What I’ve Been Watching: Allan Raskall

Inimitable Nine News Melbourne reporter Allan Raksall is a fan of The Bold & The Beautiful, Dynasty & Dirty John. 

Inimitable Nine News Melbourne reporter Allan Raksall is fast becoming a cult figure for his distinctive new reporting style.

As he tells TV Tonight, his favourite shows include The Bold & The Beautiful, Dynasty and Dirty John.

Here’s what else is on his list…

What shows are on your must-see TV list lately?
AR: I’m a TV tragic…always glued to the box. When not consuming the latest news (I also make sure to watch what the other channels are doing with their bulletins) I’m watching a multitude of shows. Have just finished Season Two of Killing Eve, Season One of Little Birds, season two of Glow Up. I’ve started watching season two of Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story (loved season one). I also love things like Beauty and the Baker, the new version of Dynasty (loved the original 80’s super-soap and in recent years watched every episode again on DVD). And am addicted to all things RuPaul’s Drag Race Oh, and as a Real House Husband of Melbourne, I love the Real Housewives franchise – especially the Beverly Hills Version (hey, I’ve got the Rolls!).

How has lockdown affected your viewing?
AR: The answer to that is a definite YES! Due to lockdown I can no longer sip lattes with the South Yarra tennis Mums so am house-bound! There’s only so much gardening and car-washing I can do. So when not cleaning (under the rules, we can’t have our cleaner visit our home during lockdown) I am watching telly. As a result, the amount of hours I’m glued to the box has increased dramatically! My wife – Martine – has been working from home for around 5 months, so I can’t talk to her during business hours. The only other distraction I have is our new puppy – Willow – the Chinese Crested Powderpuff. We were fortunate enough to pick her up when restrictions eased briefly. She’s from South Australia so we drove to the border to collect her. She even had her own police escort!

Which guilty pleasure show are you reluctant to admit to watching?
AR: I know it’s on another network but I have been a Bold and the Beautiful fan since it started way back in the 80’s! In fact, I was watching it while home from uni when I was offered my first job at Nine News in Sydney. I cheekily joked with the then boss “don’t you know what time it is.. Bold and the Beautiful is on”. Fortunately he had a sense of humour and still offered me the job! I love Bold. No matter how long between watching episodes, the characters and story lines rarely change – much like my immovable “News hair”!

When you settle down for a night on the couch what are your ‘must-haves?’
AR: When plonking myself on the lounge I must ALWAYS have a drink nearby. It’s usually just a tea, coffee or Diet Coke. In these modern viewing times I also have my phone with me and constantly “Google” things that I might see on the box. For example, while watching Dirty John, I want to know the reported facts and how they are portrayed in a “docu-drama”. I check out actor profiles and ages and search for their “then and now” images! Oh, and I must also have some snacks at hand (as my waistline would prove). It’s usually chocolate!

What show you would secretly love to appear on?
AR: I’d shout it out proud…I’d love to be on Dynasty or Bold and Beautiful. I have the hair and I wear shoulder-pads each day in my news suits! Sadly the once-chiselled jaw-line is sagging with age and, much like my youth, the six-pack of my old modelling days has long gone! In the absence of being offered a gig on a “super-soap”, I’d love anything to do with so-called “shiny floor” television…anything with “variety”! After all, it’s the spice of life!

You’ve been reporting for many years but your recent presenting has taken a quite a detour and is certainly winning you new fans. How do you describe your new style and how did it come about?
AR: While hard news was my bread-and-butter for the bulk of my three decades in TV, now that I’m in my twilight years, I’ve moved into delivering lighter, more fun stories. I absolutely love it! News must always have authority and be serious, but I reckon in this modern viewing world “INFOTAINMENT” is also a must have. It’s been a LONG evolution transitioning from “hard” news to “colour stories”. I started adding a few fun elements to some of my stories. It seemed to resonate and I have been fortune enough to be allowed to take my stories in a whole new direction! When out and about “on the road”, viewers tell me they love the stories – which is lovely and always better than being told “bugger-off media scum”! I guess I’ve always had the ability to make people laugh with stories. But I think if you do it when you are too young you might be considered a bit of a smart-alec! Now I’m 50, audiences are more forgiving as I guess I come across more like an old “Uncle Arthur”! (** People of a certain age will no doubt remember that character from the old Comedy Company!.. which not only proves my vintage.. but also my long love of TV!)

Nine News Melbourne airs 6pm daily on Nine.

9 Responses

  1. It’s great that TV still gives room to some presenters unafraid to show a bit of personality and Allan certainly has that. It’s important to have light and shade in TV news – even or maybe more during these fairly dark days – and it comes across in his interview here too!

    Someone else who is great at the lighter-side-of-life type of reports is Seven News Melbourne’s Paul Dowsley – though he’s equally adept at hard news stories, which is mainly what they seem to be using him for at the moment.

  2. Another reporter having a bit of fun with a story, like Mark Aiston, and more recently Mike Dalton. These guys bring a bit of humour and are the ones often wheeled out for the cute animal stories, Melbourne Cup and the unusual overseas celebs.

  3. I don’t know who this guy is (not being in Melbourne), but that was a very entertaining read. I suspect he’d be a hoot to have a drink or two with! Oh, and…finally…another grown man who’s hooked on Dynasty!!

    1. I must admit that following the shows he said he was into, I also raised an eyebrow when a female partner was mentioned. That’ll teach me to be so judgey. It’s a good thing that we live in an environment where he can be out and proud about the shows he enjoys when they don’t align with typical ‘stereotypes’. More power to him.

      1. As a hetero male who can’t stand football and enjoys similar programming, it is great to live in an era where you can be yourself and not have to put on a masculine facade to fit in. Ridiculous that some in the gay community think that his style “appropriates gay culture”. Let’s keep busting those stereotypes.

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