Entering Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum’s home, the first thing you notice is the wealth of Egyptian memorabilia – towering mummy cases jostle for space with gaudy, golden images of King Tut.
A self-confessed “Egypt nut”, Molly’s Egyptian-themed house, called ‘Luxor’, in the Melbourne suburb of Richmond, is a personal shrine to his lifelong love affair with the country and its history.
It’s a passion that extends to his backyard, where a 10-metre pool is flanked by more statues harking back to ancient Egypt. It’s chaotic, colourful and camp. In short, it’s classic Molly.
“There’s always something going on at the house,” the Aussie showbiz legend tells New Idea as we set up for our shoot – his signature Stetson hat firmly in place and faithful white dog, Ziggy, by his side.
“I have an open-door policy. I love hosting parties and spending time with family and friends. It’s always lovely to have the house filled with people and music.”
As much as Luxor is packed to the rafters with happy, cherished memories, it also holds some painful ones. Most notably, it was here that Molly fell three metres from a ladder in December 2011 while putting up Christmas lights on his roof. He suffered a fractured skull, swelling to the brain, a broken shoulder and ribs, and cracked vertebrae.
Left fighting for his life in intensive care, the TV veteran spent five weeks in a coma before making a miraculous recovery.
As the 10th anniversary of his fall nears, Molly says the accident shifted how he lived his life and made him realise that he wasn’t “bulletproof ”.
“You realise that life is short,” he says, frankly. “I was very lucky that I had many wonderful people caring for me at the time of the accident and afterwards, which was a real godsend. I also learnt a lot from the patients in the hospital. Hearing their stories, the hardships they’ve had to go through … it was humbling.”
While Molly has long held national treasure status, the extent of Australia’s love for the music mogul was truly revealed after his accident.
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