Richard Morecroft

Author: Interview Paul Connolly
Date: 29/08/2010
Words: 640
Source: SHD
          Publication: Sun Herald
Section: Sunday Life
Page: 8

I was born in England and lived in a little Midlands town called Market Harborough, where this photo of me and my brother, Andrew [at left], was taken in 1960 when I was four. In 1966 our family emigrated to Adelaide where my father, Peter, a dentist, set up a practice with the help of my mother, Phyll. The move was prompted by Andrews respiratory problems; his doctors felt he needed to live in a warm, dry climate, and Adelaide was one of the main options. I was one of those children fascinated by frogs, toads, insects, lizards under logs and all that. On this front Australia delivered, and I was in heaven straight away.


I had thoughts of being a teacher or an actor when I was studying English and drama at university in Adelaide. But while I was there I started working part-time for the university radio station, announcing and helping put together music and arts programs. I was fascinated by it all. Before I finished my degree there were auditions for ABC announcers in Adelaide and I went along and was lucky enough to get a job. Around the time this photo was taken  I suspect in 1980 during a science education program I was filming at a marina  I was just starting to do regular TV news work.


After Id presented TV news and current affairs in Adelaide for a year or two, I was approached to move to Sydney to take over from [7pm news announcer] James Dibble, who was retiring. It was a very exciting move for me but wrenching for my parents. I have to say it was brave of the ABC executives to go from the legendary figure of Dibble to someone like & well, the mop-headed newsreader in the previous photograph.

A few years on I co-hosted, with Geraldine Doogue, a national news and current affairs program called The National. This is an unused publicity photo from the show [also featuring Max Walsh and Richard Carleton] and I like it because it shows us having a bit of fun. I dont think Ive ever had such fun working with someone as I had working with Geraldine, who has a great sense of humour as well as a great intelligence.


As this photo, taken in about 2007, indicates, Ive always been fascinated by wildlife. It shows a black rhino from Taronga Zoo, where Im now on the board. Throughout my years of reading the news I liked to diversify and the ABC supported that. I hosted a wildlife series  with the slightly dodgy title of Richard Morecroft Goes Wild  and made a few documentaries, one called Raising Archie about my fostering of a young flying fox.

Although its many years ago now, I still have people come up to me and ask if I have a little flying fox tucked inside my shirt.


My decision to leave the ABC in 2001 after 20 years Im sure puzzled a lot of people, but for me it was time for a change.

Along with Alison [Mackay]  my partner since 1992  I moved to a bush property on the NSW south coast, not to retire but to work in a different way. For years now weve written books and magazine articles together, and shared a commitment to the arts. Ive been exploring photography and shes a wonderful painter. This photo was taken at Sandy Point near Wilsons Promontory in Victoria. Weve travelled extensively and both have a passion for the natural world and physical activities like windsurfing, rock climbing and scuba diving. Its been lovely to be able to share so much with her.

Richard Morecroft hosts the game show Letters and Numbers, weeknights on SBS One.

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