Richard Reid spent seven years as part of Nine’s Today show, dishing the dirt on Hollywood celebrity in is inimitable style.
But having fallen in love with the country, he still spends plenty of time in Australia -enough to see new contenders enter the world of gossip in TV, radio and online.
Surprisingly, he isn’t greedy for the terrain, wishing them the best of luck with the work ahead of them.
“I say good for them. Take my throne! I’m so fine with it. It takes a lot of energy and hard work, so good for them,” he tells TV Tonight.
“Imitation is the strongest form of flattery.
“I worked my brand for a lot of years and anyone is welcome to have it.
“When I first started years ago my news director said, ‘Are people really going to stay interested in gossip?’ Look at it!”
Reid left Today in 2015 before appearances on Celebrity Apprentice and Studio 10. He remains close friends with Richard Wilkins and on the day we chatted, had just received a text from Lisa Wilkinson.
“She’s fabulous. The sky’s the limit for Lisa Wilkinson,” he suggests.
“At TEN she will have the opportunity to do long-form interviews, or maybe investigative work or maybe have The Lisa Show.
“Great things are happening at TEN. It’s a very exciting time.
“When I first left Today I was up for a number of high profile projects which I did not get. And I was also offered a lot of low profile projects that were actually a steaming pile of crap, and I’m so glad I didn’t do them.
“I’m really trying to be strategic and thoughtful about what I do next.”
Spending around 60% of his time in Australia, Reid is being pro-active about just what he does do next, meeting with writers and producers on projects including a game show, a talk show, and even a scripted comedy.
“I’ve been around in Australia or 10 years and I finally realised if I want to be relevant I’m going to have to create my own content or meet up with people who are like-minded,” he explains.
“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve met with networks who ask ‘What do you want to do?’ When I say ‘I want to do a talk show’ they say ‘Let me stop you, right now. Australia’s not going to do a talk show.’
“Everytime they say that it just makes me stronger in my resolve that there will be a talk show.
“I always look to Julia Morris as inspiration. She was a stand-up comic but now she’s the queen of television! She does it all.”
He is also open to new media ideas, from podcasts to short form video, but with one caveat – please don’t mistake him for that guy from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.
“People confuse me with Carson Kressley because he did I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. It’s very odd! I get that we both have big hair, American accents, and are a bit outrageous,” he admits.
“He’s a lovely person but we don’t look anything alike!”