Today Australia’s leading fake news website begins an occasional series looking at what previously prominent Australians are doing now, after they have left the public spotlight. In the first instalment of our series we caught up with former Liberal Party federal cabinet minister Christopher Pyne.
Christopher Pyne says not many people were aware of his passion for bodybuilding when he was a minister in a succession of federal Coalition governments.
“I kept it pretty well hidden, didn’t I?” he said impishly while lifting weights as part of a regular workout at his local gym in Adelaide (main picture).
Mr Pyne said he was enjoying his new post-political life working for business interests linked to the nation’s multi-billion-dollar submarine project based in Adelaide.
He did not miss most aspects of his former political career, except one.
“When I was working in Canberra I don’t think anyone at any time twigged that under my business suit I was rocking a rock-hard bod that was the product of not hours, but years, of hard work in the gym,” he said.
“In fact I was a fixture in the Parliament House gym. I’d sneak off there whenever I could, sometimes two or even three or four times a day.
“It’s a great gym and it’s one of the very few things I miss from my former life. It’s got probably a couple of million dollars worth of equipment in it.
“But nobody else seemed to use it. In fact I can’t recall any other MP being in there when I went, so that helped keep my secret safe from my colleagues and the media.
“There was only one occasion when I thought my cover was blown. That was when Julia Gillard called across the House of Reps chamber and labelled me a ‘mincing poodle’.
“I thought she was going to reveal my secret bodybuilding passion because I nicknamed one of my routines the ‘mincing poodle’.
“I won’t demonstrate it to you, but I will say it’s designed to work on your glutes.”
Mr Pyne said his short-term aim after leaving politics had been to win the Mister Universe Australia title.
“But what with the COVID-19 shutdown, all the competitions leading up to the title weekend have been canned, so it looks like I’ll have to keep working out until everything gets back to normality,” he said.