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Derryn Hinch

Derryn Nigel Hinch (born 9 February 1944) in New Plymouth, New Zealand (now an Australian citizen) is an Australian media personality best known for his work on Melbourne radio. He has also been a police reporter, foreign correspondent, newspaper editor, television show host, novelist and vintner. Dubbed "the human headline", Hinch is controversial and outspoken; by his own account he has been sacked no less than fourteen times during his career in the media.

Married four times, including twice to Australian actress Jackie Weaver, he says that he remains on good terms with his former wives. He married Chanel Hayton on February 11, 2006.

On 31 March 2006, Hinch appeared on Today Tonight and was questioned over a complaint which was investigated by the police. No charges were laid and the matter was thereafter closed.

In 2006, Hinch could be seen to have lost a considerable amount of weight and his health was believed to be in decline He had refused to comment on the issue, other than stating that it was a matter for himself, his wife and his doctor.

On 4 March 2007, on the Australian 60 Minutes program, Hinch revealed that he has been suffering from advanced cirrhosis of the liver, a tumourous growth had also been detected on his liver.

On 30 July 2007 Legend of radio John Laws and Hinch attended the 40 Years of Radio Legends The following day a savage slanging match erupted between radio talkback hosts Derryn Hinch and John Laws.

On 4 August 2007, in the Herald Sun , Hinch revealed he has an inoperable liver cancer which is too close to his heart to operate on.

Journalism

Hinch began his career at the age of 15 with the New Zealand Taranaki Herald. In 1963 he came to Australia on the MV Wanganella and joined The Sydney Morning Herald. By 1968 he had become a foreign correspondent for the Fairfax organisation, and finally moved to New York as bureau chief. He remained in the United States for eleven years.

Radio

3XY 1978

Morning host with Keith Williams,later Sacked.

3AW 1979

Morning host until 1987; rumoured million-dollar earnings; ratings leader for six straight years; achieved the station's highest ever morning program rating (21.4 in survey two, 1984). Sacked (live on air) for breaching the 48 hour pre-election media blackout law.

3AW 2000

Presented "Nightline" from 8 p.m. to midnight, a program for older listeners; sacked after ratings slumped.

3AK (Talk 1116) 2001

Morning host, sacked, re-employed in 2002 but sacked again. Southern Cross Broadcasting (owners of 3AW) began but later withdrew defamation action against Hinch over comments made by him that 3AW boss Tony Bell "... had too much influence over the programming of that station [...] and, yes I called my past and future boss 'diddums'".

3AW Feb 2003

Returned in the 4pm-6pm shift, replacing Stan Zemanek; salary rumoured to be $200,000.

Television

Controversies

Hinch and paedophilia

Hinch has been a tireless, even obsessive, anti-paedophilia campaigner.

The entire first chapter - twenty pages - of his autobiography "That's Life" is given over to a detailed account of his childhood sexual experiences. The word "masturbation" first appears on the second line of the book.

Hinch has written that he was "molested by a man as a child":

"My only fear is that I will be misconstrued. That my genuine concern for the victims who face lifelong shadows from their forced experiences will be taken out of context when I say, yet again, that 'Yes, I was molested, but no, it didn't affect me.' That somehow it will give some bizarre support to the predators who claim 'child-love' is not unhealthy if I commit to print that an adult male acquaintance of my parents once pounced on me, put my penis in his mouth, and I suffered no apparent lasting trauma or damage." (That's Life, p. 113)

Hinch gives over the next six pages to details about the incident.

On August 7, 2005, Hinch caused controversy when he revealed living arrangements for Brian Keith Jones, also known as convicted child sex offender Mr Baldy, on air. Hinch's comments caused controversy in the Melbourne suburb of Frankston, where residents attacked the house named on air and abused its occupants. A local Frankston supermarket began a petition to remove Jones from the area. Hinch later stated his comments were mistaken and Jones was not living at the Frankston address.

Hinch and the fifteen-year old girl

Hinch writes in "The Fall and Rise of Derryn Hinch" that as an adult he had sex with a fifteen-year old girl. He says:

"I met her at a party at Molly Meldrum's house about three o'clock in the morning. I had seen her in lingerie ads in magazines like the Women's Weekly. She was exotic. European. And I thought she was about 25. Obviously this was a long time ago. We went out together days later. We ended up in bed. The next night we went to dinner again and, frankly, I thought her lack of knowledge – and struggling current affairs conversation - was because English was obviously her second language."

Hinch once dated a beautiful Mystery Blonde in Sydney. The image of the two appeared on the front cover of the New Idea and Woman's Day. Her name was Suzanne and she was a Photographer for Text media.

see "Age Of Consent" (Hinch web site)

There have been no reports to date of the Victoria Police taking any action to investigate this matter.

Glennon affair

In 1978 Catholic priest Michael Charles Glennon was convicted of sexual assault upon a ten year old girl at his Karaglen property (near Lancefield, Victoria), for which he served seven months of a two-year sentence. In 1984 Glennon faced separate charges relating to two boys, aged eleven and thirteen, but was acquitted.

In November 1985, Glennon was charged with further sexual offences on five boys and one girl aged between 12 and 16. While Glennon's preliminary hearings were still underway, Hinch made three broadcasts in which he expressed outrage that Glennon was still running a youth camp in Lancefield, together with details of Glennon's prior charges.

Under Australian law, published comments on cases currently before the courts (sub judice) that are prejudicial to the accused's rights, or unduly influence a jury, may be unlawful.

Hinch was charged with contempt of court and was found guilty. A series of appeals followed, in one of which Judge Murphy found:

"They (the broadcasts) held Glennon up to public obloquy, they vilified him at a time when charges were known by Mr. Hinch to be pending against him and they had in my opinion the effect of creating a real risk of prejudice to Glennon's fair trial by effecting the pre-judgement of witnesses and jurors at his committal and trial respectively."

