By Rama Gaind
PS News Books
Ray Martinís Favourites: The Stories Behind the Legends
By Ray Martin (Victory Books, $49.99, hardcover, 383 pages)
After a television career spanning more than 45 years, award-winning journalist Ray Martin is in an ideal position to narrate the stories behind the legends.
At a “rough guess” he’s done in excess of 10,000 interviews during a career that also saw him at TV anchor of The Midday Show, A Current Affair and The Ray Martin Show. Often they were unknown people, who did inspirational things or just colourful characters, who brightened the so-called “rich tapestry of life”.
That’s precisely what Martin has done: mixed a “literary cocktail with some serendipity” to provide interviews with the rich and famous—and the infamous—some of the movers and shakers and a few people who really matter.
He especially likes revisiting the show-down between Bob Hawke and Paul Keating on Midday in 1989 and putting it into political context.
However, there is an admission: for a “cricket tragic like me, the last interview The Don ever gave is just about my favourite interview of all time”. Here, too, are the last interviews with Fred Hollows and Kerry Packer.
Gain an intriguing insight into some truly extraordinary celebrities as Ray Martin’s Favourites brings together the most remarkable of these interviews.
How does one choose a favourite from a cavalcade of Hollywood stars, legendary actors and best-selling singers, to every Australian Prime Minister since Sir Robert Menzies and US President since Lyndon Johnson? Then there’s Nelson Mandela, Pope John Paul II and Prince Charles. He has compelling stories of Indigenous leaders.
You learn that gamine, elf-like Audrey Hepburn was classically beautiful in person. “Music man” Michael Crawford made you feel “warm and comfortable”, a young Whoopi Goldberg was “funny and astonishingly confident” and about the comedic brilliance of Billy Crystal, Robin Williams and Peter Cook.
You’ll enjoy the journey as Ray Martin’s Favourites is illuminating, insightful, stimulating and compelling reading.
To find out more about Rama Gaind click here.