Waleed wins Gold: “This is happening”


The Project host Waleed Aly has won the Gold Logie award for 2016.

He defeated fellow nominees Carrie Bickmore, Essie Davis, Grant Denyer, Scott Cam, and Lee Lin Chin.

“Do not adjust your sets. There’ s nothing wrong with the picture,” he joked referring to comments on his TV fame. “This is happening.

“I think it’s fair to say I never thought I would win a Logie.

“I’m hugely appreciative the audience has thrown me a bouquet.

“But I’m the work experience kid. I’ve been here 5 minutes,” he said before acknowledging the support of the viewers, The Project team and his wife.

Aly won the Gold Logie after a stellar year on television with his editorials attracting international attention. The Project‘s mix of news and comedy has been a success story despite early years of struggling ratings.

“I think it is no coincidence that Carrie and I have been nominated,” he said, “It’s a show that lands in people’s hearts.”

He also spoke about the changing face of television.

“There have been a lot of people who have told me that me being here really matters to them.”

Advocating diversity, he dedicated his win to those with an “unpronounceable name”.

“It matters to them for a particular reason,” he said. “That reason was brought home … not so long ago actually when someone who is in this room, and I’m not going to use the name they use in the industry, came up to me, introduced themselves and said to me, ‘I really hope you win. My name is Mustafa. But I can’t use that name because I won’t get a job’.

“If tonight means anything ..it is that the Australian public, our audience, as far as they’re concerned, there is absolutely no reason why that can’t change.”


  1. I think Waleed is not only the first Muslim, but he first non Anglo saxon person to ever win a Logie. I can’t remember any Logie winners with European backgrounds.

  2. I must admit I wasn’t a fan of Waleed when he took over the role of hosting the project, as I had been watching the show from the very beginning and I didn’t think he was the right fit for the show. I have to say that after a week or so of him being on air I started to warm to his style. Although I don’t agree with him on every topic, I do think he adds more dynamic to the show than what it was before. So I am happy he won and well done to the show as well as I think it’s one of the most informative shows on air at the moment.

  3. jezza the first original one

    I don’t necessarily think this is such a great award for Waleed to win. Most years folk take a look at the gold logie winners and think wtf….remember when Karl or Scott won? Its not usually an award for “deserving” winners, but just a simple popularity contest in any given year. So while it makes a pleasant change to have a different winner, it is only a small step to restore some sort of credibility in a fairly crap award. A few more years like this are needed until it gets there again

  4. Secret Squïrrel

    Thoroughly deserved. Given that this is effectively a popularity award it is very heartening to see that someone who publicly identifies as Muslim has been given it. I think it demonstrates that there is hope for – and in – this country and that the intolerant right-wing racist ratbags are in the minority even if they are very vocal.

    • jezza the first original one

      yeah and also add in the hate filled, vociferous left who seek to crush expressions of opinion that does not agree with their view of the world

      • Secret Squïrrel

        I’m all for racists being able to out themselves as it let’s everyone know who they are. However, they shouldn’t be able to incite racial hatred in other people.

  5. bettestreep2008

    Poida – if you watched Waleed’s speech you would have seen Noni cheering him on. Noni also made an eloquent , intelligent and compassionate speech – mentioning political issues throughout. Both Waleed and Noni will not be admired by Andrew Bolt, Rita Panahi, Miranda Devine, Ben Fordham or Karl Stefanovic. Should be interesting to see what Steve Price says on tonight’s Project. Waleed’s win is a kick in the guts to all the racists in Australia. Imagine it – a muslim won the Gold Logie for most popular person on television.

  6. daveinprogress

    I am so happy to sit corrected on my position a year and a bit ago when it was announced Waleed was the new anchor. I wasn’t sure. During the year I (and evidently a lot of viewers) really took to his approach and intelligence and warmth and wit. And as he said in his Silver Presenter speech, you are only as good as the people around you (and they make you better). Pete is hugely integral as is Carrie’s heart and spontaneity. I tune in every night. I may not watch a full hour, but they are a winning team to welcome into my household. Some may see the achievement of Waleed’s wins due to race and colour etc, i see it is the reward for a very multi talented individual. He displays great courage on air and is a team player too. Good on him. Pete for Gold next year.

