Gold Logie winner Samuel Johnson hopes Australia sees Molly Meldrum’s gesture at last night’s TV Week Logie Awards as heartfelt as opposed to humorous.
Particularly because the hat Meldrum presented to Johnson – a signature gold stetson – had been handmade by the industry legend himself.
“It was awkward but it was classic vintage Molly,” Johnson said on Monday evening’s episode of The Project.
“No, I hope [people aren’t laughing]. He made that hat for me, with his own hands, as opposed to getting his long-suffering assistant to do it, like she does all the other things!”
It happened as Johnson was accepting the Gold Logie for his work on Channel Seven’s Molly, which is based on Meldrum’s life.
Listen: Mamamia recaps all the biggest moment of the 2017 Logies. Post continues below.
Meldrum, who was in the audience, also came up on stage. He was clutching a bag – no one knew what was in it – and he too approached the microphone.
“I didn’t know what to think. All of a sudden my speech started to seem a little less important because here was the icon himself,” Johnson told The Project.
But Meldrum’s speech was difficult to hear and, as Johnson admitted, slightly awkward.
There was lots of swearing and a vague reference to “boobs”. It ended with Meldrum being ushered away from the microphone and finally presenting Johnson with the handmade stetson out of the mysterious bag.
Also during his interview on The Project, Johnson said footage of his sister reacting to his Logies win showed a side of her that was extremely out of character and incredibly touching.
"How were his F-bombs? He does't usually swear that much to my memory so he must have been 'loosy goosy'," Johnson laughed. "I had to do my homework because I was like 'what did he say?' and I've worked out that he meant well."
So what did he say?
"He mentioned my deceased father who he was a drinking mate with," Johnson said. "He mentioned my sister who he first visited in hospital when she was 11. He also made a crack about his assistant's boobs as a clumsy attempt to segue into the breast cancer thing."
Johnon's sister is dying from breast cancer and the actor dedicated his first award of the night - the Best Actor Logie - to Connie.
— #TheProjectTV (@theprojecttv) April 24, 2017
"I've never seen her lose her composure [like that] ever," Johnson said.
"She's so controlled. To see her so uninhibited. To see her so filled with joy during such a shitty time. I can't tell you what it meant to me. She showed me a side I haven't seen in 40 years."
And his final word on Meldrum?
"He really tried to add to the moment and to give me a gold stetson at an important time and to acknowledge his relationship with my family," Johnson told the panel.
"Underneath it all it was a really sweet act, and I hope people understand that."