It’s just not Carols without Humphrey

You'll be lucky to spot Humphrey B. Bear in the Carols by Candlelight broadcast once again.

2012-12-23_0007Last year at Carols by Candlelight, Happy Feet penguins and Hi-5 accompanied Santa instead of the traditional appearance by Humphrey B. Bear.

Humphrey may have been in attendance for meet and greets and commercial break appearances, but he only made it onto screen for the viewing audience in the curtain call.

And according to a line in an Age article it will be the same this year.

”Humphrey’s going to do what he did last year,” it notes.

How disappointing.

I can only presume this is because a sponsor is paying handsomely for some inclusion, whereas Humphrey is no longer owned by Nine and probably costs to appear. But that’s just a guess…

Last night’s Carols in the Domain on Seven also came under fire for the amount of commercial references it contained.

On Twitter, viewers said:

Is this Carols in the Domain or @GruenHQ So many ads or product plugs #carolsinthedomain

Stephen Downes
I didn’t expect this much product placement in #carolsinthedomain. At the moment they’re singing “Hark the Sun-Herald Angels Sing”

Bronwyn Cook
When the f*** did #carolsinthedomain turn into one giant advertisement. Really pissed off. #woolworthscarols

Rob Bibby ‏
Over commercialised, B list singers from xfactor ruining #CarolsintheDomain #keepitclassic

Peta McAllan ‏
not hearing many carols at the moment just lots of plugs for things that have nothing to do for Christmas #carolsinthedomain #letdown

It was also the final TV performance for three of The Wiggles, Greg Page, Jeff Fatt and Murray Cook.

They received a much brighter reception on Twitter.

12 Responses

  1. It’s a free event, so someone has to pay I guess.
    Natalie Barr is the best thing about Sunrise, but she was awkward at best last night.
    Her holding one of the multi-coloured air wick candles and plugging them was cringeworthy.
    Meanwhile, isn’t Mark Vincent all grown up now, he’s become a pretty good looking young man and that voice is amazing!

  2. Carols in the Domain has always been like that. It has always been tacky, full of product placements and B-grade “superstars” (with a few exceptions) and Home and Away “singers”.

    Why are people realising only now??

    This event is always such a missed opportunity. I guess it can be hard to get big names to give up their Saturday-before-Christmas even for charity. Even the staging is tacky when it could be done quite beautifully.

    This is something that Melbourne and Nine always do better – Carols by Candlelight has a lot of tradition and is very classy and usually the only product placement they do is a performance or two by the cast of a current stage musical.

  3. I did not find the singers ‘B’ listers….I thought the were fine….and I believe they all stepped up to the plate unpaid…I thought it was the best year yet….and Matt and Nat did a great job…yes there was a fair bit of commercial placement…especially for the candles…but they supplied all the candles and are making a big donation for each purchase…so that was ok with me…also loved everyone ‘wiggling’ at the end…*S*
    All the grinches can get back in their boxes.

  4. Carols in the Domain is always a massive plugfest. I guess it is because it is free to anyone to attend whereas Carols by Candlelight you pay for tickets?

    As for no Humphrey at Carols by Candlelight again, I am totally raging! Thought he didn’t make an appearance last year, until I saw some photos people took during the ad breaks and then he appeared at the end.

    Humphrey has always appeared with Santa for as long as I can remember, so sad they’ve said no to him again and only are going to let him out when the cameras are away. 🙁

    Still hoping something can be fixed up for him though!

  5. The commercialisation was because activeTV (production company) have been losing money on Carols year after year and have refused to charge an admission fee for the audience. Therefore, their only source of revenue is from their sponsors and they are simply unable to pay for everything with the money they’re raising. This year, Carols in the Domain included two movies as ‘segment sponsors’ (previously only one) and now have a new ‘presenting partner’ (which got lots of live plugs on-air).

    Carols by Candlelight does charge an audience fee (however, audiences are willing to pay as much of the money from this event goes to charity – Vision Australia). As far as I can tell, there are few (if any) sponsors of Carols by Candlelight apart from their broadcast partners, so I wouldn’t expect it to be the same as the Domain.

    Certainly hope the Melbourne carols don’t go the same way as the Sydney version! I live in Sydney and have always thought Melbourne one has been far better and more enjoyable!

  6. In defence of Carols in the Domain… its a free public event (unlike the Melbourne Carols) so the sponsors who pay to keep it free can have all the promo they want IMO 🙂 Kept me and 100,000 other people happy!

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