Eventually Hinch served twelve days in prison, with one night at Melbourne's Pentridge Prison and the remainder of his term at the minimum-security Morwell River Prison Farm.

The resolution of Glennon's case was delayed while the issue of whether or not his right to a fair trial had been undermined by the broadcasts. In 1991, he was convicted; the decision was initially overturned and then confirmed on further appeal.

In October 2003 Glennon, who was still in prison, was found guilty of twenty-six other offences against minors, for which he was sentenced to eighteen years. When combined with his then current sentences, the total came to an effective maximum of 20 years.

Mick Gatto's call

On the 24th June 2008 whilst discussing the celebrity status of underworld crime figures during his drive program Mick Gatto phoned in and had a brief confrontation with Hinch, ending with a death threat. After calling Mick Gatto scum, Gatto replied "I hope you go to your grave very quickly" implying that he wanted Hinch dead

Graham Kennedy AIDS claim

Hinch caused offence with the Australian public on May 26 2005 by claiming that recently deceased Australian television personality Graham Kennedy had died of AIDS Kennedy died aged 71 in a New South Wales nursing home.

Hinch gave two items in support of his allegation:

(1) Kennedy's biographer Graeme Blundell had written that when he visited Kennedy

"... there were large triangular black patches on both his cheeks. They were so dark they looked as if they had been applied with make-up."

Hinch said that the black marks were proof that Kennedy had Kaposi's sarcoma.

(2) an interview with a former Australian television sports reporter, now living in Thailand. Hinch said that he had "sprung" the two men together at Ziggy's restaurant in Sydney.

During the interview Hinch repeatedly pressed for confirmation that the person (a) had been Graham Kennedy's lover and (b) was HIV-positive. The interviewee said little, but in the closing moments of the interview remarked "If you haven't worked it out by now, you are not as smart as I think you are."

When Hinch first broadcast the HIV allegations against Kennedy, he did not know that Kennedy had been tested for AIDS a mere week before his death, after a carer suffered a needle stick injury. The results showed that Kennedy was not HIV positive.

Despite the overwhelming medical evidence, Hinch broadcast an unrepentant non-apology on 3AW:

"I will still stick to what I said. I believed what I said when I said it. And I know that my comments have upset some people, including obviously friends and Kennedy fans, especially in Melbourne. And for those people who have been upset and have sent me thousands of e-mails and letters, I apologise and I will say to them I'm sorry. So, let's move on."

At Kennedy's funeral service, held in Mittagong on May 31 2005, Stuart Wagstaff said:

"Delivering a eulogy for a close friend and for someone who was so much admired is never a happy occasion. Though, I must confess I would be quite happy to deliver a eulogy for a certain media personality who's tried the second Kennedy assassination of our time (applause) ... and failed."

Kennedy's writer Mike McColl-Jones read a spoof fax from Kennedy in heaven, which included (to great applause from the mourners):

"I hear Derryn outed me. I've got a hot flash for him - it's rife up here. Only a few minutes ago I saw Oscar Wilde holding hands with Chips Rafferty. I reckon if Hinch's body is ever washed up on a beach, police will be interviewing suspects for seven years."

Books by Derryn Hinch

  • The Scrabble Book (1972, rev. ed. 1977), ISBN 0-333-23073-6
  • Death at Newport (1986), ISBN 0-207-15422-8
  • AIDS - Most of the Questions, Some of the Answers (1987), ISBN 0-9587779-1-8
  • Death In Paradise (1989), ISBN 0-207-16165-8
  • The Derryn Hinch Diet (1991), ISBN 0-14-016527-4
  • That's Life (1992), ISBN 0-14-016986-5
  • The Ultimate Guide to Winning Scrabble (2001), ISBN 1-86325-324-6
  • 101 Ways To Lose Your Mobile Phone (2001), ISBN 0-646-40631-0
  • The Fall and Rise of Derryn Hinch: How I Hit the Wall and Didn't Bleed (2004), ISBN 1-74066-159-1

Recent Days

Throughout 2006, Derryn Hinch has been doing commercials for Kellogg's All-Bran Cereal. In this ad Hinch gives a couple the "two week challenge" where they must only eat this cereal for breakfast. The couple, while admitting to one another how effective the challenge is, are embarrassed by Derryn's continual blase attitude to what they see as a delicate matter. He also continually makes subtle references to how fibre cleans your insides.

With the help of Cabrini Hospital in Melbourne, Derryn has been battling hard with Septicaemia since October 2006 on the background of alcohol related liver cirrhosis.

On 27 April 2007, over a month since he announced publicly he suffers from advanced cirrhosis due to his heavy alcohol consumption, Derryn went back to hospital for more scans to check the size of his liver cancer growths and said on his website daily comments that he had a well earned day off work.

Hinch has had a long time rivalry with John Laws, former talk show host on Sydney radio station 2UE. Laws referred to Hinch on air as the "fungus-faced Derryn Hinch" and "...a poor pathetic individual who seems to have some inflated idea about your own importance." Hinch slammed celebrations held in Sydney for 40 years of talkback radio in which then Prime Minister John Howard gave a tribute to John Laws. “We’re not here to celebrate John Laws, we’re here to celebrate 40 years of talkback radio,” said Hinch.

On 5 December 2007, while on holiday, Hinch was abused verbally with obscenities by John Laws in unprovoked circumstances whilst dining at lunch with 2CH personality Bob Rogers in a restaurant at Woolloomooloo's finger wharf in Sydney.

Hinch is currently starring as The Criminaologist in the Australian tour of The Rocky Horror Show.

Footnotes

External links

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