Shock jock Kyle Sandilands frequently makes headlines for being controversial, but is he actually a sweetheart?
When I am connected with Sandilands via phone, he is racing away from his office via one of his luxury cars and heading home because his partner Tegan Kynaston has an urgent beauty appointment.
Sandilands is good-humoured about it.
“She rings me and tells me, ‘I’m going to get a spray tan, so can you hurry up? The Baby’s teething and I need help.’
“I’m spewing, but of course, I said, ‘yes, sweetheart’,” he jokes.
There’s no doubt that Sandilands’ image has softened over the last few years, and a smart idea considering times are changing, but when I ask him if that was a deliberate move, he fobs that off completely.
Sandilands reckons he’s always been nice, but people only focused on sound bites to sum him up.
“I can still be a bit c***ty, maybe I tried too hard in the early days, but now I don’t”, he explains.
While he might come across sweeter, he still wouldn’t call himself a feminist.
“I wouldn’t use that phrase, but I do fall under that umbrella,” he admits.
“I do believe women are more amazing than they’ve ever been given credit for, and I’m soft with women.
“If a woman starts crying, I’ll start crying. Anyone that ever dated me has always said, ‘Yeah, he’s a pussy, really’.”
So why shy away from the label?
“Because you sound like you’re wearing a brown knitted jumper and hanging out in Newtown,” Sandilands jokes.
Which is a far cry from the image he curated of himself having coffees with controversial John Ibrahim in Kings Cross.
Still, when I tell him I think it’s vital that men normalise calling themselves feminists, he’s game.
“I’ll say it on the show on Monday and see what happens. I’ll say, ‘I’m a feminist’ and imagine the rubbishing.” He laughs, already anticipating the backlash.
Despite Sandilands shying away from the word, he has made the ultimate feminist move in the past.
Way back in the early 2000s, when pay parity wasn’t the loud conversation it is now, he found out his new co-host Jackie O was getting paid less than him, and it enraged him so much he offered to take a pay cut himself so they’d be paid the same.
Sandilands tells the story in his usual matter of fact way, no bells or whistles.
“I went and spoke to our general manager and told her Jackie O getting paid less wasn’t right! I told her to make it even and use my money.
“She said, ‘You want to give Jackie money out of your own money?’ And I said ‘yeah!’
“Two hours later, she said I will increase Jackie O’s salary, but won’t take any off you,” he explains.
Sandilands admits that he and Jackie O don’t reflect on that moment often, but ever since, they’ve checked in with each other and made sure they are both going okay during negotiations.
In fact, he has always been protective of Jackie O. When I suggest she get back on the dating scene via finding herself a hot rugby player he baulks at the idea.
“No way! She’ll end up with the clap!”
In fact Sandilands makes it clear it might be impossible to find a bloke worthy of his co-host.
He is also currently in the throes of some very different kind of negotiations via planning his wedding, and he swears it’ll be a small affair with less than 150 guests.
That doesn’t mean it won’t be star-studded, with everyone from Guy Sebastian to Samantha Jade set to perform, even Ed Sheeran’s keen to attend.
Sandilands explains to news.com.au that the British singer even asked for the wedding date to be moved, “He might come and perform! He wanted me to bring my wedding forward so that he could come, but I said f#ck off!” he said.
Still, even without Sheeran playing, Sandilands isn’t short of stars. He even invited Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.
The invite is particularly amusing when you consider Sandilands threw his support behind Scott Morrison during the 2022 election.
He explains that he followed up about the invitation when he rang Albanese for his birthday yesterday. Yes, the shock jock is making birthday calls to the Prime Minister.
“I said, ‘have you got your wedding invite?’ And I said ‘where is your f***ing RVSP?!’.”
But Albanese, won’t just get away with just being a guest. Sandilands expects him to work.
“I’m making him do a DJ set.”
The wealthy radio star also reveals who will be his groomsmen on the big day. Sadly, Jackie O isn’t one of them.
“Simon Main, he is a convicted drug smuggler. The poor bastard still has that tag.”
“John Ibrahim, and so we’ve got a real gangster vibe happening, and my old bodyguard Max Lea, who’s now Demi Lovato’s head of security.”
Plus, Sandilands manager Bruno will be in the party too.
Still, even wedding planning hasn’t exhausted Sandilands enough not to be in a feud.
He famously blasted Nine’s David Campbell this week, and unsurprisingly has no regrets about saying, “he makes me physically sick to look at”.
“I erupted, but I don’t really have a feud, but it’s funny when we go to movie premieres. If he sees me there, he turns around and leaves. He’s terrified.”
Strangely, I don’t think anyone should be terrified of Sandilands. He is actually a sweetheart.
Originally published at www.news.com.au