Australia

Malcolm Turnbull: 11 things you might not know about the new PM

Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Taking the top job in the land is no laughing matter

As Australia gets used to another prime minister, here are 11 things you may not have known, or perhaps have forgotten, about the member for Wentworth, Malcolm Turnbull.

1. He has political lineage. George Lansbury, a British politician and social reformer who led the UK Labour Party from 1932 to 1935, is Mr Turnbull's great-great-uncle.

2. Also a family history in entertainment. British actress Angela Lansbury, famed for her role in the US TV series Murder, She Wrote, is a distant relative...

3. ...and Oliver Postgate, the late creator of much-loved British children's shows including Bagpuss, The Clangers and Ivor the Engine, is a cousin.

Image caption The new Australian prime minister can claim a direct family link to Bagpuss

4. Bruce Turnbull brought up his son Malcolm single-handedly after his wife, Coral Lansbury, left the family when Malcolm was nine years old.

5. Mr Turnbull invested A$500,000 ($355,000; £231,000) in Australian internet provider OzEmail in 1994 and sold his share five years later for A$57m, making him one of the richest ever Australian politicians.

Image copyright Huw Evans picture agency
Image caption Some of Angela Lansbury's stagecraft may have rubbed off on her nephew

6. Working for Australian media mogul Kerry Packer, Turnbull visited Hugh Hefner's Playboy headquarters in Chicago in the 1970s to obtain the rights to bring the controversial adult magazine to Australia.

7. Famed editor of the Sunday Times Harold Evans offered Mr Turnbull a job at the paper in 1975, warning him not to finish his law degree. "Don't do law", Evans reportedly told him. "Terrible things could happen. You could become a judge, or worse, a politician!"

8. Australian businesswoman and former Sydney Lord Mayor Lucy Turnbull is married to Australia's new leader.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Lucy Turnbull is a smart operator in her own right

9. Mr Turnbull's beloved Maltese terrier, Mellie, carved out her own profile with a popular online blog. Sadly, Mellie passed away in 2011. The blog lives on with JoJo and various guest blogs from doggy friends.

10. Like his predecessor Tony Abbott, Mr Turnbull is a keen swimmer. He is a member of Sydney's exclusive early morning, winter swimming club, the Bondi Icebergs.

11. The public face of the republican movement in the late 1990s, Turnbull savaged John Howard as "the prime minister who broke this nation's heart" when a referendum to ditch the monarchy failed.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption There's nothing quite like performing in an art installation at Bondi beach

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