Entertainment TV Lee Lin Chin: What next for TV’s hottest unemployed star?

Lee Lin Chin: What next for TV’s hottest unemployed star?

Lee Lin Chin
"I have not retired. Retirement is death," said Lee Lin Chin of quitting SBS after three decades. Photo: Twitter
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She’s been dubbed Australia’s “hottest TV commodity” since she left SBS on July 29, but so far only one potential employer has gone public with interest in hiring Lee Lin Chin.

Queensland Police media tweeted to the newsreader last week, offering her a shot at a gig as she wrapped up on SBS’ World News after 30 years of presenting.

“Hey Lee Lin Chin, we hear you have some free time on your hands coming up,” said the tweet.

“Although applications have closed for new media offices at Qld Police media … we’d be happy to chat.”

Chin, who has become a comedy star thanks to her Twitter account masterminded by her manager, The Feed writer Chris Leben, responded promptly on social media: “Would I get a gun?”

Despite claims the Gold Logie nominee has already fielded “multiple offers” for her talents, her manager and other workplaces have been more coy than the police about signing her up.

Tracked down in Europe, Leben told The New Daily via email he “could neither confirm or deny any offers” for Chin.

“All I can say about Lee Lin’s future is that it involves a lot of time in pubs.”

Playing any cards close, ABC-TV refused to comment to The New Daily on whether the national broadcaster is interested in talking to Chin about a role.

Nine also declined to comment.

Last week, a source claimed Seven, who lost long-time weekend newsreader Jennifer Keyte to Ten in May, has “reached out” to Chin, who said she was taking a holiday in Singapore “in the heat, eating … a lot” after her SBS sign-off.

The report is false, and it is understood the network is not planning on adding Chin to its stable.

The popular view is that Ten, which has recently been taken over by US production company CBS, is the frontrunner in the race to snag Chin.

She chose to break the news of the several “small to medium reasons” for her resignation from SBS to Sandra Sully on the Ten Daily site.

Industry sources have said The Project’s younger demographic would suit Chin, but it is already top heavy with talent, including Lisa Wilkinson, Carrie Bickmore and Waleed Aly – although Bickmore is due to take maternity leave later this year.

Ten did not reply to multiple requests for comment from The New Daily.

While Chin tweeted “Trust me, I’m not done yet” to her 232,000 followers as she left SBS, an interesting question was raised – where and how would a news professional with a concocted, carefully-edited persona slot into a commercial network?

“I can’t image Lee Lin suffering the idiocy of commercial television news,” a TV insider who has worked at two networks told The New Daily.

“The ‘world news wrap’ on Ten is about 30 seconds and usually involves a flash flood through a third-world village. She’d storm off before sport.

“Wardrobe would clash with her too. It would be like taking Björk to Carla Zampatti.”

In a TEDx Talk posted this January, Leben explained the process of turning her into an “alcoholic, fashion-obsessed sexual monster” as well as a respected newsreader.

“Once we released this character first on TV then on the internet, people responded to it,” Leben said.

“We were doing one thing that wasn’t really being seen on Australian TV: Older Asian woman in a position of power.”

The TV insider said “It’s a tough one” speculating on where Chin could end up.

“She’s like the Asian Ita Buttrose – loved, respected, funny, stylish and outspoken.

“Maybe Ten could give them both a show like The Two Ronnies.”

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