Paul Fenech says TV is overrun by “posh wankers”
Housos creator speaks frankly about frustration with govt departments Screen Australia, Screen NSW and even SBS.
Prolific comedian Paul Fenech has spoken frankly about the frustration of working with government departments Screen Australia, Screen NSW and even SBS in getting his comedy onto screens.
Fenech’s Housos feature is currently screening around Australia but as he told Mumbrella, he didn’t wait for funding from Screen Australia and Screen NSW which he labelled as “so slow,” instead opting for independent funding.
He even noted a curious relationship with SBS, where Pizza, Swift & Shift Couriers and Housos have all found an audience.
“SBS and I have a bit of a love-hate relationship. They love the success but they are always a bit worried about the content I give them because it’s not everybody’s cup of tea,” he admitted.
“But you cant argue with numbers and results – we’ve always been their number one show that they make, since Pizza, for ten years.”
Whilst Fenech’s comedies have been niche successes for SBS, it’s debatable to argue that any have been the broadcaster’s #1 show (Mythbusters, Top Gear, Who Do You Think You Are? and Go Back To Where You Came From have all averaged higher).
But SBS did sit on the second season of Swift & Shift Couriers for months, not seeing the light of day until Managing Director Shaun Brown vacated the building due to its Indian setting.
However Fenech suggests under Michael Ebeid there even were problems with Housos.
“The regime at the time were happy with the idea. Then there was a regime change. When they saw the final product the new people were very reluctant – swearing , domestic abuse,” he said.
“Everything was against it, it was on at ten o’clock at night and that’s almost the kiss of death for most TV programs but luckily enough people found it through social media.
“I’ve never understood it. Since Pizza, there’s a weird inhouse, maybe it’s a personal reluctance. There’s a lot of middle class people that work in the media in general, not just SBS. Out stuff is very – working class is the wrong title – but underclass kind of humour. Maybe some people call it lowbrow but I just think it’s general Aussie humour, so I’m dealing with posh wankers the whole time.
“In the last 15 years the posh wanker brigade has taken over more of TV and there’s less and less real film makers and TV makers actually making TV. We’ve been overrun with people who’ve come out of all sorts of corners but not actually production so it’s a real struggle.”
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