- Rob Astbury
Rob Astbury (born 1948) is a former
Australian televisionsports journalist who was once Australia's highest paid TV sports presenter and is more recently famous for being the ex-lover of variety show legend Graham Kennedy. During a media career spanning 21 years he won an unprecedented 10 VFL/AFL awards, two national Penguin awards and was twice nominated for the Logie awards for the Best News Story of the year.
After an early career in
Melbourneradio, Astbury made a successful jump to television - firstly for the often-struggling Channel 0/10 network before accepting a lucrative offer to work for the pre-eminent Channel 9 network.
Following a motoring accident in
Perth, whilst on a sports assignment at the height of his career, he was badly injured and subsequently became addicted to painkillers and his career collapsed. Astbury sued an insurance company but initially lost the court case and was financially broken by legal fees. He took a temporary job in Queensland's booming Gold Coast property market and within five years was the state's top saleman after introducing marketing ideas gained from his TV career. For this he won many awards. Astbury was then offered a job selling real estate in the Thailandresort of Pattaya. He was instrumental in streamlining the company he worked for into a highly successful property developer. The company has embarked on a 91 level project which will be one of the tallest residential buildings in the world : www.Ocean1tower.com. He is now developing a model dairy farm in Northern Thailand.
Astbury also filed news reports for the internet site crikey.com.au, detailing his eyewitness report on the Tsunami that devastated
Phuketwhilst Astbury was holidaying there, and the recent army coup. His lectures on the Australian speaker's circuit have been inspirational and entertaining.
In 2005, after Graham Kennedy died, Melbourne talk back host
Derryn Hinchpublicly outed Astbury as being gay, reported that Astbury was Kennedy’s lover for 20 years, and revealed that Astbury was HIV positive. Hinch also claimed that Graham Kennedy had died of AIDS but eventually withdrew this claim and publicly apologised. The public indignation motivated Astbury to openly campaign for gay rights and AIDS education.
In October 2006 he published a book "King and I: My Life With Graham Kennedy", which, at first, infuriated former friends and colleagues of Kennedy Fact|date=February 2007 for revealing intimate details of their sex life Fact|date=February 2007. [http://www.theage.com.au/ffximage/2006/10/26/launch_wideweb__470x337,0.jpgAstbury During the book Launch]
At the launch of "King and I" in Melbourne in October 2006 Astbury announced he would be standing for the
Australian Senateon a platform of equal rights for gay couples and HIV/AIDS education in the next General Election held in 2007. Prior to the election Astbury decided not to pursue his political aspirations but announced he would vote Labor for the first time in his life.
He is now completing his much anticipated autobiography "Twice as Hard" which is also expected to be a best seller.
His personal website is www.robastbury.com
* [http://www.theage.com.au/news/books/i-didnt-want-to-write-this-book/2006/10/26/1161749236906.html The Age]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.