Phillip Adams (born 1939) is an Australian broadcaster on the Radio National network of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), among many other things in his long and varied career. Born the son of a Congregational Church minister, he is a self-confessed atheist who sometimes talks about spiritual matters in his interviews, an Australian social icon (he is one of the Australian Living Treasures) who could also be described as an iconoclast, and a left-wing radical thinker.
He currently hosts Late Night Live, a well noted program for its serious discussion of world issues, often with a humorous and satirical bent. Adams has interviewed over 6000 of the world's most prominent people: scholars, politicians, philosophers, scientists, economists, and theologians. Adams addresses all listeners to the program as "Gladys" (a sort of half-humorous and half-serious way of saying that his program is not popular, and for a single listener, but neither is the case).
He also writes a weekly column in the broadsheet The Australian newspaper's weekend magazine.
He currently chairs:
His many board memberships include:
- Adelaide's Festival of Ideas, Brisbane's "Ideas at the Powerhouse"
- the Families in Distress Foundation.
Among his 20 books are: The Unspeakable Adams, Adams Versus God, Talkback, Retreat From Tolerance and A Billion Voices; and, with his partner Patrice Newell, he is the author of several joke books: The Penguin Book of Australian Jokes (1994), The Penguin Book of Jokes from Cyberspace (1995), The Penguin Book of More Australian Jokes (1996), The Penguin Book of Schoolyard Jokes (1997).
His films include The Adventures of Barry McKenzie, The Getting of Wisdom, Don's Party, Lonely Hearts and We of the Never Never. Adams' Australia was part of BBC TV's contribution to Australia's celebrations for its bicentenary. Other TV programs include two series of The Big Questions with Professor Paul Davies, and Death and Destiny filmed in Egypt with Paul Cox.
- a foundation member of the Australia Council
- chairman of:
- the Australian Film, Radio and Television Board
- Australian Film Institute
- Australian Film Commission
- Film Australia
- National Australia Day Council
- foundation chairman of the Commission for the Future
- president of the Victorian Council for the Arts.
Other board memberships have included the Museum of Australia, Greenpeace Australia, CARE Australia, the Australian Children's Television Foundation, Film Victoria and the Anti-Football League. He was co-founder of the Australian Skeptics.
Phillip Adams lives on a cattle property specialising in the production of chemical-free beef, in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales. He is a collector of rare antiques, including Egyptian, Roman and Greek sculptures and artefacts.
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