Room 101: July 11


Paul McDermott returns to television this Saturday with Room 101 on SBS, chatting to celebrities about their ‘pet hates’ to be banished into a studio vault.

I’m not sure I quite grasped the point of this format (why didn’t they just make a proper Tonight show?), but you can check out Julia Zemiro and ‘HG Nelson’ in 2 back to back episodes.

What if our pet hate is TV formats that don’t really have much point….?

Episode One: Julia Zemiro (8.30pm)
Multi-talented performer, writer, presenter and comedian Julia Zemiro joins Paul McDermott on Room 101. Paul takes Julia back to the roots of her very own comedy, by exploring her pet hates regarding good etiquette and self-awareness. From Food service big bears with Buffets, to the ‘snake oil peddling’ life coaches, Julia is adamant that Paul banish it all to the Room 101 vault.

Episode Two: HG Nelson(9.00pm)
On this episode of Room 101 the hilarious HG Nelson joins host Paul McDermott to talk about his greatest fears and anxieties. HG goes into battle to convince Paul to rid his life of paper cuts, over paid rock stars who don’t belong at footy games, the idea of ‘fourth place’, leaf blowers and the backyard game known at totem tennis.


  1. Room 101 needs a really strong improvisor as host to work. Surprised they didn’t get Julia to host it but will reserve judgement. There’s something quite British about a show where people complain. I’m not entirely sure it will work here. When the premise is negative it’s difficult to get excited.

  2. For the past six weeks the locally created format of RocKwiz has been delivering a 10% share + on Saturday nights for SBS. Room 101 is a UK format that was commissioned at the expense of more RocKwiz episodes. This is a story about a media behemoth like NBCUniversal hurting a local producer like Renegade, and it matters a great deal.

    • Well Matchbox is now owned by NBCUniversal but there are advantages to that. It helps the export of Australian shows and formats overseas. Which makes local production more viable. If the company is staffed by Australians, makes Australian work and employs Australians I’m not overly fussed as a viewer if some profits are going overseas. SBS is trying to diversify. Rockwiz has had a good run and I hope that continues, but Renegade are a pretty small company who have no experience shooting studio based programming. Matchbox were getting a lot of stuff made before they were bought out.

      • There are massive competitive advantages to having a foreign parent with very deep pockets – this allows them to produce loss-leaders like and wipe out the few indies that are left on the way through. SBS is struggling to justify their expense and commissioning shows from NBCUni doesn’t help their cause much. NBCUni need to have a business plan that successfully competes at the big end of town. They act like they’re indies and it’s a furphy.

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