So why did Terri Irwin talk to Ray Martin? Last night she was obviously distressed, highly and understandably emotional, at times it was hard to watch her talk about her late husband.

Ray did well, showing some nice emotional maturity and rarely veering into his “sad story” mode.

The interview was badly lit: Terri Irwin, because of her intense emotional state looked white-eyed and a bit drawn (as she would: this could have been softened with better lighting and make up).

It was the sort of interview which in a couple of years she will look at (if she can bring herself to) and wonder why she did it.

It was too voyeuristic for my liking, but 2.5 million Australians watched it. A break down of the numbers shows that the Nine audience jumped from 1.3 million between 8.15 to 8.30pm to 2.3 million in the next quarter hour before peaking from 9.15 to 9.30pm at 2.612 million.

It eased to 2.458 million in the 9.30 to 9.45pm quarter hour as it was ending and after 9.45pm, Nine was averaging just 729,000 as Rome started, which was awful last night.

That’s not quite the 2.7 million for the two Beaconsfield miners on Nine in May but the size of the audience again emphasises how much Irwin had become part of the Australian landscape, without the mainstream media here fully appreciating him.

Peter Fray

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