Lisa Wilkinson on why she'll 'always be grateful to Nicole Kidman'

Sarah Carty
·Features & Style Editor
·3-min read

She’s one of the biggest names on Australian television but Lisa Wilkinson has revealed why she’ll always be grateful to actress Nicole Kidman.

The 60-year-old uploaded a teaser for her episode of tonight’s Anh’s Brush With Fame on the ABC, where she talks about her time as the editor for Dolly magazine.

Lisa Wilkinson in a red dress
Lisa Wilkinson had claimed she'll 'always be grateful to Nicole Kidman'. Photo: Instagram/Lisa Wilkinson

“In 1983 I was really starting to feel like ‘I can try things here’ and so that month I put on the cover a red-haired, corkscrew-curled 15-year-old by the name of Nicole Kidman,” Lisa started.

“Of course, blonde-haired, blue-eyed surfer chicks ruled in Australia at that time. Every month as a courtesy I would go and show it to the boss and just say ‘here’s my cover’. They never understood what I’d done that had been so successful so it was just a bit like ‘just leave her alone, whatever she’s doing, it seems to be working so just don’t interfere’.”

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Nicole was completely unknown at that stage, with Lisa saying the magazine had run a few ads with the future Aussie star in them and she thinks Nicole might have been filming BMX Bandits at the time.

Actress Nicole Kidman attends the Los Angeles premiere of "Paddington" at TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX on January 10, 2015 in Hollywood, California.
In 1983, Lisa put a red-haired Nicole Kidman on the cover of Dolly Magazine. Photo: Getty Images

Lisa explained how that month, her boss wasn’t so understanding when she showed him the cover of the much-loved magazine.

“My boss said to me ‘she’s got freckles’ and I said ‘I know, isn’t it fantastic?’ and he said ‘but she’s got red hair’, I said ‘I know isn’t it brilliant?’ and he said ‘I don’t think you can run that, that’s not going to sell’.”

That issue of Dolly magazine was Lisa’s first-ever complete sell-out, with young women around the country embracing it.

“Change is a great thing,” Lisa said.

Lisa Wilkinson was at the helm of Dolly for five years, becoming the youngest-ever editor the magazine ever had, at the age of 21.

Nicole Kidman on the cover of Dolly Magazine
This is the cover that became Lisa's first-ever sell-out. Photo: Instagram/Lisa Wilkinson

“It was certainly the making of my career. I learnt everything from the ground up when I worked at Dolly. I mean, where else could you start as the receptionist at 19 and be the editor at 21?” Lisa told news.com.au back in 2016.

In 2016, it was announced that the magazine would be shutting its doors, with Lisa taking to Instagram to pay tribute to the iconic publication alongside the cover of Nicole Kidman.

“A magazine that for 46 years was a bible to so many generations of young Aussie women - including yours truly,” Lisa said.

“I collected every single issue when I was in high school devouring the fashion, the pop stars, the big sisterly advice and of course, the iconic Dolly Doctor. As the old jingle went, Dolly was a girl like me.

To then get my first job there was a joy I'll never forget...and I went to on spend seven years there - five of them as editor. Vale Dolly. So many of us will never forget you.”

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