An interview Ray Martin has given to Fairfax indicates that his run-in with John Safran in the 1990s still smarts.
The incident, in which Safran confronted Martin outside his home, was part of an unaired pilot John Safran: Media Tycoon. It followed A Current Affair‘s branding of the Paxton family as dole bludgers. Safran claimed he was proving Martin was a bludger by being home at 9:30am.
“Where oh where is Ray?” he asked.
But the scene did make it to air on Media Watch, John Safran: The Lost Pilot and via YouTube and has since become TV folklore.
Martin today tells Fairfax it was ”a pissant thing to do at the time” and that a week earlier guards had been called to his house after a death threat following an ACA story on marijuana trafficking.
This is ”context without giving an excuse”, Martin says. ”[ABC chairman] Brian Johns apologised to my wife, sent a bunch of flowers and said … it wouldn’t go to air. Three weeks later, it did. I put my hand up for being thin-skinned about these things, because in this business there are cheap shots and what you throw at people you should cop, but it was just singularly unfunny to come along.
”I thought it was The Footy Show doing something. Andrew Denton tells me I’d like [Safran], but I don’t think so. He’s a serial pest.”
Safran has been performing at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival this month.
No word if Ray regretted that shirt, either.