Eddie: The rise and rise of Eddie McGuire | Michael Bodey

Love him or hate him, if you live in Australia and have a television you will now Eddie Maguire, from Who Wants to Be a Millionaire to sport, the guy is everywhere on television, and in the press, with many a controversy surrounding the millionaire and his unrestrained tongue, King Kong Boned anyone? Anyways, this TV presenter has a somewhat interesting and full life, enough to see The Australian‘s own Michael Bodey write a biography in the man. EDDIE: THE RISE AND RISE OF EDDIE MAGUIRE released last year from the fine folks at Hachette Australia and we finally get the review to the interwebs. EDDIE is available from most bookstores or you can obtain it HERE. Enjoy Fi’s thoughts, all the best………JK.

 

Eddie: The rise and rise of Eddie Maguire Book Cover image

 

BY FIONA FYFE

You may be familiar with Eddie McGuire because you’re a die-hard AFL supporter or you are obsessed with Collingwood and have enjoyed Eddie’s Victorian version of The Footy Show. Maybe you’re a trivia fanatic and used to watch Who Wants to be a Millionaire? or more recently, Millionaire Hotseat. Whatever the case, Eddie has beamed into our lounge rooms since the 90’s and his face is familiar to many of us. Author Michael Bodey is a media and film writer for The Australian. This is only his second foray into writing a book and judging by his positive support for Eddie in this rather upbeat biography, he is a bit of a fan.

Collingwood supporters may well revere their enthusiastic club president and I admit I have often had cause to comment that Eddie seems like a nice bloke, but I’m not sure there’s enough gripping material to write an entire book devoted to the boy from the ‘burbs. The son of a Glaswegian coal miner and an Irish farm girl, Eddie grew up on a housing commission estate in Melbourne’s Broadmeadows. He is the guy who rose from the ashes of his working class roots to make good as a cadet journalist before going on to become one of Australia’s most recognisable television hosts.

 

eddie maguire on the hot seat image

 

Eddie’s elder brother Frank started his career as a reporter for the Melbourne Herald. His job there was to write VFL match reports. He hired younger brother Eddie aged 13, to compile stats for him and to act as a ‘runner’ which involved running down to the change rooms after the games to gather details about the player’s injuries and any news regarding umpires’ reports. Eddie regularly got the inside scoop and he was as keen as mustard. A year or so later Australian Associated Press approached Frank and asked him whether or not his brother would be interested in writing match reports for the district cricket. Eddie jumped at the opportunity to emerge from his older brother’s shadow and start making a name for himself.

Some of his former school teachers describe Eddie as “personable, cheeky and charming” with a sharp wit. Academically he may not have been the best student in the class but he was a hard worker and he was ambitious. A few weeks shy of completing his HSC, Eddie was offered a cadetship with Ten News. Bodey claims that Eddie knew all along that he was destined for bigger and better things than newspapers and fully embraced the transition to television. He is said to have commented to his mum at the time of the job offer; “thanks for teaching me to read with expression.” Interestingly, as he was too busy becoming famous during his University days to finish his degree, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by RMIT University in May 2013, making him a Doctor of Communications. Dr Eddie McGuire has an odd ring to it, somehow.

 

eddie maguire screwing up his face image
Photo used with thanks to Scott Barbour/Getty Images

 

This book is the story of a determined go-getter who became a businessman, a media personality, a footy club president and a would-be politician remembering his role opposite Malcolm Turnbull heading the Republican campaign. On 9 February 2006, he became the CEO of the Nine Network, stepping into the vacancy left by David Gyngell. In June 2007 Eddie officially resigned from this role amid much controversy. The Sydney press referred to him as the “P-plate CEO”, suggesting that he wasn’t experienced enough to run a television network. There may have been some truth to this given that he purged the station of a number of long standing employees and statements by former executives allege that Eddie had made inappropriate comments about television presenter Jessica Rowe. He never denied any of the allegations.

It seems that Edward Joseph McGuire can’t be kept down for long and set-backs or faux pas (of which there have been many) are cast to one side while he forges ahead. Currently one of the hosts of Melbourne’s Triple M Breakfast show – The Hot Breakfast, he has long been considered a draw card for any program or media format. Perhaps it is his larrikin sense of humour or his cheeky visage that so appeals to Australians. While he may indeed be a charmer, he is certainly not polished. This rough diamond quality has however, made him popular amongst the general viewing public largely because he is down to earth.

Professional mistakes and social blunders aside, what is conveyed very clearly in this biography is Eddie’s generous nature and his loyalty to his family and friends. Married to Carla Galloway since 1997 to whom he credits keeping him on the straight and narrow, one gets the impression that Eddie hasn’t let fame go to his head. He might receive birthday wishes from Barack Obama and hob nob with celebrity royalty, but this is one guy who has never forgotten his humble beginnings. If you like a rags to riches story or you’re a true blue footy fan, this is the book for you.

 

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Kernel Fiona was a criminal defence lawyer in a former life and now critiques books and writes short stories. She can’t resist spending large tracts of time in libraries, book shops and at writer’s festivals. Hopelessly in love with the written word, she told JK when applying for a writing position that “I would rather read then breathe” – I knew I had my next reviewer right then. You can catch her and her tweets at @FionaJayneFyfe1

** All images courtesy of various sources on Google or direct from the publisher – credit has been given to photographers where known – images will be removed on request.