The host’s most memorable stories

As the host of A Current Affair for 17 years, Tracy Grimshaw has become one of the most reliable and trusted faces in Australian TV, covering some of the biggest and most explosive interviews in the country.

In September, Grimshaw announced that she would be stepping down from her role as the program’s host after more than 40 years on television. This week, she will be sitting in the host chair for the last time before embarking on her next chapter.

But before she does go, A Current Affair has reflected on some of Grimshaw’s most memorable exclusives which dominated headlines across the country and touched the hearts of Australians.

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Beaconsfield Miners

In 2006 Grimshaw interviewed Brant Webb and Todd Russell, who survived the Beaconsfield Mine disaster after becoming trapped.

Grimshaw had been in the top job for just months when the men agreed to sit down with her after they were stuck in the mine for 14 days.

The emotional interview captivated the nation and the world as the men described how they spent days trying to dig a tunnel.

The men, who had little in common, revealed to Grimshaw the moment they both penned letters to their loved ones, not knowing if they would get out alive.

Don Burke. (A Current Affair)

Don Burke

In 2017, Don Burke sat down with Grimshaw in an exclusive interview following allegations of bullying, indecent assault and sexual harassment during his hit gardening show’s 17-year run.

The allegations against Burke included claims from more than 50 women who worked with or under the gardening guru.

He denied many of the allegations and claimed his accusers were on “a witch hunt”, but Grimshaw didn’t back down and reiterated to him that “a lot of people are lying” if no one’s claims were true.

Pauline Hanson spoke to A Current Affair in an emotional interview in 2019. (A Current Affair)

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Pauline Hanson

When Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party went into damage control following a strip club scandal involving former party member Steve Dickson in 2019, the party leader spoke to A Current Affair in a raw and confronting interview with Grimshaw from her home in Brisbane.

Hanson also faced questions about where the party’s donations came from after some of its members had been linked to the US gun lobby group the National Rifle Association.

During the interview, when Grimshaw asked her why she didn’t give up on politics after all the backlash she’d faced over the years, Hanson broke down in tears.

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James Hewitt

In an exclusive interview, a former lover of Diana, Princess of Wales – James Hewitt – spoke to Grimshaw in 2007 about his last conversation with the late princess.

“She said, ‘I’m going to shock the world,'” Hewitt recalled of a conversation about a relationship she had with a man following him.

He also opened up about his thoughts on the royal family and was asked about Harry’s speculated paternity.

Lindy Chamberlain

Following a groundbreaking ruling by a coroner in 2012 that Lindy Chamberlain’s daughter Azaria had died after being taken from their tent by a dingo in the Northern Territory in 1980, the mother spoke to Grimshaw in an open and honest sit-down interview.

When Grimshaw asked Chamberlain whether she thought about the woman Azaria would have grown up to be had she not been taken, the mother became overwhelmed with emotion and said “there are things that hit you” as she teared up.

“You never forget,” she said.

Michael Parkinson

Legendary British broadcaster Sir Michael Parkinson CBE spoke to Grimshaw in 2009 about his career and the moment he was knighted by the Queen.

“Television is my life. It’s about moments, isn’t it?” Parkinson said.

He also revealed his secret to getting others to open up to him over the years.

“You have to have an ability to look at a person and have them believe they’re like you,” he said.

Shelley Walsh

In 2009, Shelly Walsh opened up to the host of A Current Affair about the horrifying moment she found her mother and two young children dead after they had been brutally murdered by her own father.

As Walsh revealed the traumatic moment she discovered what her father had done and what happened next when he then took an ax to her, Grimshaw showed her empathetic side in the interview, becoming teary-eyed herself.

Terri and Bindi Irwin. (A Current Affair)

Terri and Bindi Irwin

Grimshaw spoke to Terri and Bindi Irwin three months after Steve Irwin sadly passed away in September 2006 when Bindi was just eight years old.

The young girl told the A Current Affair host she wanted to be just like her father and when interviewed by Grimshaw again in 2013 at the age of 14, she said while she wants to have her own identity she also wanted to “make sure that his (Steve’s) legacy continues”.

M’liss Henry

Grimshaw, who is known to have a love for horses herself, interviewed accomplished horsewoman M’Liss Henry in 2019 about her devotion to helping people with enormous challenges.

The inspirational woman revealed what makes her want to turn up and help people every day. She said her aim is to “be kind” and help others to improve their lives even if it is just by a little bit.

Henry told the host she believes pretty much anyone can ride a horse despite their disabilities and her incredible students showed A Current Affair how they prove it daily.

During the interview, one of Henry’s students who had been non-verbal for a long time, even spoke some words to Grimshaw.

Scott Morrison

Grimshaw grilled then-Prime Minister Scott Morrison when he failed to show up for the women’s rally outside Parliament in 2021, and she didn’t hold back when it came to asking the tough questions again this year in the lead-up to the federal election .

“You don’t hold a hose, you weren’t in your tinnie plucking people off rooftops,” she said.

“You weren’t doing 16-hour days in PPE on COVID wards, you didn’t get enough vaccines soon enough.

“You didn’t get enough RATs so that we could finally have a holiday interstate for Christmas, and China is set up based in the Solomons.”

Tracy Grimshaw and Oprah Winfrey in 2015. (A Current Affair)

Celebrities

Grimshaw also sat down with some of the world’s biggest stars including the late Olivia Newton-John, Barbra Streisand, One Direction, Ellen DeGeneres, Oprah Winfrey, Celine Dion, Lady Gaga and Susan Boyle to produce some of her most memorable and headline-generating interviews.

Whether interviewing a celebrity or a regular Australian, Grimshaw has proven time and time again that she can be trusted to tell stories that make a difference.

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