celebrity

All the things you never knew about Lee Lin Chin.

She is smart, powerful, cheeky, mysterious and – more than anything – surprising.

Her deep, authoritative voice has carried from our television screens into our lounge rooms for decades. A voice that makes us sit up and listen… Whether the subject is “war in the Middle East” or “who is that handsome man?”.

Her brave and outspoken fashion, worn on a tiny frame, also makes us sit a little straighter: Yes, that is a bird on her shoulder. Yes, that is a fascinator growing out the side of her head. Yes, she is wearing yellow suspenders over a yellow dress-shirt over yellow pants. 

Her killer sense of humour and naturalness in front of a camera – delivering news, conducting interviews, being interviewed, hosting children’s shows, appearing in dramas – always has us gasping for more.

Who is this woman? 

Lee Lin Chin – “This is your queen speaking” – has been a journalist since 1968.

We’ve heard her on SBS since 1980 when she moved to Australia from Singapore.

At first, she was employed as a translator for Chinese-language films. She quickly moved up the ranks. Working for a stint at the ABC before returning to SBS as a World News presenter and, more recently, creating small segments for the broadcaster’s satire series The Feed.

There are a handful of things you might not know about the Jakarta-born, bird-wearing, smart-as-a-whip enigma that is Lee Lin Chin:

She can speak Cantonese, Mandarin, English and Fukien fluently.

She loves beer.

She once fired a gun and the world understandably shook with terror.

She acted alongside Nicole Kidman in 1989 for the mini series Bangkok Hilton.

Lee Lin went to school in Singapore.

(She told presenter Julia Zermiro on ABC’s Home Delivery that she used to be the talk of her class when she’d hop into boyfriend’s cars just outside the front gates).

Earlier this year, Lee Lin wonderfully schooled Pauline Hanson on Twitter after the One Nation party leader boasted about receiving tickets to the inauguration of Donald Trump as President.

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In 2016, Lee Lin was nominated for the Gold Logie. She was the first SBS personality to be nominated for the award since the station opened 36 years ago.

Her famous twitter profile is not necessarily self-curated. In 2015, The Sydney Morning Herald revealed the comedic tweets are ghostwritten.

Oh, and she can’t remember her age…

No wonder we can’t stop watching.

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