Oops, one random slip but ABC concert hits NYE sweet spot.

Charlie Pickering may have managed the final Oops moment of 2017 but it could not erase the smile off faces after ABC’s flawless Countdown concert on New Year’s Eve.

“Are you ready to count down to the magical moment, the only time it’s ok to kill a police officer -ahh.. kiss a police officer- without asking?” he asked the crowd.

He later apologised for the slip up.

On social media ABC was widely-praised for its telecast. It was a big win for the broadcaster after its first shocker for NYE 2015. Even in recent weeks media were teasing another “trainwreck” and “poisoned chalice” for Pickering -but it an inspired Countdown concert drew praise for the music acts and an eminently-talented backing band.

But there were some who picked at Pickering’s gaffe and the quick switch to a promo as soon as the fireworks ended, instead of savouring the moment.


ABC drew 1.49m viewers for the Midnight Fireworks, 710,000 for the Family Fireworks and an average of 707,000 for the Countdown Live concert. That was up on last year’s 1,178,000 for the fireworks.

David Anderson, ABC Director of Television said: “The ABC is thrilled to once again have hosted the iconic Sydney New Year’s Eve fireworks. It truly is a night of celebration and family friendly entertainment that brings the nation together.  Across Australia, wherever you were, the ABC brought the fireworks to you live across TV, iview, YouTube, Facebook.”

The event was the last of ABC’s current deal with the City of Sydney, but based on this year’s event (and a recent excellent Paul Kelly Live concert) it would be worth revisiting -something I could never have imagined saying after 2015.


  1. Maev....Sydney

    I have watched…every year….and ABC nailed it this year…..
    Hard working muso’s and back ups…kudos to them….
    Only one issue for me…mike volume …not good for a few performers….

  2. TasTVcameraman

    I thought it was fantastic, except I would have liked the vocals to a little bit louder, I only say this after twenty years doing sound mixing for live bands, I know the in thing now is to have everything sound the same but we would like to hear the vocals, without trying too hard. Well done to the ABC I turned off Kitty Flanagan as she just annoys me, probably the worst part of Utopia also.

  3. also started countdown behind the countdown clock they were a second behind the clock cannot even get that right when the clock is right there

  4. I worked NYE so my partner and I watched the replay of the Countdown concert yesterday arvo. A minute to the midnight countdown (which was around 4pm yesterday) we pulled the blinds and watched the fireworks. Was grouse! We gonna buy it if it comes out on DVD. Casey Donovan was amazeballs.

  5. Saying you want to kill police is a slip of the tongue? Police work hard to protect and serve the public and the deserve to be supported. If Charlie had a problem he would be ringing 000 so quick it wouldn’t be funny.

  6. Loved the concert – a resounding success overall.
    A few weaker performances in there but also some brilliant ones.
    Phil Jamieson did an amazing job with ‘Evie’ and Acca Dacca’s ‘Let There Be Rock’.
    Casey Donovan was another standout. RocKwiz band killed it as usual.
    I know Montaigne was bagged a bit on social media for her version of Ashes to Ashes but I thought she was great – her version of ‘Love Is a Stranger’ was fantastic.
    Really hope to see another Countdown concert next year with a whole new set of performers.

      • Yes, does sound a bit affected but she always looks like she’s having such a wonderful time.
        Loved her version of Lady Marmalade -very cheeky. Great facial expressions.

    • Spot on Angela. Couldn’t agree more. I think the many older people bagging Montaigne don’t really know the songs she sang and how hard they are to sing. She was great and I had never heard of her before this performance

      • Yeah, HeyJude – Montaigne was great. Of course she’s no Bowie, but I thought she really managed to capture the essence of ‘Ashes to Ashes.’
        Really unique and a striking, powerful voice.
        I have heard of her but never actually listened to any of her music before.
        Has definitely inspired me to check out the back catalogue of her own songs now.

  7. I loved the concert (except for JImmy Barnes screeching) but the part I get disappointed with is the actual filming of the fireworks display. Same positions every year which I guess can’t be helped but if possible I think some better vantage points for the cameras would be good.

  8. carolemorrissey

    Well I’m a lone voice here, I preferred the last couple of years with the comedy skits, especially the pub quiz. It was always the highlight of the whole night. Always hilarious. The best part was Kitty Flanagan at the beginning. I liked some of the songs. Bring back the comedians this year.

  9. I watched the replay yesterday and the concert was really terrific. Definitely what they need to look at doing every NYE. Charlie did a good job too. The slip of the tongue at the end was simply that, a slip of the tongue which he corrected immediately. Anyone complaining about it, I’m guessing has never hosted a 3 hour live television broadcast.

  10. Yes, the ABC’s first year was a mess, and 2017 is probably the first time they’ve really got it right (although, once again, on delay…) – but people who bag the ABC’s fireworks in previous years forget how bad 9’s coverage was in 2009-2012. It’s been successfully wiped from Wikipedia, and elsewhere there’s scant mention of those car-crash years when “how many network ‘celebrities’ can we fit into one programme?” and endless ads & station/programme promos finally overtook the actual fireworks in importance.

    Best We Forget…

  11. Whilst the music of Countdown doesn’t resonate much nostalgic sentiment for someone of a younger generation, it was still a far better New Years broadcast than that awful Pub Quiz that the ABC did for previous New Years broadcast. I suppose Countdown Live was a way of showcasing what music used to be like for a certain generation and that was not a bad idea. A possible idea for the next New Years broadcast would be to showcase chart music from the much loved 90s era.

  12. Always thought something like that would work.

    Like I said a couple of years ago get Renegade Films and the RocKwiz Orkestra in and a parade of well known singers and cover the best songs of years past with a big duet at the end. Now AFL it’s up to you to get something similar happening for the Grand Final on ground shows.

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