ABC farewells Jennifer Collins

jencollABC execs, staff and stars gathered at Ultimo in Sydney yesterday afternoon to farewell outgoing Head of Entertainment Jennifer Collins.

Collins has been with the public broadcaster for more than 20 years, all the way back to Fly TV, but is joining Screentime as Head of Non-Fiction.

The proceedings were ably hosted by Lawrence Mooney, with speeches by Julian Morrow, Richard Finlayson and Head TV Business & Operations, David Anderson. There were plenty of gags about ABC salaries from The Australian, and a certain Chaser image that had been recently in the news.

In attendance were The Chaser’s Andrew Hansen, Craig Reucassel, plus Julia Zemiro, Annabel Crabb, Amanda Bishop, ABC2 Channel Controller Stuart Menzies, Acting Head of Entertainment Zachariou, Nick Murray and Matt Campbell from CJZ, Nine exec Courtney Gibson, Head of Marketing Di Costantini, iview’s Arul Baskaran, former ABC Director of TV Kim Dalton, former Head of Publicity Lesna Thomas, and Collins’ own family.

“From Strictly Dancing to Chaser, Race Around the World to Mad as Hell, Poh’s Kitchen to Wednesday Night Fever, The Checkout to Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery, the real pleasure has been the joy of working with you all in this room. The amazing production companies and teams across so many programmes, fronted by the amazing comedic talent. We’re very lucky to have you and thanks to so many for coming tonight,” she said.

“There are also many people in this room whom I have had the pleasure of giving them their first job and first-ever commissions and it’s just fantastic to see you having the hugest of careers, and although it makes me feel very old, I’m also very proud.

But it was  Sammy J. and Randy who almost upstaged Collins herself with a wickedly funny original song written on her behalf. Plenty of gags about ‘crossing to the dark side’, ‘traitor’, and ‘you’ll be back’ all of which were received in good spirit. Some execs could even be overheard wondering about how to do more with this talented pair…

Should it ever happen, Collins sounds like she would be happy to be back.

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