The bribe of a 2020 all 10 days Ekka family pass saved ABC TV’s News Breakfast from an embarrassing co-hosts meltdown in front of a national viewing audience of hundreds just before 7am today.
A quick-thinking producer’s aide used the Royal Queensland Show package to lure a tearful Lisa Millar from her dressing-closet after she had stormed off set after co-host Michael Rowland had taken “the piss” out of her for not listening to the details of sports presenter Paul Kennedy’s report.
“It was a La Trioli-level tantrum,” the aide told The Bug. “There’s no doubt about that.”
Millar’s abrupt storm-off happened after she asked Kennedy a question about Ash Barty recapturing the world No1 tennis ranking, an issue he had explained in detail.
When the Queenslander admitted she hadn’t been listening to Kennedy’s report and had been mentally practising how to say Médecins Sans Frontières properly just in case it ever came up, Rowland turned to her and explained the main news items as if she was a child who had never heard them before.
“It took Millar a few seconds to twig that Michael was taking the piss out of her and that’s when she stormed off just before the long 7am ‘ad’ break,” the producer’s aide said.
“That’s when I thought of the Ekka package lure. It was either that or a Broncos or Lions season ticket package so with time ticking away and only a few minutes to go, I just took a punt and went with the Ekka option seeing she’s clearly not much into sport. It’s valued at over $2000.”
The Bug understands that after the show ended, Millar went straight back to her dressing closet, locked the door and shouted over and over “I was too professional to pick up Michael when he repeatedly said ‘a man and a woman is…’ over that toddler death in Melbourne”.
Millar was eventually lured out of the closet the second time with the bribe of a range of top-shelf chili powders, pastes and jams from a popular Melbourne deli and the promise that she could have Virginia Trioli’s vacant and very large dressing room after all and that they’d paint out Trioli’s name and put hers up while keeping all seven stars.
Postscript: The ABC was understood to be flooded with hundreds of calls asking for Paul Kennedy’s upcoming standup venues, dates and times after he said he was really looking forward to tonight’s episode of Old People’s Homes for 4-Year Olds.