    • I have to agree. Although I liked Waleed as a guest host, I wasn’t sure if he would be very good as permanent host… But wow , he’s taken the show to another level. The Project is the best it has ever been and I hope it’s around forever.

    • Forgive my ignorance – who nominated all these people into various categories?
      Not to take anything away from the nominees and winners but if Scot Cam and Karl Stefanovic could win a Gold, aren’t there others in the industry who would be worth considering for at least being nominated – eg. Eddie McGuire, Sunrise hosts, MKR, Masterchef hosts, Andrew O’Keefe, etc? It is interesting to see that it took Grant Denyer to move to Ten to earn a Gold Logie nomination. I can only deduce from the Logies that top-rating programs do not equal to winning. Popularity doesn’t equal ratings. Ten has 3 Gold Logie nominees (2 of whom belong to the same program that is not the Number 1 program in its time slot)..hmmmm. But congrats to Ten though

  7. Congratulations Waleed. Not that I think he would view this award as his crowning achievement, but I suspect he will take far greater joy in the symbolism it represents.

    He really is an interesting character. An intellectual who chose to engage in what was intended to be a lightweight news show. But he has made it his own through his occasional pointed editorials that have managed to give him and the show some real political clout.

    Also congratulations to 10 in sticking with the show through the early years.

  8. TV Fanatic

    Waleed Aly represents everything great in human beings. Humility, brilliance, perseverance. Come July 2 I’m penciling in his name in the who to vote for. #WaleedForPM

  9. I was saddened that he really believed he deserved a Gold Logie and gave such a long speech. A slap in the face to people like Noni Hazelhurst who waited decades for recognition when nowadays a social media campaign determines the winner.

    • I would like to point you to the full title of the Gold Logie: “The Gold Logie for Most Popular Personaliy”. It is an award of popularity and if he/any winner can get people to vote for him/her then s/he deserves it.

      Also I do believe your critic of Waleed is rather harsh and if this was an award of quality of work then Waleed should be considered for the award.

    • Wow!! did you listen to his acceptance speech? It was full of self deprivation and appreciation, as indicated by “But I’m the work experience kid. I’ve been here 5 minutes,” and “I’m hugely appreciative the audience has thrown me a bouquet.” And that he is not perhaps the Icon the Gold Logie deserves.
      I think you may have misunderstood his speech. btw Noni Hazelhurst appeared to be moved by his words.

    • jezza the first original one

      and the relevance of your comment is….? If you are popular enough or good enough, you should be in with a chance of winning. See the person, not their religion

      • i do see the person. I’m just saying congrats to him on being the First Muslim to win 2 Logies.
        If LeeLeeChin won people would say- she is the first Asian Person to win a Logie.

          • jezza the first original one

            Waleed’s family background is, as far as I know Egyptian. The last time I checked Egypt was in Africa where Africans come from and not Asians or Orientals. Waleed was born in Australia, which makes him as far as I am concerned an Aussie……

  10. Laurie Patton | CEO Internet Australia

    Waleed Ali is another star who began on community television – along with Rove, Corinne, Hamish, Andy and many others. Alas, there’ll be no more of them because last year Malcolm Turnbull killed off CTV with no plausible explanation.

    • smartatarc

      And in this year’s budget he’s trying to kill off community radio in the same way by pulling digital transmission subsidy of $1.5 million – while giving an extra $163 million to the commercial television networks via reduced license fees.

      • Thanks for the inane, pointless comment. Don’t understand what you’ve achieved here?
        For the record, if I’m watching live TV during that time, its always The Project. Who knew light hearted yet serious went together. Keep up the good work

  11. So happy that he won. The Project and Ten in general did really well tonight. Their shows must resonate with the smaller but loyal audience.

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