Logies says ok to eligibility of Ian Thorpe interview

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The Logie Awards has defended the inclusion of Ian Thorpe: The Parkinson Interview as a nominee for Most Outstanding Public Affairs Report despite the fact the host is UK, and it was filmed in the UK with British crew.

Under Logie eligibility rules the entry “must be an Australian production and feature a predominantly Australian production team, including presenter, reporter, producer and crew.”

A spokesperson for the Logies told TV Tonight, “The Ian Thorpe interview with Michael Parkinson was a co-production between Parkinson Productions and Sports & Entertainment Limited, an Australian company. The interview was the brain child of Network Ten Executive Director of News and Current Affairs, Peter Meakin and Ian’s agent.

“Ian suggested he would be comfortable speaking to Michael Parkinson, therefore Parkinson Productions were brought on as a Co-Producer. The interview was therefore eligible for inclusion in the category.”

But while it will compete with Four Corners, The Feed, Australian Story and Insight it does risk setting a precedent that an internationally-produced project that partners with an Australian management company is deemed equal to those manned by Australian presenters, cameramen, audio and floor crews.

Last month the ASTRA Awards similarly pitted international titles such as Deadliest Catch and Louis Theroux: LA Stories in the same categories as locally-produced productions. Where international budgets and talent can upstage more humble local offerings it’s hardly a fair fight. Really, what’s the point?

With the exception of a separate international category, local awards shows should be about celebrating the stuff we make. Not them.

Parkinson Productions did not respond before deadline.

15 Comments:

  1. Interesting piece, which raises a bigger question. Although a lot of people tend to sneer a bit at the Logies, they’re the best-known awards we’ve got, so it’s time someone tried to make them accountable. David, you’re the man to do it! The public voting process is pretty clear, but gosh it would be good if TV Week were transparent about the so-called “peer voting” for the Outstanding categories. How many people vote for those, how are they chosen, what is the process etc? A lot of people would love to find this out if you can get the info out of them.

      • Yep, that’s good. I had a producer friend who judged a Logies category a few years ago and apparently it was just one judge put up by each network and one independent judge, so I guess that’s five or six judges in total. They just had everything sent to them and had to vote for their top three on a secure website – no panel discussions, no idea who the other judges were.

  2. To steal an idea from a historical documentary I watched over the weekend:
    Suppose we agree that it can’t actually be Australian, not having a local interviewer or crew – which is nobody’s fault, not even the Romans’ – but that it can have the _right_ to be Australian?

  3. thatsnicmeyers

    Of course it’s ok. It was an Australian co-production. There you go. It is Australian. Filming in the UK and Parkinson being British are both completely irrelevant.

  4. I say if it has aired into Australia and has an Australian as the interview subject or it is good interview for people of a foreign land, I say it is the logies getting with the times as it should be in the 21st century.

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