Kerry O'Brien.
Kerry O'Brien. Contributed

Kerry, who would 'eat' pollies, will be lunching in Noosa

WALKLEY Award-winning journalist and one of Australia's best political interviewers Kerry O'Brien is coming to Noosa for an enthralling public lunch, to spill the beans on his extraordinary life.

This rare opportunity to meet a giant of Aussie journalism is all thanks to thanks to Mary Ryan's.

For many years the craggy, uncompromising face of the ABC's 7.30 Report, O'Brien has witnessed, reported on and explained life-changing events to millions of Australians.

In his self-titled memoir, written with wit and great insight, he shares experiences of interviewing Nelson Mandela and being rebuked by Margaret Thatcher.

In Australia, he has watched 13 prime ministers come and go and has called the powerful to account without fear or favour.

O'Brien reflects on the big events and the end result is a memoir wrapped in nearly three-quarters of a century of social and political history.

"Let me get the really big news out of the way up front - I have never dyed my hair," he said.

"And it's not a wig. Welcome to the world of television, with pockets of depth, rare brilliant insight but always the threat of superficiality."

All jokes aside, O'Brien gave The Australian newspaper a scathing assessment on today's mainstream interplay of politics and the media.

"There is too much dumbing down of the way politics is reported today but also of the way the politicians themselves seek to debate it," he said.

"With the convergence of print and electronic news coverage and the advent of 24-hour news on television and online, politicians and journalists are too often scratching each other's backs to fill the space. It's self-serving on both sides."

O'Brien does not believe the main fault is with the media and says politicians need to connect more with the public.

"A quality politician with real conviction, something real to say and articulate enough to say it, should be able to cut through the crap," he said.

"But so much of today's politics is the politics of denigration. I think the public is heartily sick of it all."

Highly respected over a career that spans 50 years, O'Brien has specialised in national politics for the ABCas well as the Seven and Ten television networks and was a press secretary to Labor leader Gough Whitlam.

Mary Ryan's is delighted to be welcoming him to the Noosa Beach House in Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort next Friday, November 30, at noon for a 12.30pm lunch, serving up a conversation with O'Brien that is certain to be illuminating, witty and thoughtful.

Cost: $100 a person includes two-course lunch, a glass of wine and a signed copy of Kerry O'Brien: A Memoir or $170 for two people, inclusive of the two-course lunch, a glass of wine and a signed copy of the book.

Bookings for this memorable event are essential on 5455 4848.