Pure cornball. That’s the only way to describe Ray Martin’s creepy interview last night with Kathy Donnelly on A Current Affair. After being comprehensively scooped by Seven’s Mark Riley the previous night, it was a good get by the ACA team.

So how much did Nine pay for the interview with the nation’s most wanted wanton woman? A big five-figure sum, at least? The truth in this story is again stranger than fiction: it turns out that the only blood link in this family affair is not between Tony Abbott and Daniel O’Connor, but between ACA and Kathy Donnelly. We’re reliably informed that ACA producer Ben Hawke, who Ray credited on air for last night’s interview, is Kathy Donnelly’s cousin. Sources tell us that Nine saved itself a big sum thanks to this fortuitous family connection, which adds wheels within wheels within wheels to the story.

The resulting interview was compelling stuff for the huddled masses, and we’d be surprised if ACA didn’t score a rare win in its slot. Here was a bold and vivacious woman who’s had five kids to three fathers, one of whom she thought was another bloke – a very powerful bloke – somehow assuming a halo not too far distant from Mother Theresa of Calcutta. A Ray Martin miracle!

And Glenn Dyer writes:

The Cathy Donnelly interview couldn’t save ACA from what was a humiliating defeat by Seven’s Today Tonight last night. The Seven program finished third nationally with 1.451 million viewers, ACA ended up 10th on 1.095 million, or 357,000 viewers behind.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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