Ray Martin stars in the ABC’s new lifestyle show At Home Alone Together.
Ray Martin stars in the ABC’s new lifestyle show At Home Alone Together.

What you haven’t noticed about Ray Martin

He's smiling that familiar warm and welcoming smile as he pulls a loaf of sourdough out of the oven in the promos for the ABC's new lifestyle show At Home Alone Together, but national treasure, legendary Australian journalist Ray Martin quickly qualifies he has not jumped on to the COVID-19 baking bandwagon.

Far from it in fact.

"I'm not even a cook, let alone a chef," he tells Hibernation, with a laugh.

"I grew up with a mother and three older sisters, I was banished from the kitchen except for wiping up. I married a kitchen Nazi and my wife has also kept me out of the kitchen. I lament the fact that I can barely cook baked beans.

"Thankfully Dianne's hung around for 40 years - if she was to leave me I'd be kind of dependent on UberEats I think."

 

Don’t let the loaf fool you, Ray Martin says he has not jumped on to the COVID-19 baking bandwagon. Picture: Supplied
Don’t let the loaf fool you, Ray Martin says he has not jumped on to the COVID-19 baking bandwagon. Picture: Supplied

 

In fact the 75-year-old has been so busy in isolation that he hasn't time to watch all the shows and read all the books he had planned to devour. He's instead been somewhat of handyman around the house, and the obsessive photographer has been flicking through his photos for a second compilation book.

"I got out Great Expectations which is one of my all time favourite books and I haven't had time to read it, I've been going to do much more of that than I've done," he says. "Suddenly, I'll find it's Thursday or Friday and I'll think 'Gee, what has happened to this week'."

Martin will have even less time on his hands as he realises his dream of hosting a lifestyle show.

The tongue-in-cheek press release quotes him confessing "I've worked in journalism for over 50 years, but it's always been my dream to front a lifestyle show. 60 Minutes was all well and good, but it never gave me an opportunity to build a pergola. Australians are experiencing a difficult time and I believe I'm the right person to step up to hold the country's hand through it - just so long as that hand has been thoroughly sanitised."

 

Martin has been so busy in isolation that he hasn’t time to watch all the shows and read all the books he had planned to devour. Picture: Supplied
Martin has been so busy in isolation that he hasn’t time to watch all the shows and read all the books he had planned to devour. Picture: Supplied

 

Martin tells Hibernation that it's taken people 50 years to realise how funny he is.

"My daughter and son have always said 'Dad, don't dance, don't sing' and now are saying 'Dad, don't for a moment think you're funny'. I guess I'll prove them wrong or right."

The new eight-part comedy series starts Wednesday on ABC and iview. It's the survival series we all need right now: a lifestyle show for a world in which nobody has a life.

It's gathering together some of Australia's best comedians and revered actors including Anne Edmonds, Ryan Shelton, Becky Lucas, Christiaan Van Vuuren and Adele Vuko to give audiences advice on how they can live their best life in the time of COVID-19.

There's already a great list of talent locked in for chats with Martin, but he'd love a chance to go one-on-one with US president Donald Trump.

And he has his fingers crossed our own PM will join in the fun.

"Come on, ScoMo - we need you, Australia needs you," Martin jokes.

AT HOME ALONE TOGETHER, WEDNESDAY, 9PM, ABC

Originally published as What you haven't noticed about Ray Martin



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