AUDIO FILES

Radio Interviews: You can listen on this page 

Interviews from my radio tape archives.

ECHOES OF 2UE NIGHTWATCH!

I hosted the 2UE ‘Nightwatch’ program for 5 years (1971-1976)—the longest period of any reporter who covered Sydney each Saturday night. My determination to add news investigations and human interest stories to the program’s mainstay of police rounds coverage paid off with record audience numbers of 255,000 for a program reaching just one market. It was the peak of the program’s ratings results.
book image 10On the NightWatch rounds 1970s.

Nightwatch Investigation into Sydney’s Illegal Casinos

Excerpt from my book, ‘Hello Ego”:

I really have Nightwatch to thank most for my journey into journalistic probes. It was as early as March 1973 that the thought came to me that someone needed to expose the blatant lies of both the Premier, Bob Askin, and the Police Commissioner, Norm Allen. Both were insisting that illegal gambling dens in Sydney did not exist. 

Even radio colleagues were constantly telling me of their good fortune (or otherwise) at places such as The Forbes Club in Woolloomooloo and another club housed nearby under the Bull ‘N’ Bush restaurant in William street. So I decided perhaps it was time to go ‘undercover’ to get a different kind of report for Nightwatch.

There was a newspaper delivery driver called Mick Deegan who was always supplying news tips to 2UE so I made contact with him to ask if he could get me into the gambling den. It was no problem for Mick and soon he was introducing me to his contact, a big, burly man who was somehow associated with the club. He had a deep scar on his right arm, from knife wounds he had suffered as a result of ‘a bit of trouble at the club’, a few nights before.

We met at a house at King’s Cross, with me posing as a young man from the bush, visiting the city and looking for a bit of gambling action. He seemed convinced by my little farce and he gave me a name to mention at the club entrance. Well it was too late for second thoughts. The country boy act had proved successful and now it was a matter of sustaining it to get in and record the illegal activities without being discovered. I knew from the outset that that wouldn’t be easy. There were no mini-recorders or reliable FM radio equipment available to me. All I had was a very bulky ‘Superscope’ cassette tape recorder, which I strapped to my shoulder and let it hang under my blue sports jacket.

SYDNEY ILLEGAL CASINOS

‘Newsman of the Year’ nomination for Nightwatch

This 2UE award nomination clip, voiced by John Torv, resulted in my first radio award, which I took as more of a ‘reward‘ for working every Saturday night, reporting, editing, producing and hosting the ‘Nightwatch’ program for 5 years 1971 to 1976.

The 30-minute program aired at 9am each Sunday.


Newsman of the Year 1977

 

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3 thoughts on “AUDIO FILES”

  1. Great blog Les, 2UE was Australia’s premier radio station, actually they had a bumper sticker made along those lines, didn’t they, I enjoyed being part of the team even though it was only a short time

  2. I was telling my girl friend about this show ,I would listen to this on Sunday mornings ,l remember once there was a story about a haunted house ,my imagination ran wild and I went and hid under the bed.A simpler time ,thank you for the memories Geoff

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