We’ve lost a good one. And when we say “we”, we don’t just mean “we” of the journalistic fraternity but we the Australian public.
We could sum Harves up in as many words as the internet can hold, but the three words in the headline say it all. When he signed off with his dulcet “Peter Harvey, Canberra”, it was a sign that you’d just heard a report you could trust. No doubt it had been a story colourfully told too.
Our thoughts this evening are with Harvey’s family, including his daughter and our News Ltd colleague Claire Harvey. We welcome you to leave your thoughts below, and you can also read more about Peter Harvey at news.com.au.
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Not a fan of Eddie McGuire? Throw a shoe at the TV every time you hear Today Show’s Richard Reid? Wonder just who is watching Big Brother for the eighth, no wait, ninth time around?
You’re not alone. We all have things we love to hate about Channel Nine, none more so than the list of talent and programs. Excess Baggage anyone?
But the current hot water Channel Nine finds itself in has nothing to do with who hosts the Logies or what Karl Stefanovic does at the after party.
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Something beautiful happened last night on Channel Nine. On Big Brother, a guy called Josh Moore whose brother died unexpectedly this week, exited the house with grace, poise and sheer gentlemanly class.
In a week when our TV screens have been filled with 50 year olds carrying on like the proverbial pork chops in a large House in Canberra, how ironic that it should take a bunch of 20 year olds in a large house on the Gold Coast to remind us that Australians can be decent, warm-spirited people.
Normally Big Brother is unwatchable. It is hour after hour of ineducable dullards lolling about dry humping, cooking inedible food and generally having the sort of meaningless, circular conversations worthy of stoners. But last night it rose several levels above all that.
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Yesterday’s $1.025 billion NRL TV rights deal represents a seismic shift in the battle for football code supremacy. For all the AFL development officers converting the heathens in Western Sydney, rugby league is still officially the dominant code in two of Australia’s three most populous states.
Channel Nine must now totally revamp its TV coverage to ensure it does its bit to keep the game popular.
There was a solid blowup yesterday by Nine boss David Gyngell over complaints that Nine will delay telecasts of some of its three weekly games under the new deal, as it does now. That was a sideshow, and Gyngell was right to defend his commercial turf. But that doesn’t mean Nine can sit back and change nothing. In fact, they pretty much need to change everything.
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Yeah no, look, you’ve got to take these things one day at a time, but Channel Nine’s epic, iconic Clichélympics journey is right on track for gold.
Never mind the disappointing London results of Australian athletes. There are only 22 million of us Aussies and we usually punch above our weight in the world, but it’s swings and roundabouts, the results are on the scoreboard, and we’ll just have to take our lack of gold in our stride.
At any rate, Channel Nine has taken up the slack and stepped up to the plate. The Olympic broadcaster is making a concerted bid for a new Clichélympics PB. And isn’t that all you can ask of anyone at the Games – that they do their best?
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In surprising and disturbing news, it is becoming apparent that an Australian athlete’s appearance in a Telco ad is no guarantee of a London Olympic medal. Worse, it seems other nations have also turned up to compete.
In all seriousness, we’re five days into this thing now, and it’s getting to that point where minor annoyances are becoming irritating, and irritating things are becoming completely intolerable.
Like these things…
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Does Grant Hackett deserve sympathy and forgiveness? Or does he deserve an Oscar – or probably at best a Logie – for his supposed “tell-all” interview with 60 Minutes? An interview conducted by the same network which has a commercial interest in facilitating his rehabilitation, given the criticisms Nine faced for keeping the troubled former Olympian on its commentary team for the London Games?
Nine has endured a public relations crisis since photographs emerged of the impromptu renovations which Hackett, five bottles of wine under his belt, conducted last year on the Southbank apartment he shared with his now estranged wife Candice Alley and their children.
Westpac immediately downgraded Hackett’s role as brand ambassador to behind the scenes “executive”. The bank rightly sensed that the remarkable photographs would galvanise public opinion against Hackett. With the up-ended grand piano, the over-sized couches tossed across the room, the broken mirrors and glassware, the images told a story of a bloke who has some pretty massive issues, to say the least.
