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Robin Leach part II: On covering celebrities in Las Vegas (aired 2015)

(Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

In this Oct. 17, 2013 file photo, Robin Leach attends the Food Network's 20th birthday party in New York. Leach, whose voice crystalized the opulent 1980s on TV's "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous," has died, Friday, Aug. 24, 2018.

Originally aired: April 20, 2015

We're doing a summer series, looking back at some of the interesting people and topics we've talked about on State of Nevada over last several years.

Robin Leach died in 2018 at age 76.

Back in April, we talked to entertainment legend Robin Leach about his life, his career, and the rich and famous lifestyles he explored.

We wanted to talk to him about his transition to living and working in Las Vegas, but we ran out of time.

So, we figured we'd invite him back onto the program.

Leach originally came to Las Vegas to help the Venetian with its food and beverage program because the resort was partnering with the Food Network, which Leach was involved with for the first five years.

After traveling back and forth between Las Vegas and New York, he finally rented a townhouse in Spanish Trail, which opened his eyes to the whole city.

“Now I was in the community," Leach remembered. "Now I was seeing a part of Las Vegas that I don’t think people realize exists.”

The Strip, Leach said, is an adult playground where people have permission to behave badly and no one really bats an eye. However, six minutes off the Strip in a neighborhood like Spanish Trial and he found people behaving nicely and really caring about their community.

“When you start to move around in the community and get involved in it, you find out it’s a community like any other in America but it’s got this special backyard playground,” he said.  

He has found some stark differences with other places he has worked in and visited, including Los Angeles.

“A gentleman’s word is his bond in Las Vegas,” Leach explained.

He said he knows and works with incredible people who are working hard to make our community a better place.

“I think because in the end Las Vegas is small town, it may look huge,” he said "But away from the Strip, it’s a small town with good community values.“

Leach said he has seen all kinds of bad behavior by celebrities in Las Vegas but he doesn't see a reason to report on their antics.

“I don’t kiss and tell,” Leach said “I’m not out to take anyone off the pedestal that they’ve been placed on by the public.”

He has to walk a line between not burning bridges because he may need that celebrity again for a future story, but not kowtowing to bad behavior.

“I don’t call them friends. There are good acquaintances. But I’m not frightened to tell them that that’s awful behavior and that doesn’t cut it,” he explained. 

Because of the type of news he covers, Leach works odd hours.

“Work is a consuming affair. I write by day and visit by night,” he said, which is why his time away in Italy and California with his family is vital.

Despite the demands of his work, after all these years, Leach still loves what he does.

“You couldn’t ask for a better job,” he said.

And writing about what happens in Las Vegas, seems to be especially interesting.

“This is a city where you get 'only in Las Vegas' stories,” Leach said, “We are like the Sunday comics. We don’t save lives. We don’t do brain surgery. We amuse and entertain you with the foibles of others.” 

Robin Leach, of course, writes the daily Vegas Deluxe column for the Las Vegas Sun about the comings and goings here in Sin City.

Robin Leach, entertainment reporter, Vegas Deluxe

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Casey Morell is the coordinating producer of Nevada Public Radio's flagship broadcast State of Nevada and one of the station's midday newscast announcers. (He's also been interviewed by Jimmy Fallon, whatever that's worth.)