Chris Masters’ unauthorised
biography of radio heavyweight Alan Jones has been a long time coming.
But despite rumours of sinister interference from the Parrot’s legal
team, Masters says there’s a simple explanation for the delay – because
“Alan Jones is a man who doesn’t sleep,” Masters has produced a hefty
220,000 words on his subject.

Masters said the manuscript for
the book was handed over to the publisher, ABC Books, last year, but it
had to be condensed into a size that someone could read on the train.
The book’s now been pared down to size and should be out fairly soon.

“I’m
sure your main interest is to know whether there’s any evil pressure to
prevent it being published. I don’t think that’s the case, I don’t
think it is,” Masters said. “I’m keen to get it out of the way and I’m
conscious that people think that there must be some reason for it not
hitting the stands.

“I’m sorry in a way that I advanced interest in it all that time ago.”

Masters
said the publishers were “kind of hinting to me that maybe putting it
out in December wasn’t a great idea because there’s a lot of other
books coming out at that time. So it could be out in December, but I
think more likely early next year.”

Meanwhile, there’s
supposedly an authorised biography waiting in the wings by Jones’
friend, former Australian test cricketer Bruce Francis. It’s believed
the Jones camp is keeping a watching brief on the timing of the release
of Masters’ book and a cat-and-mouse game is being played out.

An unauthorised profile on Alan Jones, broadcast on Four Corners
in May 2002, saw Masters interview scores of Jones’ associates,
acquaintances and rivals. The extensive work and research that went
into that program will undoubtedly form the basis of the
much-anticipated book.

Peter Fray

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