pos­si­ble ed­u­ca­tion.

No sur­prise McGuire was deeply sad­dened by his fa­ther’s death at 94 in De­cem­ber.

His fa­ther is in his thoughts when McGuire re­calls the day in 1982 that Chan­nel 10’ s David John­ston phoned the McGuires’ home to of­fer Year 12 stu­dent Eddie the op­por­tu­nity to work for the net­work on week­ends.

‘‘ Ten min­utes later Dad drove in the front gate,’’ McGuire says.

‘‘ He said later that all he could see was the front door slam open and me pretty much long- jump­ing from the front step to the gate. He said he didn’t know what was go­ing on, that maybe the house had caught fire.’’

The most chal­leng­ing time in his TV life came when McGuire took on the CEO role at Nine six weeks af­ter the death of Kerry Packer in De­cem­ber 2005. He was promised a man­date to boost an ail­ing pro­duc­tion sched­ule, but the job soon be­came about sav­age cost- cut­ting.

‘‘ Of course it was hard,’’ McGuire says of his stint. ‘‘ Did I get treated un­fairly by the me­dia in Sydney? Yeah, but bad luck, boo hoo. It all helps you keep sta­ble in your mind.

‘‘ For the ben­e­fit of me as a fa­ther and a per­son down the track, maybe I needed a bit of a clip of the wings at that stage.’’

McGuire, who in 1994 was poached by Chan­nel 9 to launch The Footy Show, is in one of the hap­pi­est phases of his ca­reer – split­ting his time be­tween Nine’s Hot Seat and his role at Fox Footy.

He shrugs at the men­tion of criticism lev­elled at him on Twit­ter dur­ing the Lon­don Olympics.

‘‘ The level of per­sonal abuse [ through so­cial me­dia] is an area we’ve not had be­fore. There has to be a mech­a­nism in there so peo­ple do not suf­fer as a re­sult of abuse. I am ugly and strong enough to know if I’ve done a good job or not. The worry is for the new peo­ple com­ing through.’’

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