In a television industry exclusive, I can reveal that ABC morning TV celebrity Lisa Millar was turned back at Brisbane Airport around 11.30am local time on Monday morning, leaving the much-loved news presenter in tears.
I’m told she sobbed the entire flight back to Melbourne and it took a mighty effort on her part – and it’s a tribute to her professionalism, really – that she calmed herself sufficiently to face the News Breakfast cameras next morning.
“The Queensland borders had opened at 2am Monday morning and I desperately wanted to see my family, especially my beautiful nieces, if only for the day,” the proud Queenslander told me, her voice shaking with emotion as she recalled the ordeal.
“I’m fully vaccinated and my booster shot is due in early January, I’d returned a negative COVID test taken at the weekend and I was feeling fine so I thought everything was hunky-dory,” the Gympie-born Millar, 52, told me.
“But I was stopped at the arrivals gate and made to sit there until that flight to Melbourne boarded shortly after.”
My spies within the Queensland Government tell me Ms Millar was put on a watch list late last week after she used the word “swimmers” instead of “togs” on a segment the day before.
And speaking of the ABC News Breakfast program, I’m wondering right now whether Millar’s co-anchor Michael Rowland is regretting his comment this morning to Adelaide-based reporter Charles Brice to “strap yourself in”.