When the man you’ve been married to for 14 years has just won the Gold Logie, the world’s a weird place.
You spent the night in a hotel, someone else took your kids to school this morning and you have a big work lecture to prepare for this afternoon. Life goes on as normal, but everyone, like everyone, wants a piece of your husband.
Listen to Susan tell The Binge about Logie night, here:
“It was surreal, so surreal. Amazing and excited and I was just so ridiculously proud, just bursting,” says Susan of the moment Waleed’s name was read out. “He was nervous about this speech… so as his wife I was nervous for him. But so, so proud. For me, the world is realising what I’ve always known about this guy, for 15 years. The world’s just catching up.”
In his much-admired speech last night, Waleed deflected praise onto his impressive wife, who is an academic, a writer, the holder of a PHD and a regular guest on the podcast Mamamia Out Loud where she offers an opinion on many, many issues, none of which have anything to do with Waleed.
“[My wife is] sharper, wittier, funnier and infinitely more charming and likeable [than I],” he told the world. “I’m really glad she doesn’t have my job because otherwise I definitely wouldn’t have it.”
For Susan, it was an intimate moment. “Obviously I had no idea he was going to say that… And I had tears in my eyes but I fought them back because I didn’t want it to become about me. I didn’t want TV crews to be saying, ‘She’s crying!’ I wanted it to be about Waleed. But I was a bit teary when I woke up this morning and reflected on it… It was just so totally, ridiculously generous.
“And it’s funny, because it was the two of us in this room full of thousand people and however many thousands of people watching at home, but in that moment it was just he and I and it was really lovely.
Susan and Waleed met when Susan was 19 years old, a formerly Baptist Sydney teenager who had already converted to Islam. She says at the time her friends kept trying to push the pair towards each other, but she told one, “That guy? I wouldn’t marry him if he was the last man on earth.”
Obviously, she changed her mind, and the pair married, have two children and live together quietly in Melbourne.
"I assume the kids are getting over the disappointment of Grant Denyer not winning to be excited for their dad," says Susan, about how the kids feel about Dad's win. "I took photos with Grant and Matt Preston for [them]."
Susan is not keen to repeat her Logies experience any time soon. She says when she found out the red carpet was two hours long, she asked if she could bring a book. She wasn't sure who many of the celebrities were, and the wait staff, "didn't know how to take us when we kept saying no to the free wine and beer.... they were like who are these people? Why do you not want to drink?
"I think Waleed may be the first totally sober person to do interviews after the Logies," she laughs.
Watch Waleed Aly's Gold Logie acceptance speech, where he thanks Susan: