“We are white-trash royalty” says Kyle

Staff Writer

Fairfax have today published a lengthy piece on Kyle Sandilands. Here are just a few short excerpts from the article by Stephanie Wood. Read it in full here.

Kyle Sandilands understands his place in the order of things. "We are white-trash royalty," he says, sweeping his family up into the statement. "We are white trash but I don't give a shit."

A white-trash royal can park his Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupé in a nonchalant, illegal kind of a way outside his favourite restaurant several times a week. "No parking: police vehicles excepted," reads the sign outside Sienna Marina in Woolloomooloo. "The police don't mind," says Sandilands, who is vague when asked whether parking tickets are ever tucked under his expensive windscreen wipers.

"A bogan is like a Torana-driving, flannelette-wearing …" I interrupt him to disagree, to tell him, sorry, but he is. I wonder if he might explode and call me a fat, bitter thing, or a piece of shit. He has form in the business of abusing female journalists. Instead, he asks if I take sugar in my coffee and politely considers his bogan credentials.

Politeness was not what I expected from this man who, in less than a decade, has become a cultural touchstone, the punchline to a national joke, an object of hate.

Rolls-Royces are a recurring motif in the rags-to-riches story of Kyle Dalton Sandilands. We're sitting at a window table in Sienna Marina and he's eating pizza, drinking Coke and talking about his screwy childhood. It was a good day when young Kyle got to hang with school buddy Spencer Howson (right). Howson's folks had a big house and an old Rolls and Sandilands was dazzled. Any opportunity, he'd be in that car. Howson, now an ABC radio announcer in Brisbane, remembers Sandilands visiting to ask if his mother could chauffeur him and his date to a school dance in the car. "She thought it was a hoot to do that and went and bought herself a chauffeur's cap."

Kyle Sandilands consistently makes No. 1 on the list of Australia's most hated celebrities but he is not the black-and-white figure such a ranking would suggest. Over lunch at Sienna Marina, he was polite and solicitous. He asked me if I was warm enough, commented on a waitress's new glasses, and told me about a young homeless woman he claimed to be helping through university. He was endearingly, repetitively self-deprecating.

John Laws, who lunched with Sandilands earlier this year, had a similar experience. "He was extremely charming and very nicely mannered, kind to people that came around and talked, kind to the people who were running the restaurant," says Laws. "He was, in fact, quite humble."

Some, including John Laws, believe the radio-television version of Kyle Sandilands is an act. "He certainly peddles a totally different persona, which indicates to me he's smart," says Laws. "He knows exactly what he's doing."

Read Kyle Sandilands' Poker Face in full here.

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