A day in Newstopia

This afternoon, thanks to SBS, I took a set visit to a recording of Newstopia, Shaun Micallef’s news parody which started last week.

The show is being shot in Melbourne, at the ABC’s Ripponlea studios no less, because SBS production in Melbourne is predominantly Radio rather than TV.

Watching this being put together it’s clear to see that Shaun Micallef is very hands-on. He not only writes a significant chunk of the material but on the floor he is consulted by director Kevin Carlin as to what reaction shots he would like.

In fact, he even had impeccable recall when it came to camera continuity as well. Not bad for a guy who is getting up to do breakfast radio (at least for the next few weeks) and then re-starting his day in TV production.

Newstopia in its first outing last week was a little uneven, but with Micallef behind the wheel is in good hands. Being on SBS and away from the tougher commercial pressures is a ‘luxury’ that I hope enables this to become a cracker of a show. With the election underway its timing, and potential material, is perfect.

The show is shot mostly on Tuesdays allowing it to be up to date. Most of the post-production happens later that evening. There’s even a little time left on Wednesdays to tweak before legal eagles get to look over anything which might be considered too tricky.

Tomorrow night look out for reporter ‘Caesar Romero’, Les Murray’s call-in, Roz Hammond’s (Thank God You’re Here) Sports Report …and something involving peas.

The series has a 10 week run into early December.

Newstopia airs 10pm Wednesdays on SBS.


  1. I wondered where they filmed it because of his radio gig. But I thought ABC was in Southbank?? Anyways, the Newstopia website is great, I just thought SBS might have sold a few more ads on it(to make money from it)…

  2. It’s not going to get huge figures at 10pm on SBS no, but everyone knows that. It’s about attracting good cred and a discerning, fervent following. Micallef has the capacity to do that.

    Molly was funny on radio as part of a balanced team with Tony Martin, but the TV outings have been disappointing.

  3. shaun is a funny guy….but so is mick malloy and his show got canned real quick on commercial tv. I suppose they will put up with low ratings over at sbs because they are used to it.

  4. Yay! Some good news about Oz TV for once! Somebody with actual (not made up by the PR Dept.) TALENT is on the tube.

    Last week was a little patchy, needs to find it’s feet. But thank God it’s here! (woops…sorry) After the nightmare of ‘The Nation’ (what the heck happened to Nikki Osborne??) and the fairly predictable antics of the Chaser boys it’s good to have a show with some brains behind it.

    I think Shaun Micallef is a great talent. Many times I was reduced to tears laughing during his show on Nine – this normally happens just by watching a Nine show…but usually for all the wrong reasons.

    Keep it going Shaun! Good on you SBS. Somebody’s watching!

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