Of the 7 Gold Logie nominees Waleed Aly is the only one to already be a proud recipient, having won in 2016.
But he while he is convinced that will count against him (“But that’s fair enough”) he struggles to fit with TV’s ‘night of nights’ despite its importance as industry recognition.
“I remember the first time feeling like I had shown up to the wrong party. But I also remember having a lot more fun than I expected.
“I get that the show can benefit and the network. I certainly don’t want to convey an impression that I’m above it. It’s not like that at all. It’s just a matter of where people naturally fit in,” he tells TV Tonight.
“I’m not a red carpet beast. It’s not my natural habitat to do that kind of stuff.
“But it’s usually an enjoyable night one way or another.”
Aly’s win was widely seen as a vote for diversity on television, and he acknowledges it was important for an unrepresented audience.
“There were people out there watching TV and hadn’t really seen themselves reflected, or saw me there and took something hopeful from that. The fact that I could win a popular vote award made a big statement to them,” he continues.
“Which is very flattering but also kind of tragic that there aren’t more people they can start that conversation with.
“It attributed a kind of ‘status’ to me in television, I think. Only temporarily. I don’t know if it lasts forever! It was nice, a kind of recognition I guess.
“But my approach has always been to do the job that’s in front of me the best that I can.
“Nobody around here cares that I won the Gold Logie. They care that I’m ready for the next interview. That’s the stuff that matters day to day. Respecting my colleagues maters a lot to me, so I need to make sure I’m doing the right thing by them.”
Next month The Project will make 10 years on air, a formidable achievement given there were many in its first year on air calling on 10 to dump the show over low ratings. Now it is a defining brand for the network.
“It’s an amazing achievement, when you stop and think about what the show is and how unlike anything else it is. And how little sense it makes on paper,” he reflects.
“It’s got to this point with some momentum, it doesn’t feel like it’s sputtering to the line. But it’s an achievement I can’t lay claim to because the platform that was set at the start was pretty remarkable and against so many odds. It was a difficult start but they pushed all the way through that first summer.
“I can’t think of any other show that can tell that story.”
1. How important is winning a Logie?
WA: Winning the Logie is lovely but what’s more important is how I win. It’s the work that I do to win it rather than the mere fact that I win it.
2. What was the highlight of your TV year?
WA: This gets me into difficult territory because I invariably end up having to talk about Christchurch and I don’t really want to do that….it was such a big story… it’s all still pretty raw but clearly the most significant thing that has happened in the last 12 months as far as my broadcasting is concerned.
3. Aside from yourself, who is your tip to win and why?
WA: Either Amanda or Tom. I think I will say Amanda. You know you can just feel it in the air? I don’t know if I am breathing the wrong air or not but I just have that feeling, especially after last year. I certainly think it’s deserved.
4. If you win, where will you put your Gold Logie?
Wherever my wife puts it. She put the last one in the linen cupboard. You can’t have it on display. It’s not the kind of thing you want to be looking at it every day….. Susan’s happy for it to be somewhere where I’m not going to see it regularly.
5. Why should viewers vote for you?
They should vote for whoever they are inclined towards. I’ve never asked for a vote, I’m not about to start. I don’t have a social media account, I haven’t campaigned for this before. I can’t see how I would start now. I take the nomination as a compliment.
Voting in the 2019 Logie Awards is open until 7:30pm AEST Sunday June 30.