Annabel Crabb: “I’m regularly accused of ‘humanising monsters'”

Whether politics or history, Annabel Crabb is drawn to projects with a purpose, even if it provokes strong reactions.

ABC presenter likes taking an unexpected path in bringing politics to TV audiences through her shows such as Kitchen Cabinet and The House with Annabel Crabb but it elicits surprising reactions.

Speaking last week at the Australian International Documentary Conference she revealed, “I regularly get criticised for dumbing down politics or making it less serious than it should be. I would never take Kitchen Cabinet to replace political journalism.

“Most people in Australia say they are not interested in politics. But then you talk to them a bit more and find out, actually they are.

“I’m regularly accused of ‘humanising monsters’ but I would never yell at people I don’t agree with or be overly nice to people I do agree with.

“People I disagree with, I am even more fascinated to find out about. The human mind, the development of character and the decisions we make is an endlessly fascinating field.”

Crabb also fronted Back in Time for Dinner last year for ABC, proving a hit with its novel approach to making history entertaining. Based on a UK format the show featured one family in a social experiment of cooking meals in the style of various decades.

“I’m always drawn to things that are useful. I don’t have any patience for things that are just entertainment. It has to achieve a purpose, and if it does that through being inventive, funny or a bit left field then that’s what I really love,” she continues.

“I did Tomorrow Tonight last year with Charlie Pickering and I was drawn to that because it was an original idea.

“But what worries me today in politics, and more broadly, is we are all so disjointed from each other, getting a lot of news through Facebook feeds which are geared towards telling us stuff we already agree with. There is less and less confronted with difficult or uncomfortable questions made to make us think seriously about what developments around the corner are going to look and feel like.

Tomorrow Tonight talked about what’s around the corner in a serious but entertaining way.

“I’ve always liked Charlie’s work because there is an edge to it, and he puts in all the homework. He’s a very talented comedian but he does things for a reason.”

“I’m intrigued at looking again at things we thought we knew, through new eyes. I’ve always enjoyed bringing in politicians that people have one idea about and letting them see a different side of that person.

“I always love it after Kitchen Cabinet when people say, ‘You absolute arsehole, you made me like Christopher Pyne!'”

Crabb is guest host tonight on a female panel for Q&A, 9:35pm on ABC.

4 Responses

  1. I like the concept of Kitchen Cabinet as it was in the spirit of open-mindedness to view politicians from a different perspective. My favourite Annabel Crabb series is The House with Annabel Crabb, where she toured Parliament House in Canberra and showed Parliament House from a different perspective to what is seen on Parliament Question Time or what is publicly accessible.

  2. She is the epitome of a balanced journalist. I have absolutely no idea which way she votes.

    Her shows are always an insight into the real politician and it reflects her obvious curisity. Sure there is some clearly pre-package messages that pollies want to get across, but I get more out of her conversations than what I get out of political interviews.

    As a person who has seen mostly local and state politicians up close and personal outside of public events, it is something that I am aware of – most politicians are ordinary people working in an environment that would crush most mortal souls. I may not agree with them or hate what they do, but I wouldn’t want to do their job.

  3. Well she didn’t make me like Christopher Pyne. I was actually annoyed that she had him & Albo together. No we don’t like media doing puff pieces on the likes of Morrison & Dutton. We are quite revolted by it. We would rather the media do it’s job & expose them for who the really are.

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