News, Culture & Society

ABC 7.30 host Leigh Sales reveals what she thinks of EVERY Australian PM for the past 40 years

Leigh Sales has admitted feeling ‘stabbed in the heart’ by all of the Australian prime ministers she has interviewed as she debunked a popular ‘myth’ about Scott Morrison.

The outgoing ABC star, whose 12 year run as 7.30 host ends next week, said she felt an ‘odd fondness’ for all the eight PMs she’s interviewed – whether Liberal or Labor leaders. 

Writing in Nine newspapers, Sales was keen to dispel myth that Mr Morrison dodged her interview requests and instead that he ‘never shied away’ from a tough interview. 

She wished him luck said she plans to catch up with him ‘when the dust settles’. 

Leigh Sales has admitted feeling ‘stabbed in the heart’ by all of the Australian prime ministers she has interviewed 

Sales was keen to dispel myth that Mr Morrison dodged her interview requests and instead that he 'never shied away' from a tough interview

Sales was keen to dispel myth that Mr Morrison dodged her interview requests and instead that he ‘never shied away’ from a tough interview

Sales admitted admiring and respecting anyone who ‘steps up’ to the biggest job in Australia – including Anthony Albanese.

‘There’s something about everyone who’s done that job that kind of stabs me in the heart… I don’t think people understand how tough [the job is] if they’re not in proximity.’

Sales gave her verdict on the Australian prime ministers she interviewed, six of whom were in office at the time and two who were former leaders.

The hard-nosed TV host was most candid about her experiences interviewing Paul Keating and Bob Hawke.

Sales gave her verdict on the Australian prime ministers she interviewed as 7.30 host, six of whom were in office at the time and two who were former Australian leaders

Sales gave her verdict on the Australian prime ministers she interviewed as 7.30 host, six of whom were in office at the time and two who were former Australian leaders

Malcolm Turnbull was 'astute and engaging' as a guest and could tell stories that were funny enough to have 'tears rolling down your face'.

Malcolm Turnbull was ‘astute and engaging’ as a guest and could tell stories that were funny enough to have ‘tears rolling down your face’.

She admitted feeling ’emotional’ and having childhood flashbacks as she chatted with Hawke while waiting for an interview with his wife, Blanche, only months before he died in 2019.

Sales was similarly affected by Keating, confessing she felt her ‘throat tighten’ when she asked him who he’d want to comment on his legacy when he died.

‘It has been one of the great privileges of my life to get to talk to him from time to time. There will only ever be one PJK.’ 

But Sales also claimed to have no ‘leftie bias’ while doing her job.

John Howard made a good impression on Sales by phoning to offer his condolences when her father Dale died in 2018

John Howard made a good impression on Sales by phoning to offer his condolences when her father Dale died in 2018

Leigh Sales said she felt an 'odd fondness' for all the eight PMs she's interviewed (above), whether they were Liberal or Labor leaders

Leigh Sales said she felt an ‘odd fondness’ for all the eight PMs she’s interviewed (above), whether they were Liberal or Labor leaders

She felt her genuine desire to ‘understand’ guests built trust and helped her engage with them.

It was always important to neither ‘agree or disagree’, she claimed.

That rapport meant off camera she could regularly seek out John Howard’s opinions on foreign affairs and politics.

She called Mr Howard a man with a sharp ‘radar’ who was also ‘helpful’ and ‘kind’.

He made a good impression on Sales by phoning to offer his condolences when her father Dale died in 2018.

Malcolm Turnbull, whom she called ‘a great Australian story’, did the same thing.

Mr Turnbull was ‘astute and engaging’ she wrote and could tell stories that were funny enough to have ‘tears rolling down your face’.

Sales admitted to ringing Mr Rudd to tap his brain on foreign policy and political strategy and was felt a sense of awe at how his mind 'joined the dots'

Sales admitted to ringing Mr Rudd to tap his brain on foreign policy and political strategy and was felt a sense of awe at how his mind ‘joined the dots’

Tony Abbott got her respect for different reasons, mainly for his courtesy.

While many guests never acknowledged the studio crew, Mr Abbott greeted and thanked them.

She added that Mr Abbott ‘always argues his corner well’ and left the studio in good spirits even if an interview with her had a ‘rough’ ending.

Kevin Rudd, she said, was ‘stunningly smart’.

She admitted to ringing Mr Rudd to tap his brain on foreign policy and political strategy and was felt a sense of awe at how his mind ‘joined the dots’.

The woman who succeeded him, Julia Gillard, was ‘a lovely, warm person’ who has had the ‘gold standard’ post-prime ministerial career, which has mainly been in academia.

The only prime minister Sales did not comment upon was Malcolm Fraser. 

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk