John-Michael Howson is a writer of hit musicals, an author, journalist and entertainment industry commentator who covered the international and Hollywood film scene for 25 years interviewing scores of top names, including those who rarely consent to interviews, and building a solid reputation as an incisive and informed interviewer.
A multiple Logie winner (for his children’s TV shows) Howson was awarded The Variety Club of Australia’s Heart of Variety Lifetime Achievement Award and a star on The Australian Walk of Fame. In the United States he was awarded three “personality of the year” awards by The Hollywood Press Club.In 2005, after seventeen years in Los Angeles, he returned to Melbourne. In his years reporting on entertainment he travelled the world covering films and entertainment events including 25 Oscars, 15 Emmys, 6 Tony awards, The Cannes Film Festival, international movie premieres, major royal events. However, it was his witty and informed stories of the events he covered and his meetings with world famous celebrities and stars that entertained audiences and made him a popular addition to any TV or radio show. He appeared on The Mike Walsh Show, Midday and Good Morning Australia as well as Sky News in the U.K. and TV in Brazil, France and other markets. In the USA he appeared as a regular on The Joan Rivers Show on CBS syndication in the US, on Gordon Elliott’s national daytime show, Court TV and a bevy of local shows in the Los Angeles market. He also wrote newspaper columns and magazine features that revealed an insider’s knowledge of the entertainment industry and an incisive behind the scenes take on the corporate side of the business.
Howson started his career as a cadet journalist at The Sunraysia Daily, Mildura, Victoria but was soon involved in writing comedy for theatrical revues. In Melbourne, while working as a journalist, he contributed comedy routines, sketches and songs to shows produced in the many small revue theatres that existed at the time. He also became part of the Arlen theatre comedy group that set new standards of revue comedy. Later, he travelled to London where he worked as a journalist for the prestige Men’s Wear Great Britain and contributed to such leading magazines as America’s Gentlemen’s Quarterly, During the four years he “commuted” between London and Paris reporting on the international fashion circuit and covering major events in the industry.
However, while fashion paid the bills, it was the experience he gained “moonlighting” as a comedy writer for leading comedy names and TV shows that set him in the direction of a career in entertainment. After he returned to Australia he created, wrote and starred in the award winning children’s shows The Magic Circle Club and Adventure Island. He also wrote for Graham Kennedy, Bert Newton and Mike Walsh before being signed as a regular for the mega hit Mike Walsh Show where he was nicknamed “Hollywood” because of his reportage on the international film industry.
John-Michael has starred in cabaret, appeared in films and stage productions and has been heard on radio in the US, Australia and New Zealand. Now contributing an entertainment report every Tuesday morning during the breakfast show on MAGIC 1278, being heard on the Grumpy Old Men segment of Mike Brady’s Saturday night show on 3AW and making waves in the top rating SUNDAY MORNING on 3AW John-Michael is also heard on radio around Australia.
He is also breaking records in theatre with ground breaking Australian musicals. His hit musical SHOUT! - the story of Australian rock star Johnny O’Keefe - (co-written with David Mitchell and Melvyn Morrow) was a massive box office hit in Australia and has become a favourite with theatre groups around the country. A new “all-star” production at The Victoria Arts Centre State Theatre received good reviews and enthusiastic audiences. SHOUT! was followed by the mega hit musical DUSTY - based on the life of pop icon Dusty Springfield - (co-written with David Mitchell and Melvyn Morrow) which was a smash hit in Australia and is scheduled to open in the UK in late in 2008 followed by a North American production opening in Toronto, Canada.
Also on John-Michael Howson's schedule is an American-Australian co-production of DREAM LOVER, - the story of Bobby Darin - (co-written with Frank Howson) - set to open in Australia in 2009, HARD KNOCKS -an ensemble musical - (co-written with Frank Howson) opening in late 2008, WALLY’S CAFÉ - an Australian adaptation of an American comedy - opening in 2008, HOTEL HAVANA - a comedy musical- and PYJAMAS IN PARADISE - a fun “Happy Days/ Grease style musical about the early days of Surfers’ Paradise