Separated from his long-term partner and suffering from crippling back pain, music guru Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum is finally starting to feel his age.
Worried friends say the former Countdown host, who celebrates his 75th birthday on January 29, is struggling to stay upbeat in the face of heartbreak and failing health.
‘He does his best to be positive, but he’s not the same old Molly,’ says a source close to Australia’s favourite music critic, who is lucky to be alive after three serious falls.
‘He is in constant agony and, although he has lots of mates around to help, his life seems more chaotic than ever.’
Fans were shocked when Molly arrived in a wheelchair for the Australian Music Vault launch in Melbourne last December. Although he managed to stand for red-carpet photos with Kylie Minogue and Tina Arena, agony was etched on his face and he could not remain on his feet for long.
But the rock industry icon’s pain is not just physical. Molly’s split from Thai businessman Yan Wongngam – his partner for more than a decade – also took its toll, although they remain close friends.
‘It’s a slow process with my spine because it has to grow naturally,’ Molly recently told an interviewer about his injuries. ‘It really was bad and I can’t have any massages... so I have to put up with all of that.’
The broadcaster, journalist, record producer, music critic, ex-Mensa member, amateur Egyptologist and St Kilda AFL tragic almost died after tumbling three metres from a ladder while putting up Christmas decorations at his Melbourne villa back in December 2011.
Then Molly hurt his back again, tripping over a toy while holidaying in Thailand with adopted son Morgan’s family.
Yet another Thai mishap saw him severely injured – a dislodged vertebra left him just six millimetres from being paralysed from the waist down – after dodging a tuk-tuk outside a Bangkok hotel in 2016.
‘That set me back a bit with my shoulder and everything,’ says Molly, understating the severity of the incident. ‘I was in hospital again. Apart from all that, I’m fine.’
Now even Molly himself says he’s ‘a walking disaster’, and friends are concerned he’s not taking proper care of himself.
‘He never wants to make a fuss, but a lot of people are anxious for his welfare,’ one confidant told New Idea.
‘Chaos seems to be his natural state, and that’s only getting worse with time.’
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