We reported earlier this week on the launch of former channel Nine cameraman Nicholas Lee’s memoir All This in 60 Minutes, which has been promoted as a juicy gossip-filled tome from someone who was always behind the camera, instead of in front of it. While the book contains many anecdotes of the late Kerry Packer, it also includes this tidbit on one young journo who has the ability to go far:

“In one of my first assignments I was told to meet our new political reporter Malcolm at NSW Parliament House. He looked twelve, seemed like a good bloke and pretty bright. I asked him how long he’d been a journo. He replied, ‘Oh, I’m not a journalist, I’m a uni student.’ I stared at him in horror and thought, ‘Shit, now I have to train some amateur’.

“Within a few weeks, the assistant cameraman Jim Chrystal and I were amazed by how professional the uni student was and how quickly he’d picked up this TV gig. We congratulated ourselves: how skilled we were as trainers! And just as we began to really enjoy working with our new reporter, he told us he was leaving because he’d won a Rhodes Scholarship. Jim and I were both disappointed and thought, ‘Damn, that’s a shame, this Malcolm Turnbull guy might have had the ability to go all the way.’ We even reckoned he had it in him to one day become our chief reporter.”

Peter Fray

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