Danger of Live TV is music to Julia Zemiro’s ears

Julia Zemiro clears up a notorious New Year's Eve broadcast, but still loves Live TV.

Julia Zemiro is a big fan of Live events having hosted Eurovision and Stargazing Live and a slew of theatre productions.

As she readies for Australia’s Biggest Singalong live for SBS she is reminded they aren’t without their dangers. But that’s also part of the appeal.

“You never hide it, you just go with it,” she tells TV Tonight.

“Famously, of course when I hosted New Year’s Eve (ABC 2015), at the end, I said ‘Thank God, we got through that!’ And everyone thought I said, ‘Thank God that’s over!’ That’s not what I said.

“It’s a very long night. Then you get to midnight, you’re think, ‘Yay, we’ve done the countdown!’ But they said, ‘Oh no, after 20 minutes of fireworks, we’re coming back to you!’ And I’m like, ‘Why?'” she recalls.

“So when they came back to us and (Toby Truslove) said, ‘Good night,’ I said ‘Thank God we got through that!’ But they just cut it out at ‘Thank God!

“The next day it was in the paper and I rang the producers to say I was sorry”

“The next day it was in the paper and I rang the producers to say I was sorry and they said ‘Who cares? We love the publicity!'”

For Australia’s Biggest Singalong she is joined by Miranda Tapsell at Sydney Town Hall. A Pub Choir team led by choirmaster Astrid Jorgensen will teach Australia how to sing Hunters and Collectors iconic anthem Throw Your Arms Around Me. Community choirs from around the country will also reflect on what singing means to them.

While Melbourne’s lockdown may naturally lead to more viewers it hasn’t derailed the broadcast or live crosses.

“It’s a fun family show that people can watch. Everyone can sit together and enjoy it, from grandparents to kids. The audience we will have at Sydney Town Hall of course will be socially distant to a degree, even though we’re okay so far in Sydney. Although now they have sites in Jervis Bay, bloody hell, who knows?” Zemiro continues.

“We’ll be crossing everywhere around the country from different choirs and I’m wondering if there might not be a special add-on with Melbourne. I’m not sure if one of our choirs is in Melbourne or in country Victoria.

“We have a crack hot team putting it together, just gagging to put on a live show!”

“Everyone was excited the show will be live because there aren’t that many. Even The Voice isn’t live anymore. As a performer I get excited to do a live show and we have a crack hot team just gagging to put on a live show!”

Also appearing are guests Dami Im with Auslan choir The Nepean CAPA Signing Choir, First Nations entertainer Mitch Tambo, country music stars Adam Eckersley and Brooke McClymont, The Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir live from Cairns, singer-songwriter Katie Noonan with the Sunshine Sounds Community Choir in a rendition of Sounds of Then (This Is Australia) by Gang Gajang.

“That’s still a happy place for me”

It also marks a welcome return to SBS for the much-loved RocKwiz host, still heavily identified with the broadcaster.

“One of the reasons I wanted to do this was that I really did want to be back doing something for them,” she explains.

“When you walk into those doors, I personally really love it. I feel like I see different faces, I hear different languages. That’s still a happy place for me. I think they do some of the best news coverage, best sports coverage, SBS On Demand is fabulous. I’ve always watched SBS since I was a kid, because if you speak another language at home, you do.

“So it’s quite thrilling.”

Australia’s Biggest Singalong! live Saturday 5 June at 8.30pm AEST on SBS (check local guides).

2 Responses

  1. I think Julia is very good at productions that she seems to enjoy being a part of, such as RocKwiz, Eurovision, Stargazing Live. There was an episode of Q&A where she struggled to give a reply about pay day loan legislation, and to be fair, hardly anyone knew about pay day loan legislation at that time because the industry came up suddenly and even the legislators couldn’t keep up.

    If you enjoy what you do and are comfortable the concept and content, it’s likely to work out well from the presenters or guests end. I think Australia’s Biggest Singalong! has a good chance of resonating with viewers. An interesting concept.

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