Many people have a favourite Mike O’Connor column. But some may not know his love affair for journalism began by chance. At 19 he applied for a cadet position on a whim – anything to escape a life of banking – and after lying a little to get in the door, Mike quickly discovered he had a knack for the written word.
Over his amazing career he’s dabbled in politics, travel, food, motoring, lifestyle and entertainment, spending a good chunk of his career abroad, rubbing shoulders with Hollywood’s elite like Dustin Hoffman and Sophia Loren.
Living a more relaxed lifestyle now, Mike has pieced together a collection of his most poignant and amazing stories to create a memoir of sorts, ‘Life on a Column’.
“I’ve made a career out of writing light-hearted columns,” he says. “The knack of it is writing about something that’s pretty ordinary and spinning that into something amusing. I think that’s the trick, making something exceptional out of something ordinary. People identify with it.”
“I’ve had experiences that had I been a lawyer or, god forbid, stuck in a bank I would not have had. My job was to pretty much interview movie stars endlessly for three years.”
Tens of thousands of columns later, Mike hopes he can offer people a laugh as they weave through his 80 or 90 favourite tales. “I’ve had a lot of fun and it continues to be a lot of fun. Journalism can be the gift that keeps on giving.”
'Life on a Column' is now available at mikeoconnor.com.au