With most stars you may literally have just 90 seconds with them before a publicist shuffles them along. I’m lucky most of them stop to talk to TV Tonight where possible, but there’s no time for in depth chats so I’ve learned to avoid asking about:
1) Who are you wearing? (I really don’t care)
2) Who do you think will win? (By the time I publish your answer it’s irrelevant)
As the afternoon progresses it gets more and more congested and there are faces passing you by that you simply don’t get a shot at. I’m also frustrated that producers and execs are channelled off the main Red Carpet in favour of Talent. I get that stars are the priority, but the truth is the others are the guys who will give you the good stuff. They’re the decision makers.
I’m publishing Part One of my Red Carpet interviews and gallery today and part two tomorrow, while a handful of yarns will run as stand-alone stories.
***Drum roll** Let the mayhem and vanity begin!
“We haven’t had a week off for the last year and a quarter now. So we’re getting momentum and everyone’s loving it. Amen!”
I asked if the show should the show move to primetime?
“Why aren’t you running the show? Whisper into the Dictaphone, ‘Put The Loop in primetime!’”
“That’s okay. We’re still pulling good numbers so it’s alright. As long as people still watch it.”
“We’re developing a number of shows for the company. There may be a sketch show for ABC2. But it’s early days and no contract has been signed. It’s with 20-somethings.
“I’d be the EP with Amanda (Brotchie) and Nicole (Minchin) and maybe write a sketch or two.
“We’ve got a few dramas and comedies that are percolating.”
Are we getting more Lowdown and Agony?
“I’m waiting to hear back on Lowdown.
“Until they (ABC) get a Head of Comedy they can’t really commission anything.
“We’re looking good for more Agony. We had really good ratings up until the last week.”
Gary: “Amateurs are more interesting.”
Matt: “Professional cooking shows seldom make primetime. In the UK Masterchef amateurs is on the main channel and Professionals does about a third of the numbers on BBC2. It’s always going to do lower numbers than the main series.”
Gary: “The amateur foodies that I know love Professionals. People who love going to the market on the weekends.
“My daughter said to me ‘If they’re Professionals they’re going to get it right.’ But I think we like to see people fail a little, succeed a little, fail a little. That’s what it’s all about.”‘
How much diversity on the next series?
Matt: “When I walked down the line there were 17 different nationalities of the 22.”
Everyone commented on the new, slim George Calombaris.
“We try to talk about things nobody else is talking about.”
Where does the show find all the people for their forums?
“I stand on a lot of shoulders to do that show. We have a fantastic team of researchers and producers who find all those people.
“And I have a little map so I know where people are sitting.
“We have a lot more satellite guests than we used to. The Greek shows were very interesting. There was a moment!”
“I think July but this is all whispers. I think tomorrow morning they might officially give it the nod.
“There’s another TV project coming up but it’s still early days.”
“At my age it’s nice to be thought of new at anything, so I’m completely thrilled!
“We’re doing a third series of Kitchen Cabinet right now. We just did Malcolm Turnbull which was great fun.
“But I’ve got a brand new baby, so I’m juggling.”
Have politicians proven more easy to get for the show now?
“In the initial stages it sounded like such an odd idea and people were a bit hesitant, until after it became clearer.”
“I’m doing a small thing on Camp with Rachel Griffiths, playing her ex-husband then I’m coming back in May to do a film in Perth called The Reckoning.
“Then I’m back in June for another TV thing that I can’t officially talk about right now.”
Ricardo: “I’ve just come back from Dubai doing stories on Australian expats.
Janice Petersen on the recent appointment of Jim Carroll as news boss:
Janice: “The head of the newsroom resigned and in his place is Jim Carroll from Channel TEN.”
RG: “We’re very excited to have him on board because he brings a different viewpoint on News.”
JP: “He’s has 30 odd years in the business so he’s certainly got a lot to offer.”
Jennifer Byrne on upcoming interviews for a new ABC series:
“There’s a series I’m doing with Ian McEwan, P. D. James who is a detective writer, Margaret Atwood and Ian Rankin.”
“Best Sellers. I think it’s something like that!
“Those 4 people I’ve loved for years. P. D. James is 87.”
“It’s drama, shit happens. There’s singing, dancing, a lot of crazy fantasy stuff. It’s probably the funniest but also saddest season. It swings from comedy to drama pretty quickly.”
“I can’t say Adam Hills Tonight. It’s Me Tonight!
“We start in the middle of May and go right up until the end of July. We film our last episode on July 29 and then I go live on Channel 4 in the UK on the second of August.”
On escorting his mum to TV’s night of nights:
“Having mum here who’s never been to the Logies and seeing it through her eyes, I’ve realised ‘It’s awesome!’”
Hamish: “Gap Year Asia at the very least will be less safe than anything we’ve done before.”
Andy: “At this stage we plan to base ourselves out of Bangkok.”
Hamish: “Pyongyang fell through.”
Andy: “Then we’ll hit about 12 or 13 countries, Mongolia, China, Vietnam, Japan, Cambodia, Laos, Philippines, Malaysia.
“We head off in about 4 weeks. In total I reckon it will take about 3 months.
“What’s really interesting are the stories we’re finding. It’s awesome.”
“I miss it too, I have to say. We have fun at 5:00 in Sydney but it’s a very different beast.”
Is it better to work days instead of late nights?
“As essentially still a newlywed it is kind of nice from a personal perspective.
“I’ve been with the network for just over 20 years. But I started when I was 12.”
And Lachy Hulme gets points for honesty:
“Hi I’m Lachy Hulme from TV scumbus. I’m just here for the food.”
Pt 2: Tomorrow: Lisa McCune, Jonny Paslovksy, Amanda Keller, Claudia Karvan, Asher Keddie, Larry Emdur, Julia Morris, Ray Meagher and more.