Watch The top politician with an image problem
In this series legendary TV presenter Ray Martin looks back at the grand old days of The Midday Show and the guests and stories that audiences are still talking about decades later.
In all the years of hosting Midday Ray Martin only once had to give a guest the clothes off his own back, and that was to former Deputy Prime Minister Kim Beazley.
Beazley, now the Governor of Western Australia, appeared on the show at a time when he was expected to become Prime Minister at the next election, but the one area letting him down was his image — and Martin wasn’t afraid to tell him.
“He dressed like a slob,” says the journalist. “He had a suit on that looked like he’d slept in it, and a tie that looked like it was from an op shop. And he said to me something like, ‘What should I do, Ray?’ And I said, ‘If you’re going to be Prime Minister, you want to look like a Prime Minister. Get a new suit’.”
While some guests may have taken offence, Beazley was grateful for the advice.
“He copped it. He came on and talked about the need to lose some weight in terms of his image. He was the one who asked for help. And I thought a new suit would help him, and a tie,” recalls the five-time gold Logie winner.
“I used to wear really bright ties and he said, ‘Can I have yours?” And I said, ‘Yeah, sure.’ I took the tie off, and I took his and threw it in the garbage, and I gave him mine.”
Martin says he was even more shocked to receive a call later that night informing him that his tie had made a special guest appearance somewhere he wasn’t expecting…