Bonus Post: On Monday Think Tank marks Paul McDermott’s return to TV.
McDermott recently told TV Tonight that amongst his shows including DAAS Kapital, Strictly Dancing, The Sideshow & Room 101, it is Good News Week that still generates feedback and has audiences demanding its return.
“With social media there are people yammering for it all the time,” he says.
“Every time I perform, basically… there will always be someone who will mention GNW.
“Good News Week brought families together and I have spoken to kids who were told they really shouldn’t be watching it, in the same way I was told I shouldn’t be watching The Two Ronnies because it was saucy.”
The show ran from 1996 to 1998 on ABC and 1999 – 2000 on TEN with Mikey Robins & Julie McCrossin. It was revived by TEN, initially during the US Writers’ Strike, from 2008 to 2012 wth Claire Hooper replacing McCrossin. There were also spin-offs including GNW Night Lite, Good News World, notably featuring Flacco & Sandman and Sammy J. & Randy, respectively.
The chemistry between McDermott, Robins & McCrossin was like lightning in a bottle.
“When it happens it’s such a rollercoaster and you just hang on for dear life,” McDermott explains.
“There was so much work that went into it, great writers, crew, staff, organisation, that it’s only really in hindsight after a few years of having not done the show do you realise what a wonderful, joyous and lucky experience it was.”
McDermott suggests in the current news landscape a show like GNW could lend itself to plenty of potential comic material.
“I sit at home watching with shock and horror, particularly in other countries, how ridiculous and farcical the news has become. Sometimes I’m fuming that I don’t have GNW back so I can express my humorous outrage!” he muses.
“It’s such a divisive society at the moment and I don’t know how we got to this point.
“Australia is aping so many American ideas it’s ridiculous and vulgar. When we did GNW in the ’90s there was so much hope for this century.”
Strictly Dancing was another hit for McDermott, from 2004-2005 on ABC.
It even preceded Dancing with the Stars, just without an equivalent budget.
“Dancers are a breed unto themselves,” he recalls.
“At times they didn’t know who the Prime Minister was, or about Noah & the Flood….. they were so focussed on dance, glitter and squeezing into lycra!”
But an older & wiser McDermott is now looking forward to Think Tank on ABC, hoping it can match the popularity of past shows.
“There’s been a lot of love for me for a long time,” he acknowledges.