CELEBRITY

Where is Lee Lin Chin now after leaving SBS?

Plus, why she really quit.
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Once a regular on our screens and the red carpet, Lee Lin Chin has all but vanished from sight since quitting her role as weekend newsreader on SBS.

WATCH: 8 times Lee Lin Chin owned us all

Even close former colleagues admit they have not seen Lee Lin for some time. One says say she “came halfway out of retirement” to film a commercial early last year, then promptly went underground again.

It’s believe that the trailblazing broadcaster divides her time between Sydney, Singapore and London. Her precise whereabouts remains a mystery – just like her exact age (she is thought to be around 71).

“I couldn’t tell you exactly where she is,” one of Lee Lin’s friends shares with New Idea. “She has never liked doing interviews because she simply doesn’t like talking about herself.”

Self-styling herself nowadays as a “former journalist, artist and muse”, Lee Lin remains on the books at several celebrity agencies. Yet she rarely accepts hosting gigs, even though she could command a fee in the region of $40,000.

Lee Lin Chin reading the news on SBS World News.
Lee Lin Chin was a popular host of SBS World News. (Credit: SBS)

Industry sources say Lee Lin’s production company, All the Chin’s Men, is likewise no longer active. She launched it shortly after leaving SBS.

“Nobody knows quite what she’s up to at the moment,” says one insider.

It’s all a far cry from the headline-making hype of her resignation in July 2018.

Lee Lin was taken aback by the fuss. At the time she joked, “Working two days a week didn’t give me enough time to devote to the pub and re-reading the complete works of Shakespeare. So now that I work zero days that issue has been addressed.”

But behind the typically tongue-in-cheek humour was a serious gripe. Lee Lin later confirmed that she had been unhappy with management’s treatment of staff and the corporate direction of the multicultural broadcaster.

For many SBS viewers, Lee Lin’s departure marked the end of an era. Having been a constant at the network for more than 30 years, Lee Lin had reached icon status, becoming wildly popular through her comedy segments on The Feed, witty social media posts and flamboyant style.

Lee Lin Chin wearing a white dress with black headpiece on the red carpet.
Her red carpet fashion style was unmatched. (Credit: Getty)

Lee Lin dared to be different. She sported latticed metal sunglasses to announce Australia’s first-ever Eurovision scores in 2015 and shone in an edgy perspex designer outfit for her final bulletin.

Born in Indonesia to Chinese parents, Lee Lin grew up in Singapore speaking fluent Cantonese, Mandarin and Hokkien, as well as English. Migrating to Australia in 1980, she began working as a Chinese movie translator before scoring jobs on ABC Radio and then moving to SBS World News.

The rest is TV history. In 2016, Lee Lin became the first SBS personality nominated for the Gold Logie. Two years later she was voted number 74 on lads magazine Maxim’s annual Hot 100 List.

Today nobody knows when, or if, Lee Lin will ever make a fully-fledged comeback. Perhaps she will fulfil her life’s ambition of living in Hong Kong with her dream boyfriend, British actor Tom Hardy. Or maybe she’ll make a run for prime minister as she once suggested in a rare interview.

“If I’m not doing much, maybe I’ll give that a go,” she once joked.

For more, pick up a copy of New Idea. On sale now!

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