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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Juanita Phillips and Greg Combet are an item

Juanita Phillips and Greg Combet are an item, spotted holding hands in Newcastle recently.  Although they have had lunch together a few times, a friend says it's still early days.

There's something soothing about the way Juanita Phillips reads the news every night on the ABC.  Unlike some female television personalities whose voices pierce the eardrums, Juanita comes across as a quiet, gentle soul who exudes a feeling of calm.

She's humble too.  She once said "I'd just never had any luck, never had boyfriends who wanted to marry and have kids with me, I was 38 and thinking it was all over."  

Then she met her future husband, Mario Milostic at a cafe and 6 weeks later, he proposed.  "We met, had a fantastic romantic time and I had no expectations whatever, I was expecting him to to turn around one day and say he wasn't the marrying kind."  They have two children but sadly the marriage broke down and Mario continues to have an ongoing battle with bowel cancer.

Greg Combet is a different kettle of fish, yet I find him somehow endearing too, probably because he's the epitome of the working class success story.  Descended from immigrants from the French city of Lyon, he grew up in Rooty Hill.  When he was a teenager, his father died and he took on the responsibility of the family.

There is an air of insecurity about him.  When he talks on television, he has a habit of constantly swallowing mid-sentence as though he's incredibly nervous, yet he still articulates what he wants to say quite well.  This hard core union man who was once Secretary of the ACTU is now Climate Change Minister and you either love him for bringing about a price on carbon, or hate him for it.

Five years ago Juanita interviewed Greg Combet for The Bulletin Magazine.  Apparently they liked each other but were both married at the time.  Not anymore.