Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Ray's Name Saving Grace

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Ray's Name Saving Grace

Article excerpt

Byline: Owen jacques

IT IS a below-freezing London night in December, 2012 and Mr Television, Ray Martin, is standing outside the premiere of the blockbuster Les MisA[c]rables, starring Australian actor and friend Hugh Jackman.

Although not on the guest list, Ray spies Hugh and wants to say hello. Told to get in line, Ray walks on.

He figures he will try to nod Hugh a "G'day" as he passes. He expects maybe a wink back, but is given a far more Aussie greeting.

"(Hugh) saw me go past the man he was talking to, who was probably trying to offer him money for a new film and Hugh said, 'Oh f***! What are you doing here?!'".

"Only an Australian would say that."

The early days

Aside from being 17,000km from his Sydney home, Ray's encounter with his A-list mate is even more distant from his modest childhood life in the central New South Wales town of Tottenham (population of about 320).

As a boy, the bush-living Ray would have laughed off any notion of meeting celebrities he saw in magazines as "white-fella dreamtime stuff". That's how he described it in his 2010 autobiography.

His world now, he wrote, was as far from that life as "another galaxy, a rocket-ship ride away".

He may well be Australia's most famous Martin, though his surname is thought to have been stolen from a train station advertisement as his family fled Ray's increasingly drunk and abusive father.

Ray Grace became Ray Martin at age 11.

Heart of the matter

When we meet Ray, he is relaxed. The surprise arrival of a repairman at his holiday home near Coolum means we interview him by the pool.

He doesn't tell the story of running into Hugh Jackmanto impress anyone. He spins it the way someone might retell a story about running into an old mate.

It goes to the heart of how Martin - a celebrity in his own right - thinks about his fellow Aussies.

"(Hugh) didn't really care about this A-List person. He just saw someone he knew or saw someone who was another Aussie," he says. "It's part of our character."

Ray is something of an expert on Australian character. He became the country's highest profile journalist when at Nine's 60 Minutes in the late 1970s, then Midday Show in the 1980s then on to A Current Affair from the mid-'90s. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.