DURING her almost 30-year-long career at Channel 10, Angela Bishop has established herself as the pre-eminent showbiz reporter in Australia.
Nowadays you’d be hard pressed to name an A-list celebrity that the entertainment guru hasn’t interviewed, but not all of her interactions went smoothly.
In a news.com.au exclusive, Angela Bishop opened up about the best and worst stars she’s met over the years. Here’s what she had to say:
• Jack Nicholson: He’s always awesome. I first met him when As Good As It Gets was coming out. At the time I used to take a Signature Bear with me to get signed by people I interviewed which I then auctioned off to raise money for the Sydney Breast Cancer Foundation. When I asked Jack to sign it he said, “Breasts Angela. Great cause!”
• Oprah Winfrey: Oprah was, and still is, incredible. I spent quite a bit of time with her when she came to Australia in 2010 and I learned more about television in those few days than in a decade!
• Dave Grohl: The Foo Fighters frontman was amazing. I was only a couple of weeks away from giving birth to my daughter when we met and he sang a little song into my belly. Amelia [Angela Bishop’s daughter] still loves the Foo Fighters.
• Audrey Hepburn: She really stands out for me. She was actually the very first celebrity I ever interviewed and she was as beautiful, gracious and lovely as you’d expect. We found out later that she was actually sick with cancer at the time, but she was still travelling the world working for UNICEF, the charity that had helped her as a child. She felt she had been blessed in life with her amazing career and was determined to give back. She also roped her famous friends in to help, including the late, great Roger Moore, who became just as devoted to the cause.
• Harrison Ford: I had a great time with Harrison Ford during his last visit for Star Wars the Force Awakens. It coincided with the US Election campaign and candidate Donald Trump had mentioned he was a fan of Harrison as President in the movie Air Force One. Harrison’s response in our interview went viral, even making the evening news bulletins in the US.
• Sacha Baron Cohen as Borat: Doing an entire interview off the cuff on Bondi Beach with Sacha Baron Cohen in character as Borat was one of the most terrifying, but seriously most amazing experiences ever.
• Famous singer: One celebrity encounter that wasn’t so great was a really amazing international Grammy-award winning singer who was doing interviews in a Sunday which happened to be Valentine’s Day. We all had our set times and pretty much all of the journalists there had made plans with their significant other around those times. Instead we all ended up waiting six hours as the singer took her time deciding what outfits to wear.
• Famous actor: I learned the hard way from one Oscar-winning legend not to offer to shake hands before the start of an interview. She threw her hands in the air and said, “Ladies do not shake hands”.
BEST PIECE OF SHOWBIZ MEMORABILIA
It’s a bit of a weird one. I was interviewing the great Liza Minnelli and we were inside a venue where smoking wasn’t allowed. Liza was smoking away but she’s Liza, so no one was stopping her. But just then, a security guard started coming by, so I passed her a glass with some water in it and she put the cigarette out in it and I put the glass behind my back.
The security guard came and went and everything was OK. We finished the chat and Liza headed off and I was standing there figuring out what to do with the evidence. My cameraman said, “I guess you’ve got some Liza Minnelli DNA there. There are fans that would kill for that. Maybe she could be cloned one day!”