“Simon Cowley”, “Nick D’Arcy” and “Matthew Johns”


A Current Affair, Nine Network




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Tracy Grimshaw’s standout interviews for A Current Affair stand as a fitting motif for a news year where sporting achievements were regularly overshadowed by off-field scandal. Simon Cowley was the swimmer assaulted by a fellow swimmer, Nick D’Arcy, with both interviews breaking new revelations on the affair.

Then in May, following on from Four Corners’ “Code of Silence” investigation into group-sex allegations, former Cronulla Sharks player Matthew Johns was stood down from his duties at the Nine Network. Asked by Nine boss David Gyngell to be interviewed by Grimshaw, Johns reluctantly agreed; his wife Trish also wanted to take part despite Grimshaw offering her the chance to reconsider.

It’s easy to imagine the incredibly tense atmosphere in the crowded interview room – Johns’ entourage included a manager, network sports colleagues and friends as well as two camera crews. The cameras only rolled at 4pm and the interview was edited on a tight deadline to lead A Current Affair at 6.30. The impact and follow-on from the interview was unavoidable.

Tracy Grimshaw has been the host of the Nine Network’s A Current Affair since January 2006. Her career in television journalism began with a general reporter position in Nine’s Melbourne newsroom in 1981. She has presented programs including National Nine News, Midday, Today on Saturday and Today. This is her first Walkley Award.

Judges’ comments:

“When Matthew Johns sat down to talk to Tracy Grimshaw, we all sat down. It was compelling television as we watched a man’s career crumble. A tense and difficult interview, with the reporter also under particular pressures, but Grimshaw proved the expert interviewer.”