Sam Mac is pumped to be nominated for the Gold Logie.
“I’m a TV nerd. I’ve grown up watching it and I’m thrilled to be a part of it!” he tells TV Tonight.
Indeed, the artist formerly known as Sam MacMillan (a radio host told him to shorten it), made his start at Community TV in Adelaide.
“I hosted from my single bed with a studio audience in my lounge room, with comedy sketches, vox pops, musical parodies. A lot of similar stuff to what I’m doing now but not as good or with as much of a budget.”
Before he became the Sunrise weather guy in 2016, Mac was part of The Project and the short-lived Wake-Up on 10.
But not even he expected to be centrestage for a Gold Logie campaign mounted by those within Sunrise. After all, he’s not the host of the show.
“I was told to just come into Martin Place and they would do the weather crosses from there but I got in there and they had pulled together a full campaign. There were staff members with t-shirts with my face, Vote 1 Sam Mac for Gold posters, and a slogan ‘Mac the Logies Great Again!’ Nikki Webster, who I recorded a song with, was singing…” he laughs.
“I was a bit bamboozled by it, but just ran with it. But it was just one morning, so I took it as a nice compliment. Then I found out I was nominated so it was a huge surprise.”
The Seven network’s hopes for glory are now resting on his shoulders. But in his trademark cheeky style, he rejects suggestions that makes him the most popular person on the network.
“I think we all know the most popular will always be the Cash Cow. Everywhere we go the first question is ‘Is the Cash Cow coming today? What’s the Code Word?’ I know my place and it’s well below the Cash Cow,” he insists.
Still, nothing is being left to chance with Mac criss-crossing the country all week, appearing in a different city every day, while still being careful to not take it too seriously.
“Australians typically don’t like anyone getting too big for their boots or getting on their high horse. That’s part of the Australian mentality. You shouldn’t take it too seriously, but at the same time you should respect that some of the best entertainers in the country -Bert Newton, Shaun Micallef- have been a part of it.
“We should celebrate the industry, not just those on-air but producers, teams who put shows together for audiences.”
1. How important is winning a Logie award?
SM: My mum is ….. ‘disappointed’ is a strong word….. but disappointed that I haven’t given her grandchildren or a wedding day. So if I can do something in this realm she might think her son is not actually a failure.
2. What was the TV highlight of your year?
SM: The Real Full Monty. It was fun, not smutty, and most importantly it was a show about men’s health. Not just tokenistic, but the response we had was that a lot of people went to the doctor to get checked. And my connection to it was mental health. I had about 1000 messages from people saying thank-you or from people who had been struggling with mental health.
3. Aside from yourself, who is your tip to win and why?
SM: I love Amanda Keller. I know her personally and I’ve always enjoyed her company. She’s such a versatile, talented performer who can be wickedly funny. But she also has a warmth about her that a lot of performers lack. She’s consistently delivered a high quality of entertainment for a number of years.
4. If you win, where will you put your Gold Logie?
SM: I’d do something understated and wear it around my neck like Flavour Flav, the rapper, used to wear large clocks around his neck. Andy Lee once used a Logie to get into a nightclub, so they do have a purpose! And Scott Cam turned his into a bottle opener. The possibilities are endless.
5. Why should viewers vote for you?
SM: A vote for me is a vote for everyday Australians. I actually visit people at their cricket clubs, schools, workplaces and houses. All of the other contenders are in their ivory towers and studios, in perfectly-lit rooms and teams of make-up assistants! I’m the real Aussie battler, on the ground, doing the hard yards. I’ve probably been to your town, and I’ll probably visit it again and talk about it on the telly. I’m getting in touch with real Australia and this is their chance to Mac the Logies Great Again.
Voting in the 2019 Logie Awards is open until 7:30pm AEST Sunday June 30.