In front of a room full of supporters, Ian Meldrum affectionately known as Molly walked slowly to the front and took a seat in front of a microphone.
His reason for attending the Readings Bookstore on Acland Street, St Kilda tonight was to launch his second book – “Ah well, Nobody’s Perfect – the untold stories”
With his red-headed grumpy and moody assistant Yael Cohn in the front row, Molly took questions from the audience about his experiences on TV and his well known controversial interviews with various celebrities.
One topic stood out – his relationship with Elton John that as he describes in the book, has been strained by the producers of Ch7 Sunday Night program. Molly was commissioned to interview the famous Elton John for the Sunday program.
The EP and the segment producer decided to air an off-camera discussion between Molly and Elton, where Elton slams Madonna in front of an open mic and rolling cameras. This part of the interview was clearly a chat between two old friends and not intended for public broadcast. I guess I should have been more in control of the final edit and approved the story before it went to air, but I was not at the top of my game, still recovering from my fall.
I was shocked when the story was shown on Sunday Night on 5 August, 2012. The introduction declared that “what he’s about to say will sweep around the world”.
And that it did.
Elton was angry with Madonna because he said she had been “horrible” to Lady Gaga, Zachary’s godmother. “I love Gaga,” Elton told me. “She’s the real deal, she can actually sing.”
As for Madonna, well, Elton let fly: “She’s such a nightmare. Sorry. Her career’s over — I can tell you that. Her tour’s been a disaster and it couldn’t happen to be a bigger c***.
“If Madonna had any common sense, she’d have made a record like Ray of Light, stayed away from the dance stuff and just been a great pop singer and make great pop records, which she does brilliantly. But, no, she had to prove that she was like … and she looks like a f**king fairground stripper.”
At tonight’s book launch, Ian was reluctant to elaborate on further specifics but didn’t stop short of stating that the producers of the Sunday Night program reminded him of “that cartoon character whose nose grows longer and longer each time they lie!”
The general feeling in the room is that Molly Meldrum is fed up with Ch7’s quest for ratings and he is unlikely to work for them again. That may be a blessing in disguise after he jumped into his backyard swimming pool live on Sunrise a few years ago, wearing a rather expensive wireless lapel microphone and IFB return audio earpiece. Both pieces of battery operated equipment had to be decommissioned and replaced later that morning. This upset both the technical crew and also the producers of the Sunrise show.
The always polite and obliging Molly Meldrum was signing books and posing for photos with selected guests when a loud and screeching voice was heard coming from the sidelines of the normally quiet bookstore. It was his ex-PA, Yael Cohn, doing what she does best, and often, rudely shouting “lets keep this moving, Ian’s got to go” followed by “no photos, hurry up and no more customers joining the line now please”!
After being approached by Reading’s staff, Yael quickly went quiet and mumbles were later heard that she should be at home looking after her sick son Maxi, not gallivanting in Ian’s shadows at high profile events such as his book launch.
“Ah Well, Nobody’s Perfect” is published by Allen & Unwin and available in all good bookstores for RRP$34.99