SHANE WARNE UNCUT:
JUSTIN SMITH: Only a few celebrities in this town get people scrambling about, checking their hair and pointing cameras.
Like a breaking delivery just outside of leg, Shane slides into the studio for a chat with Neil Mitchell.
But getting him into the chair is harder than it sounds.
Neil and Shane were exchanging texts (non-erotic) last night. Shane was very keen to talk about his charity foundation and make some money for things he feels strongly about.
Shane said, love to give it a plug – I'll come into the studio.
If only Warnie knew what he was about to set in motion.
SK is far from happy with the media these days. The rumours about his new love, the pictures of him showing a shiny and plastic face and rocks thrown at his house have made him less then welcoming of the press.
So here was the deal: he would come in, but he'd prefer no TV cameras in the studio.
That's fair – that's the deal we have with all our guests. Sometimes the TV cameras come in, and sometimes they don't.
The TV networks were understanding, but they still wanted a shot – entry or exit from the building – it mattered little which one.
But we knew everyone in town would want to get a photo of that face. Just in case there had been a little surgery since the last one.
I asked deputy producer Cushla Travers to meet him downstairs and let him go into our private car park.
When she got there, there were already a few cameras gathering after hearing Neil talk about it on air.
Cushla barely had time to make sure her hair was fixed just right for Shane and the cameras. "If I'm going to be on the telly tonight, I want to look good."
All the while our web guru, Ben Wise, was bothering us to get his own camera in the studio. After seven noisy emails and a confronting chat with Neil in the corridor he resigned himself to just sitting in the studio until he got an answer.
Shane sent a text; he was running a little late.
Security staff were nervous.
Ben was still sitting and Cushla tried something different with her hair.
Shane, still a little late, tried to call the 3AW office to say he was still on the way. He ended up connected to a member of the sales team. And, like facing his toughest opponent on the field, Shane spent five minutes and three traffic lights trying to convince him it really was Shane Warne calling.
But he made it through the cameras and the charms of a young producer.
When he got to the studio, he was smiling, well-dressed and fit and swearing it was all real Warne and no plastic.
I'd met him a couple of times in the past and I've always liked him. He's always been friendly and willing to do things for the fans and charity. I guess I'm the former.
The puppy-faced Ben Wise won over Shane and Neil. He was allowed to film.
The interview started and Warne was determined. He'd had enough of the media, saying Australian press is worse than anywhere in the world.
He told Neil the polished photos of him that had been scattered around the world were fake and touched up. He said he is seeking legal advice to deal with the problem.
With that off his chest, he chatted to Neil about love, cricket and baked beans.
Then it was over.
But on the way out, just like a crowd packed in and spilling over at the MCG, they were waiting for Warne to deliver.
This time the cameras were waiting out front for him to deliver that face.
*Justin Smith is Neil Mitchell Producer and fill-in presenter*
Neil is one of Australia’s most experienced journalists with success in newspapers, radio and television. He was one of the youngest editors of a daily metropolitan newspaper, The Herald. Enter Neil's highlights page for videos. replays and news.