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UH-OH. You looked into Seal’s eyes, didn’t you. Rookie mistake.
It’s OK, you’re not alone. On Sunday night, while pretending to read my iPad, I noticed The Voice on in the background. It wasn’t long before the background became the foreground, and I regressed into a teenage girl.
On Monday, I accidentally emailed this confession to the entire News Limited online network, after a video explaining how The Voice operates was prepared by a news.com.au journalist:
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The yips. It’s an old golf term which refers to golfers who lose the ability to putt. They stand over the ball and they tremble. They quake. They can barely hold the damn club, let alone propel the ball into a hole that suddenly appears the size of a thimble.
The term has since migrated across to other sports. Beijing gold medallist Steve Hooker today admitted that he has the pole vault yips. He just can’t place that pole in the right spot anymore, and his London campaign is in severe jeopardy.
If it’s any consolation Steve, you’re not the only person struggling to get your mojo back. Several other prominent Australians across all walks of life have totally lost the ability to do the thing they were once pretty good at. Here are five more prominent cases of the Yips. The Punch heartily invites more suggestions from you.
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I have something of a man-crush on Karl Stefanovic. Like my addiction to surfing animal-attack videos on YouTube, I’ve taken to stalking the Gold Logie winner’s career with morbid fascination.
The Today Show host is an anomaly in the news world. You don’t know how he survives, let alone thrives, but he does.
What other Australian television personality, let alone journalist, can drunkenly ogle his co-host on breakfast primetime, then go on to win a Gold Logie two years later? And then, when he wins that Logie, include his wife’s arse in the acceptance speech?
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Ant Sharwood says: Karl strikes the right chord
Mornings are busy at my place. Brekky, early Punch work with the laptop, school lunches to make, whingey kids, the double dropoff, you name it. As you can imagine, there’s not a lot of time for brekky telly. In fact, it’s banned.
So obviously, I’m hardly the best person to judge Karl Stefanovic. I don’t think I’ve ever actually watched more than five minutes of Today. But just as most people judge politicians on fleeting impressions, Karl has always impressed me when he’s flickered across my radar.
I like Karl. He’s homey without being dumb. He’s intelligent without being a know-it-all. Tough balance to strike, that.
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Here’s a simple statistic that TV executives are happy you didn’t know. Back in the 1980s the population of Australia was about 14 million. A good TV show would rate about 5 million viewers. Fast forward to 2011. Australia’s population has grown to 20 million and TV execs are dancing on their mini-bars if their show attracts over 1.2 million viewers.
The population has doubled, the viewers have halved. The maths is not good. “Masterchef” peaked last year with over 3.5 million viewers. Proportionally, based on 1980’s viewing habits, Masterchef should have rated nine million viewers.
The velocity of the decline is increasing. For an industry that was once a sizable chunk of the life and breath of Australian culture, the Australian free TV industry is “circling the drain”. That’s cop show talk for dying.
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Did you happen the see the viral video of Channel Nine’s ‘apology’ for using a watermark in its story on Brian McFadden’s aeroplane antics? They said sorry for forcing Channel Seven to blur a significant portion of the images it unflinchingly lifted from Nine.
Funny, wasn’t it? In that sort of immature Funniest Home Videos guy-getting-hit-in-the-groin kind of way. How pathetic. How childish. How fitting.
This is the era we live in. Missed last night’s Masterchef? Don’t worry, you can see it broken down play-by-play on ACA or Today Tonight. Ten may have paid something in the vicinity of $70 million for the rights, but the other networks are showing it for free. Well, except for however much it costs to blur out that annoying bug in the corner.
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It’s the worst part of being a working journalist. Those times you approach people for their story, when they’ve been through the most terrible time of their lives.
I’d love it if every story was just the opposite. And mostly they are on 60 Minutes. This week I’ve finished writing stories on adorable animals, a very successful businessman, a surprising health advance, and a man who risked his life in a war.
