Woman’s Day (Australia)
‘My 25 years on TV!’
It was written in the stars that Tim Bailey would end up on our screens. “I come from two generations of journalists,” tells the quirky Ten weatherman, known for his gift of the gab.
“My dad is a political cartoonist, all my uncles were sub-editors, sports editors and news editors. My brother is Boo Bailey, the sports cartoonist on The Daily Telegraph.
“Mum still has a newspaper I wrote when I was seven. My brother, who was five at the time, illustrated it and we sold it around the neighbourhood – so we were never going to do anything else.”
Welcoming Woman’s Day into his Sydney garden as he celebrates 25 years at Ten, the 54-year-old TV star says he’s never applied for a job but fallen from one to the next.
“With the weather, I had just come back from the Commonwealth Games in Canada , where I was a reporter, and thought, ‘What am I going to do next?’
“I was watching Brian Bury do the weather on the news and thought, ‘That’s what I want to do.’ Two weeks later, I got a phonecall saying, ‘Would you consider presenting the weather on Ten news?’”
It seems Tim was destined to end up with his wife Sam, too!
“She went to a clairvoyant years before she even met me and was told, ‘ You’re going to meet somebody that everywhere you go people will know him,’” Tim reveals. “And her girlfriends joked, ‘Oh, you’re going to marry Tim Bailey!’”
The pair worked alongside each other at Thredbo ski resort, where Tim was doing the snow reports and Sam was working front of house. It was 10 years before they realised they had “enormous chemistry”.
Now, the couple have been married almost nine years and are parents to two adorable fur babies, Surfie and Motu. “I’m 14 years older than Sam, but you don’t realise how happy life can be until you get the right person in it – I was very, very lucky.
“Wherever we go, there are always people coming up to me nonstop every day, and she has this wonderful tolerance and warmth to understand that it comes with the territory.”
While he has had a dream career travelling, doing what he loves and interviewing top stars such as Leslie Nielsen (who shot him between the eyes with a water pistol), Pamela Anderson (who couldn’t understand his accent) and basketball legend Shaquille O’neal (who pushed him over on court), it’s not always plain sailing for Tim.
“I remember one time I was reporting for Good Morning Australia on the Gold Coast. I was exhausted and under the weather and had to bungee jump at 4am. I was feeling so sick and I was scared – I don’t like heights – and as I went down I yelled, ‘Any jobs on the bloody Today Show? I’m quitting!’” he recalls.
“Then another time, I was broadcasting live from the top of Mount Panorama at the Bathurst 1000, but everyone in front of me was laughing. At the end of the report, I turn around and there’s three guys in the nude behind me!”
Despite the occasional tough ride, though, Tim knows he has one of the best gigs there is.
“I have such a wonderful, unique job in television. I have so much time to do whatever I want to do. I roll into the studio at 4pm. I have a wonderful time – I have a show within a show.
“It’s information, it’s entertainment, it’s engaging, it’s bringing in the community, so there’s no downside to it. I’m enjoying my job now as much as when I first got it – I really dig it.”
‘I have such a wonderful, unique job in television’