Barry Everingham can be described as the ultimate name dropper and with good reason! After a lifetime in the media he has interviewed hundreds of celebrities, covered many major events and in his spare time has played with the rich and famous.
His beat has been Australia, England, the United States, Spain, most of Europe, Singapore, Hong Kong, The Phillipines – he even travelled to Moscow on the trans Siberian Express and covered Christina Onassis’ first wedding
Years later an American TV network sent him to London for the wedding of Prince Edward to Sophie Rhys Jones. The old Melbourne Herald had him go to John Elliott’s marriage to Amanda Bayles at St Johns Toorak. At the other end of the scale he was at Joyce Grenfell’s Memorial Service in Westminster Abbey.
Everingham’s career took him to the ABC, Australian United press, Murdoch’s Australian papers, the News Limited bureaux in Canberra and London.
He was a political commentator for Channel 10, Sydney’s Radio 2UE, Melbourne’s 3AW and 3UZ, he was Canberra “stringer” for UPI and the Hindustan Times of New Delhi.
For most of the 1980’s he was Mode magazines “mouth from the south” and his column “Everingham’s High Life in the Deep South” became a must read.
In New York, he became the “royal guru” for MSNBC, Extra! and Court TV, appearing on the late Johnnie Cochran’s law show.
In 1985 he wrote, and Bantam published, the unofficial biography of the royal renegade, Princess Michael of Kent: “MC, the Adventures of a Maverick Princess”.
He has been covering the comings and goings of the British royal family since 1979 and has become an acknowledged “royal watcher”, a description he hates.
He believes his foray into reporting came about by a throw away in his final year at school. In a round robin class discussion he swayed off the beaten track and injected an opinion on a subject not on the agenda. His teacher sighed deeply and said: “Everingham, your mind is a cess pool of trivia, you really should be a reporter!”.
He was commanded to dance with former Phillipines first lady Imelda Marcos at a party given in Sydney by Lady (Mary) Fairfax.
He says: “A huge colonel from Imelda’s entourage approached me and said ‘the first lady of The Phillipines would like to dance with you’. I took it more as a command than a request!”
Queen Elizabeth told him to be as “naughty as you like” when at a party on board “Brittania” in Kuwait Harbour , the monarch quizzed him about the new palace of the Sultan of Oman where had met the Omani ruler a week earlier.
He met Princess Margaret at the house of one of her European royal cousins and they often met on many later occasions.
In London, Princess Alexandra recalled meeting Barry’s wife, Avril, at a Government House lunch. “Please give her my love”, the Princess said “and tell her I still remember that pretty red hat she wore at lunch”.
Barry recalls two early brushes with celebrity – his grandmother, the beautiful Sydney identity, Mrs John Henderson Jay, took him for afternoon tea with Gladys Moncreif, a musical comedy star of yesteryear.
In Perth, where he and his mother were holidaying, they encountered Dr H. V. Evatt in the foyer of their hotel.
“Bert Evatt walked over to my mother, kissed her on the cheek and said: ‘how lovely to see you. And this boy is your son?’”
“I was blown away,” he admits.
And in the great Depression, his parents took in Jill Perryman’s parents and sister – and a life long friendship developed. Jill’s sister, the late Dianna Perryman was famous actor, their mother Dot, a stunningly beautiful J C Williamson “show-girl” and father Bill, an actor, singer and radio indentity.
These days, Barry Everingham operates a niche public relations consultancy.
Read about Barry’s favourite pioneering Australian family here.