This Saturday Morning: Kim starts the morning talking to business journalist Damon Kitney, who secured unprecedented access to billionaire James Packer to write a warts-and-all book about his colourful life and mental health battles; acclaimed writer David Grann, author of books including 2009's The Lost City of Z, details his latest story about an obsessed adventurer, Henry Worsley, who tried to emulate Ernest Shackleton with tragic consequences; Scottish broadcaster Sally Magnusson has traced the story of Icelandic slaves sold into North Africa in the 17th century; Saturday Morning regular Doug Wilson on how Japan is a pathfinder in dealing with a rapidly aging population, with almost a third of its people now over 65;  performance artist Kalisoliate 'Uhila on work that has seen him 'cooked' in an umu, sleep in a pen with pigs, and conduct the sea tide - it's brought him to the attention of galleries around the world, and finally, trustee on the board of the Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival and carrot kazoo-maker extraordinaire, Graeme Cairns.  


8.09 Damon Kitney - The real James Packer

James and Kerry Packer

James and Kerry Packer Photo: cr Bauer Media Australian Women's Weekly

Damon Kitney

Damon Kitney Photo: supplied

Damon Kitney has spent more than two decades in financial journalism, including 16 years at the Australian Financial Review, five years of that as deputy editor. Since 2010 he has been the Victorian business editor at The Australian, specialising in writing the untold personal stories of the nation's richest and most private people. He's now written The Price of Fortune, a biography of billionaire James Packer - the first time a member of the Packer family has co-operated with a biographer. The book details Packer's high-flying exploits, and the mental health issues that forced him to resign from the board of the Crown casino company in mid-2018. 



9.06 David Grann - The story of Henry Worsley

David Grann

David Grann Photo: supplied

David Grann is the staff writer at The New Yorker and an acclaimed author.  His stories have appeared in several anthologies and he's written for a raft of other magazines including the New York Times Magazine, the Atlantic Monthly, and the Washington Post among others. His books include The Lost City of Z: A tale of deadly obsession in the Amazon, and Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage murders and the birth of the FBI. His latest book is called The White Darkness, and tells the story of decorated British special forces officer Henry Worsley, who spent his life idolising Ernest Shackleton and, at the age of 55, set off to walk across Antarctica alone.

Henry Worsley

Henry Worsley Photo: Wikicommons






10.04  Sally Magnusson - Iceland's slavery history

Sally Magnusson

Sally Magnusson Photo: Derek Prescott

Sally Magnusson is a Scottish journalist, broadcaster and writer. She grew up in Glasgow, the eldest daughter of the Icelandic journalist and broadcaster Magnus Magnusson and the Scottish newspaper journalist Mamie Baird. She is the presenter of Reporting Scotland for BBC Scotland as well as Tracing Your Roots on BBC Radio 4 and is one of the main presenters of the long-running religious television programme Songs of Praise. After observing the effect of music on her mother's dementia, she founded Playlist for Life in 2013. Her first adult novel, The Sealwoman's Gift, is set in Iceland and Algiers in the 17th century and is a historical story of slavery, based in fact.  

10.35 Doug Wilson - The Aging Revolution

Dr Doug Wilson

Dr Doug Wilson Photo: Supplied

Dr Doug Wilson has a medical degree from New Zealand, a PhD from the University of London and has pursued postgraduate work and medical research globally. He currently consults and acts as the chief medical officer for Ferghana Partners Group, whose business is focused on new technologies in biotechnical companies and healthcare. Wilson is dyslexic and after the age of 70 began a new career as a children's author, publishing 10 books to date. His latest book is one for adults, called Aging for Beginners. He'll talk to Kim about the aging revolution - the challenges facing the New Zealand government as the population ages - and what we can learn from Japan. 

11:04 Harry Horton - US politics update

Today, US Federal prosecutors filed their sentencing memo for Donald Trump's former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, and recommended a "substantial term of imprisonment", calling for Cohen to be imprisoned for between 46 and 63 months. Cohen has been cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller and pleaded guilty in August to eight charges, including allegations that he violated campaign finance laws and unrelated charges of bank and tax fraud. Also today, House Republicans interviewed former FBI director James Comey behind closed doors. Harry Horton from Feature Story News joins Kim for an update.

11.15  Kalisolaite 'Uhila - Exhibiting around the world, including the Honolulu Biennial

Kalisolaite 'Uhila

Kalisolaite 'Uhila Photo:

Experimental performance artist Kalisolaite 'Uhila was born in Tonga and lives in Auckland. His work was first noticed widely in 2014 when he was a Walters Prize finalist with his live performance Mo'ui tukuhausia, in which he lived homeless in central Auckland for three months. His other works have seen him spending days in a pig pen, being 'cooked' in an umu, and conducting the tide at Wellington's Oriental Bay. Last year 'Uhila won the contemporary Pacific Artist Award at the Creative New Zealand Arts Pasifika Awards. He's completed residencies in California and Tokyo this year, exhibited at Auckland's Michael Lett Gallery with First will be last and last, first, and is about to exhibit at the 2019 Honolulu Biennial, with an as-yet unnamed work. 


The work of Kalisolaite 'Uhila 


11.35 Graeme Cairns - Laird of Hamilton

Graeme Cairns (centre) performs in Kaikoura

Graeme Cairns (centre) performs in Kaikoura Photo: Supplied

Graeme Cairns is Laird of Hamilton, a title associated with the Clan McGillicuddy, of which he is chief. He founded the Clan's political arm, the McGillicuddy Serious Party (campaign plank: 'The Great Leap Backwards"), making unsuccessful bids for Parliament. Cairns is a musician - a founding member of The Big Muffin Serious Band - and a street theatre performer who also farms a small holding in the Waikato and is part of a home brewing collective. He also holds workshops creating carrot kazoos. Cairns is a trustee on the board of the Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival which is taking place Feb 20 - March 3.



Books mentioned in this episode:


The Price of Fortune: The biography of James Packer

by Damon Kitney 

ISBN 9781460756690

HarperCollins Australia 


The White Darkness

by David Grann 

ISBN 9781471178023

Simon & Schuster Australia


The Lost City of Z: A tale of deadly obsession in the Amazon

by David Grann 

Simon & Schuster

ISBN 9781847374363


Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage murders and the birth of the FBI

by David Grann 

ISBN 9780385534246  



The Sealwoman's Gift

by Sally Magnusson 

ISBN 9781473638976

Hodder & Stoughton


Where Memories Go: Why Dementia changes Everything

By Sally Magnusson

ISBN 9781444751819

Hodder & Stoughton


Aging for Beginners

by Doug Wilson

ISBN 9780995103221

Plus One



Music played in this show

Artist: The Buzzcocks
Song: Everybody's Happy Nowadays
Composer: Peter Shelley
Album: Entertaining Friends: Live at the Hammersmith Odeon March 1979
Label: Domino Recording Company
Played at: 10:40

Artist: Big Muffin Serious Band
Song: Jimmy B. Goode
Composer: Berry, Cairns
Album: Jabberwocky Goes to Town
Label: Muffin
Played at: 11:40