Still entertaining: Angela Bishop marks 30 years at 10.

If ever there was any hint Angela Bishop would be a survivor in the rough and tumble game of TV news, it was her first day on the job.

It was 1989 and Bishop had been given the good news on her TEN hiring on a Thursday, ready to start work on a Monday. But on the Friday night she was a passenger in a car accident.

“I had the job of my dreams and I wasn’t going to miss out!”

“It rolled down an embankment. I was sent to hospital with 3 broken ribs, damaged ligaments in my knee,” she tells TV Tonight.

“But on Sunday afternoon I checked myself out of hospital because I had the job of my dreams and I wasn’t going to miss out!

“I was going to buy grown-up clothes but I had to borrow one of mum’s jackets for the first day, which was bright yellow with giant shoulder pads.

“I was chasing around Bob Hawke for a news grab, and wearing a hard hat. But I got the grab. That was my first day.”

30 years later Bishop is one of a handful of on air talent still in 10’s Sydney news department (Sandra Sully & Tim Bailey both hit the same anniversary next year).

Originally hired to cover general news and current affairs including for Hinch and Alan Jones Live, she got her entertainment break after interviewing actor Robert Duvall for Ron Howard film The Paper -her first international junket.

“I just hit it off with him, for whatever reason. It turned out to be an interview that got a couple of headlines,” she recalls.

Duvall told Bishop that during the filming of Apocalypse Now, Philippines president Ferdinand Marcos invited the cast to a ball at the palace, and included 10’s Bill Collins and his cameraman Tony Curtis, mistakenly thinking ‘Tony Curtis’ was the Hollywood A-lister.

“Robert Duvall thought it was the most fantastic story he’d ever heard, so he took Tony Curtis to meet his friends Marlon Brando, Martin Sheen and Francis Ford Coppola. Tony and Robert became friends ever since.

“So Robert Duvall loves Channel 10 and loves Australians.”

The interview went so well Bishop’s then boss Carmel Travers told her, “‘I like you doing this sort of thing, can you do an arts & entertainment round?’ That’s how it was put to me, on an equal footing with police, courts, medical, political etc. So it felt legitimate.

“Entertainment is a much more common part of news, but back then it wasn’t.”

“But as I pitched stories they had to have a news angle to make it into the bulletin.

“In this day and age I see a lot more entertainment in our bulletins.

“Entertainment is a much more common part of news, but back then it wasn’t.”

Bishop is now seasoned in junkets, red carpets, breaking news and entertainment, a co-presenter on Studio 10 and Entertainment Editor for 10 News First. Over the three decades of reporting, the web and social media are but two of the changes that have impacted the job of showbiz reporting. But there have been other changes, including directives to avoid questions when interviewing stars.

“I seldom get the ‘Don’t Ask’ question.”

“I seldom get the ‘Don’t Ask’ question. It’s not what I would describe as commonplace,” Bishop insists.

“When people try to control the news cycle, I think more often than not it blows up in their faces. It doesn’t work. With social media it’s too hard to do these days. Having said that, if anyone is managing it at the moment it’s the Sussexes, Meghan & Harry. They have it totally under control.

“But to have such happy news with what we have to report on most of the time, it can only be a good thing.”

“I learned more in the two weeks I spent in her circle about television than almost all I had learned in the years before.”

There are few names which cause her to become starstruck, but one was Oprah Winfrey during her 2010 visit down under.

“I learned more in the two weeks I spent in her circle about television than almost all I had learned in the years before. Her attention to detail and ability to size up a situation and know exactly the right way to react. But more than anything her ability to listen to people and make every person feel heard. It’s such a crucial talent to have,” she continues.

Another was rock idol, Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant.

“I didn’t know if I would be able to speak!”

Amongst her favourite entertainment journos are Dan Wootton at the London Sun and Nancy O’Dell host of Entertainment Tonight.

“She has always treated entertainment reporting as just as legitimate as every other kind. But it still has to be factually correct, and you check your sources, you can’t just run stuff that’s not true.

“Kevin Frazier her partner in crime there is also a sensational journo who came up from being a cameraman and did the hard yakka.

“It’s people who have worked hard to be where they are and have built their reputation on being fearless, checking facts, being accurate.

“And still being entertaining.”

Studio 10 will mark 30 years for Angela Bishop from 8:30am Friday on 10.

3 Comments:

  1. Armchair Analyst

    Congrats to Angela Bishop. Its not easy staying at the top of TV especially if the Network is in financial trouble. This has been the second time Network TEN has been in receivership and Angela both times has worked at the Network, goes to show how valuable she is and how loyal the Network Execs are to her and vice versa. She even got a congrats message from Richard Wilkins who has been on air longer than her at Nine. I enjoyed watching the tribute to her on Studio 10 this morning, love seeing those old clips of her past interviews. Hopefully she will make it to 35 years with the Network.

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