All This in 60 Minutes
by Nicholas Lee
Allen & Unwin

There’s no mistaking that this book, by a former cameraman for 60 Minutes, revolves around the Australian version of the American newsmagazine programme. Nicholas Lee, who spent 30 years with the television show, captures in 20 rollicking chapters highlights of his career travelling the world on assignment with some of the country’s most (in)famous journalists (including Tara Brown, the reporter involved in the recent bungled kidnapping in Lebanon). His is a larrikin’s behind-the-scenes, profanity-laden account of the mishaps, near-misses and other head-spinning experiences in a 9am-to-5pm era of news. From his sacking as a cameraman caught drinking in a pub while the newspaper building of his boss, Sir Frank Packer, went up in flames with no one to film it, Lee progresses to filming terrorists, politicians, heads of state, porn stars and others. We learn little about Lee’s private life from this memoir, although he reveals that he missed almost every one of his two daughters’ parent-teacher meetings. But he recalls episodes such as unintentionally smuggling drugs into Turkey, which has him reliving vicariously the terrors of Midnight Express. Readers of that film’s vintage will especially enjoy this book.