As the showbiz sweethearts snuggle in close, Lynda, the beautiful and sexy TV star turned passionate animal rights campaigner, says she feels absolutely euphoric being back in Derryn’s arms.
“We both pinch ourselves to think our love-match has been re-lit. This time it seems so comfortable, so natural; it’s as if being romantically reunited was destiny,” smiles a radiant Lynda, 66. Both Derryn and Lynda laugh when looking back at their first shot at love.
“It was 1980, I was working on TV’s Cop Shop and supporting animal rights causes. Derryn was on Melbourne radio calling for a ban to the horrors of live exports. I sent him a telegram to congratulate his humane stance. I never expected some brash, larger-than-life radio star like Derryn to give a toss about animals. But he’s an absolute softie with the biggest, kindest heart.”
“A short while later we’re at afunction, our eyes met across a crowded room and the sparks of love flew. It was as simple as that. We went on a lunch date and the two of us never ate a thing. We were mesmerised. The chemistry was off the romance Richter scale,” confides Lynda.
In 1981, Derryn and Lynda were shopping for fake furs when they stopped by an antique jewellery shop and that’s where Derryn proposed.
“We were engaged and so in love, but Lynda began to have second thoughts. My life back then was flamboyant and crazy. Rolls-Royces, chauffeurs. I’d been married twice. Lynda is very shy, naturally modest, and became completely overwhelmed by the intense media attention.”
“She gave back the ring, and called off the engagement. Of course, I was totally devastated. But we remained friends and respectful,” explains Derryn.
“I was young. I’d come off a complicated relationship and it was very daunting. It was just bad timing. In hindsight, I was a moron,” Lynda laughs.
“I went on to marry actor Peter Sumner, and became mum to our gorgeous son Luke. Peter and I split amicably years before his death in 2016, but such was our love and respect for each other, we never got around to divorcing,” smiles Lynda.
Derryn famously moved on with Jacki Weaver, with the happy couple marrying in 1983.
“There is a misconception Jacki and I married twice – we didn’t, although we did renew our vows in Kauai shortly before divorcing in the mid ’90s. Jacki and I are great friends, and she’s thrilled Lynda and I have fallen in love again,” Derryn says.
In 2006, Derryn went on to marry for a fourth time, to Chanel Hayton.
“Curiously, I’ve remained on good terms with all of my ex-wives. I don’t believe in bad break-ups,” smiles Derryn.
So, how did the current lovebirds reunite?
“It was to do with the ghastly and horrific agricultural poison 1080, designed to kill foxes. It was 2016 and Derryn was Justice Party senator. I reached out. Luke and I drove to Canberra with 60,000 signatures opposing the use of 1080.
“We had lunch. It was not so much a spark of renewed love, it was a raging inferno,” smiles Lynda.
Derryn says the former lovers quickly became romantically involved again, and had been quietly flying under the media radar for the past few years.
“I live in Melbourne and, until the recent election, had been working in Canberra. Lynda is based in Sydney and so we’d meet for lunches, dinners and romantic trysts. She is the most beautiful person, inside and out. I have such a deep respect for her animal advocacy and compassion, that has never wavered. Lynda has extraordinary integrity.”
As they warmly hold hands, Lynda shares Derryn is refreshingly down-to-earth.
“He is so not up himself. He’s done it all, been one of our most respected media identities and yet he is completely unaffected. He loves talking to people. He’s a great raconteur, and has a kindness and gentleness that makes my heart sing.”
Lynda says what makes finding love with Derryn the second time around so special is there is no stress and no expectations.
“We are now both so cosy in our own skin. When we first stared dating in the ’80s it was high octane. I had to be fully made up, my hair perfect. These days, we love to chill. We can spend hours curled up next to one another, reading books and not talking. Just being together is the best thing.”
Both Lynda and Derryn burst out laughing when cheekily asked if marriage may be on the cards?
“We are just loving being together. It feels so right. Who knows, maybe five is my lucky number,” he says, with a big smile.
For more, see this week's New Idea - out now!