Hillary Bray & Crikey’s Bird-Watching Team has been watching the activities of Sydney’s busiest Bower Bird, Stephanie from Kirribilli.
Alan Jones is no longer just Gloria, but Gloriana, the reigning queen of radio, and the Crikey Bird Watching Team is keeping an ear on Australia’s most powerful shock jock – and an eye on his number one fan, Stephanie from Kirribilli.
Pricey might have Neal from Redfern – but there’s no greater love between shock-jock and caller than the Parrot and Stephanie.
So much love, in fact, that it’s been suggested that Stephanie is doing the Parrot’s dirty work for him. Mike Carlton, his great rival from 2UE, started talking last week about:
“Complaints made by a Mrs Stephanie Millar of Kirribilli, who is a fan of Alan Jones, and who you might remember from a year or so ago as a regular caller on his talkback line very frequently.”
What were they? What had happened? Carlton explained:
“Now I won’t go into the tedious detail of these complaints – all sorts of things were alleged by this woman to the ABA. Many of them utterly absurd – allegations that I had vilified people, flouted contemporary standards of decency, spread hatred, racial hatred and so on, I had done that. There was also a complaint, several complaints, that 2UE had breached its license conditions by not properly handling this middling woman’s complaints to our management.
“Now, this was going on for months. And I have very good reason to believe that this attack on us was inspired by Jones himself.
“Through his loyal fan, this Mrs Millar, they used the same solicitors, Blake, Dawson and Waldron, I heard from a source in Jones’ office at 2GB that he took more than a keen interest in the matter. And in one strange episode, those solicitors actually sent us at 2UE a fax about the matter that they meant to sent to Jones – they got it wrong- sent it to us instead of to Jones. It was more than a giveaway.
Mike Carlton 1; Stephanie & The Parrot 0
“Anyway, the upshot of the matter, today we received notice that the Australian Broadcast Authority has found in our favour. In every case, after long and the most detailed consideration, they rejected every complaint. Neither I nor 2UE had breached any of the broadcasting codes in this, or the conditions of our license to broadcast. In short, we won hands down and our record unblemished. Which, I found very satisfying, very satisfying.
“To conclude, I’d say just a couple of things, just two points: The next time Alan Jones wants to take me on, decides to take me on, I hope he will have the guts to do it himself out in the open where the people can see what he is up to. Stop sneaking. And in the meantime Alan, point two: We’ll be looking with keen interest at your own matters before the ABA. I am sure justice will be done.”
Well, after that, Stephanie even made the Diary in the Australian’s Media section. But we here at Crikey like to think that we’re the ones who made her a household name.
After all, it wasn’t until Parrot Droppings came along that Stephanie received the public acknowledgment she deserves. And it was all you amateur bird-watchers and Parrot fanciers out there in radio land who, when we had the name, let us flesh out Stephanie – Kirribilli resident, fifty-something, divorced, one-time trolley-dolly and all that.
Now that she’s famous, another watcher has written in to share their fond reminisces of the Parrot’s number one fan.
Talking to the Parrot hasn’t been Stephanie’s only brush with the meeja. Our correspondent tells us that Today Tonight camped outside her house after a contretemps with the North Sydney Council ended up in the Land and Environment Court.
Hoity-toity types might say that Stephanie’s house is a little ramshackle and lets down the neighbourhood – the Prime Miniature lives there, after all – and the council seems to feel the same way.
Indeed, it seems that clashing with the council is Stephanie’s main interest – other than listening to her beloved Gloria, of course.
That lead to Stephanie getting involved with the local precinct committee, our watcher says, where she served as treasurer until she was ousted last year – after other clashes with the council.
It comes as no surprise for us to learn that Stephanie carries on an active – and what we’ll euphemistically call “multi-faceted” – correspondence with North Sydney Council.
Indeed, how she found the time to put in the Carlton complaint is quite beyond us. No wonder her feathered friend had to help.
From all of us at the bottom of the cage, until next time, goodbye.
The Crikey Bird Watching Team can be contacted at [email protected]