But last week, my focus was on the Keep family who lost their 2 year old daughter, and both her Grandmothers, when their house literally was ripped open in the Grantham flood.
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Richie’s the greatest. Let’s get that out of the way from the top.
But while Benaud’s velvety tones are still gracing the Nine commentary box during the one-dayers, his opposite, the mildly maniacal Bill Lawry has been resting since the Tests. And I miss him.
Bill is the yin to Richie’s yang. He is the Bruce Willis action flick to Richie’s SBS French drama. If Richie is Eine kleine Nachtmusik, Bill is The 1812 Overture, or maybe even Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries.
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Whether on the cricket field or at the poker table, Shane Warne has never been short of swagger. But last night, in the debut of his chat show “Warnie”, his customary strut was largely missing.
That’s not being harsh. Warne himself admitted “I’ve never been as nervous” at the start of the show. Then at the end, in an out-of-character plea for approval, he asked the studio audience “Did you all enjoy it? Did you have fun?”
For the record, there was indeed fun and enjoyment to be had. But only in patches. The Sheik Of Tweak didn’t reek. But he wasn’t brilliant, either. Let’s break down a few of the main segments in no particular order.
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There’s been a curious role reversal between Channel 10 and Channel Nine in the past 5 years or so, made even more compelling with James Packer’s new 18 percent stake in 10.
The networks used to be opposites of the TV spectrum – Nine the heavy-weights in both budget and exposure – Ten the cut-price youngsters. Nine had a stable of headline stars. Ten was a quiet achiever. Nine had a formidable newsroom of senior journalists. Ten had a bunch of bright, hungry 20-somethings.
Then they started morphing into each other. Nine began carving away the newsroom budget, chunk by chunk. A lot of fat was shed, then a bit more. Young, ambitious 20-somethings started to feature in the 6pm line up. The tone changed from stable, solid (and sometimes predictable) to a more American, flashy, invigorated product.
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When the Nine Network announced during the week that former Labor leader Mark Latham was working with 60 Minutes on election campaign coverage, a spokesman said he was there to give his insight and insisted it was “not a square-up or an exercise in character assassination”.
Really? He certainly “squared up” to Julia Gillard when he barged at her at the Ekka Show in Brisbane and gave her what one newspaper called “the handshake from hell” before unleashing a spray (complete with finger wagging) over ALP objections to his involvement with the Nine Network.
Now the network’s chief executive, David Gyngell, has called the Prime Minister to apologise for the incident. On ABC TV’s Insiders this morning Julia Gillard made it clear she was annoyed by it, but Latham is still lurking around and his work as a commentator by a major national network is contributing to the continuing spiral of campaign distractions being driven by former Labor leaders.
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Hey hey it’s almost polling day. And in this shameless orgy of self-promotion and vote-grabbing, Tony Abbott has shot to the front of the pack with Channel Nine revealing he’s going to be a guest judge on the Red Faces segment tomorrow night.
The program which made headlines for all the wrong reasons last year with an ill-conceived black face sketch involving the Jackson Five has now secured the services of the alternative prime minister to wield the gong on its talent spot.
The Punch thinks Tony Abbott should go one further and come up with his own routine. What would you like to see him do? And more’s the point, what do you think of politicians using these types of programs to sell themselves to the voters?
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Were you one of the 637,000 or so people who watched Hey Hey it’s Saturday this week? No? How about one of the 800,100 who watched it the week before?
If you were, then watch it while you can. It’s a primetime show that is taking up two hours worth of scheduling, and ranking 60th in the week’s rating list. A show can only haemorrhage viewers like that for so long.
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Darryl Sommers’ voice will forever remind me of the green tiles in my childhood bathroom and the smell of eye-shadow.
Because the last time I watched “Hey Hey It’s Saturday” I was as a 10 or 12 year old girl, sitting on the edge of the bathtub, watching my mum getting ready to go out with the television playing in the background.
Actually come to think of it even when my parents weren’t going out on a Saturday night we’d still watch the show.
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