Pauline Hanson’s most ardent followers, her children, reveal that behind the passionate politician is a fun-loving mum who makes them cringe with her karaoke.
But it isn’t the fiery redhead’s outspoken politics and controversial persona that leave her four kids cringing. Instead, the 56-year-old former fish-and-chip shop owner reveals they turn decidedly red-faced when she takes centre stage for less-political purposes.
“There was one time when we were at an Irish pub on the Sunshine Coast and we were with some friends who wanted me to get up for karaoke,” Pauline tells Woman’s Day. “I had no choice in the end because they announced me and everyone else at the pub was like, ‘Yes, let’s get Pauline Hanson up’ – so I had to do it. But afterwards, [my daughter] Lee said, ‘I was just so embarrassed, I was sitting there thinking, Oh, my mum, what’s she doing up there?’. “I didn’t even know the song at the time,” Pauline adds. “It was the Tina Turner song, Nut Bush Cracker… what is it?... Nutbush City Limits? See, I still don’t know!”
There’s a collective groan from Pauline’s children – sons Tony Zagorski and Steven Hanson, to her first husband Walter Zagorski, and son Adam and daughter Lee, to second husband Mark Hanson – as they relive the memory. According to Lee, 27, music and her mum can often be an embarrassing combination, and never more so than during her twirl on TV’s Dancing With The Stars in 2004.
“I remember Mum getting up and attempting to dance on live TV and me sitting there going, ‘Aww, no! Aww, no, Mum!’” she says. “When she’d get off she’d ask, ‘How did I do?’. I’d say, ‘Oh, you did really well’, but I’d be thinking, Don’t get up there and dance again next week. So of course she made it all the way through to the final!