What do you get when the interviewer.. is the guest? Marc Fennell sits down with renowned tv personality Michael Parkinson to discuss his childhood as a coal miner's son, his 'holy grail' interview and the biggest mistake you can make when interviewing him. He's been in the business for almost seven decades, interviewed thousands of the most famous people in the world and now the tables are turned.
For over a decade - piano virtuoso Natalie Trayling has been stopping people in their tracks on the streets of Melbourne. But it's how she got there that makes for an incredible story. She speaks to Marc Fennell about love, loss - and why she's so passionate about sharing her talent.
'Egg Boy' skyrocketed to international notoriety for smashing an egg on Fraser Anning's head. Months after the incident, Will Connolly chats to Marc Fennell about what life is like post egging, if he would do it again and whether he has hope in Australian politics.
Detective Pikachu himself, Ryan Reynolds, sits down with Marc Fennell to find out how he embodied a foot tall electric mouse, combats anxiety with improv and got his start on a Canadian teen melodrama.
Generations of people know Murray Cook as the red Wiggle. Now several years into his retirement of the red skivvie, Cook tells Marc Fennell about life after the band, finding new passions and The Wiggles' lasting legacy of joy.
It's been six years since alt-pop darlings Vampire Weekend released their last album. Marc Fennell caught up with lead singer Ezra Koenig to talk how fatherhood changes the songwriting process, heading on the campaign train with Bernie Sanders and why he never quite made it as a rapper.
Producer Colin Cosier. Reporter Marc Fennell
Obviously 2018, on a global level, was a dumpster fire. But, like, when isn’t it?
Can you remember the last time we said “Huh, yeah, what a grossly uneventful 12 months we had? Pass the chardy…”
For me 2018 was hectic but in the best possible way. I wanna express as much #gratitude as humanly possible to all of you for making it happen. I worked in 4 countries on various projects. It’s been a blast and I am now extremely tired and experimenting with Christmas themed gin cocktails.
Thanks for watching and please comment with suggestions of who you want in 2019.
STEVEN SPIELBERG (Honorable Mention)
I shot this in Los Angeles back in March. If I’m being entirely honest I was a bit disappointed with it at the time because it was a limited window with Spielberg and I genuinely think that I could spend a million years interviewing Steven Spielberg and never get bored.
I sat down and rewatched it this week and it reminded me that it should never be about how long you have with your interviewee, its about where that conversation can lead you. On a rewatch, what struck me most about this interview was how Spielberg creates a family around him on-set. Watch his face when his young cast talk about him…. It’s a small but special moment.
(Oh and well done to cinematographers Adam Rosenberg and John Nodorft for making a random corner of an LA studio look so good that even Spielberg commented on it)
DIPLO (Honorable Mention)
I’ve found Diplo fascinating ever since he came into FBi Radio when I was a teenager a million years ago. He’s now a huge megastar but did you know he was a school counsellor in Philadelphia? Or did you know he helped indigenous Australian kids produce raps in the Northern Territory? He also has a great vantage point to witness at how pop culture and digital consumption is changing.
10. QUEER EYE’S KARAMO BROWN
Karamo will be President one day. Mark my words. And I suspect that he’ll be a bloody good one too. The Queer Eye star has an amazing story about becoming a father and really strong views on toxic masculinity.
9. JAMIE LEE CURTIS
I love the journey of this interview. She’s incredibly sharp, raw and intense. You can see that she’s sizing me up in the first minute and by the end… well, I’ll let her have the last word…
8. AIMEN DEAN: FORMER TERRORIST & BRITISH SPY
Shot this in London back in May. Aimen Dean went from being an al-Qaeda operative to a double agent for MI6…. and yet… he is weirdly bubbly, upbeat.. and, well, a bit nerdy. His observations of spy life and living inside an extremist group were chilling and illuminating. Great camerawork from Tyler Freeman-Smith
7. JACK WHITE
Shot this in Nashville in March. There’s so much mystique around Jack White but the truth is that both he and his team are stunningly chill. I love how disarming, fun and open this interview is. One of my all-time favourites…
6. LIAM GALLAGHER
Over the years, I’ve had the great (and profane) pleasure of interviewing both Gallagher brothers. Noel is extraordinarily bright and erudite. Liam’s great gift, on the other hand, is one of pure, unfiltered honesty. Unlike most musicians he insists that no PR minders be in the room - just him, the camera team and me. I love his bluntness.
5. YASSMIN ABDEL-MAGIED
Another one I shot in London. Regardless of how you feel about Yassmin’s infamous ANZAC day tweet, the response she received of threats, abuse and blanket News Ltd coverage was completely over the top. Yassmin is now in the process of redefining herself in the UK. I found her to be open, thoughtful and funny. Its very very rare to talk to someone when they’re midway through a transformation and I’m glad she let us in on that process. Great camerawork by Tyler Freeman-Smith and graphics by Dan Holohan.
4. KEITH URBAN
The best storyteller & truly the nicest guy…. but, man, he’s still pretty angry at Steven Colbert.
3. POSTNATAL PSYCHOSIS: THE STIGMA OF MUMS WITH MENTAL ILLNESS
This interview breaks me every time. This whole family opened themselves up to allow us to see how a relatively rare mental illness can reverberate through a community. Beautiful camerawork by Pete Mullins and Tim Anistasi btw.
2. TORTURE THERAPY
I almost don’t know what to say about this other than just please watch this.
These two amazing women blew me away every day we shot this. They are helping some of Australia’s most fragile new arrivals and they do it with great humour. It was also lovely that it was nominated for a United Nationals Media Day award. Amazing camerawork by Joel Stillone.
1. Favourite Story of 2018
SEX IN JAPAN: DYING FOR COMPANY
This half-hour documentary was made in extraordinary circumstances. We shot the whole thing in basically 3 days. Genius producer Claire Aird willed this complex, nuanced story into life. It’s a film about sex, gender, work and death. We met fascinating people and the ending is one of the saddest moments I’ve ever had on camera.
(Huge shout-outs to our cinematographer & Japan guru Chris Shepard and Editor Simon Phegan)
Andrés Gómez Isaza.