By James Manning
Is it really the fourth season of Australian Ninja Warrior already? The format burst onto Nine screens in July 2017 with an average audience of a remarkable 1.79m.
Hosted by Nine’s Rebecca Maddern and Ben Fordham, subsequent series then returned with audiences averaging around 1m in the following two seasons. The audience numbers had dropped since launch, but by today’s standards they are still huge.
Next Sunday season four launches from producer Endemol Shine Australia and the show’s new home is the Melbourne Showgrounds facility, the format’s third home in three years.
Co-host Ben Fordham has been super busy the past few months, hosting drive radio for 2GB, recording the new season of Ninja Warrior Australia and then moving into his new radio timeslot at 2GB.
Fordham told Mediaweek his new breakfast radio commitment doesn’t impact on his TV work at Nine. “I have always managed to have a balance between radio and TV and that will continue. I am still contracted to Channel Nine for some time. As to what I do for them, that is up to Hugh Marks and Darren Wick at Nine.”
In the past Ninja Warrior has been filmed at the end of the year before it screened. However this year the series was in a new location at the and was scheduled for the first few months of 2020. “We filmed right in the middle of the Coronavirus lockdown,” said Fordham.
“As the country was starting its lockdown, we were hitting record. I was in Melbourne preparing for filming to start, with a plan to commute back and forward to Sydney during the filming. My wife Jodie said to me she didn’t want me flying back and forth. I felt I needed to come home to see the family and not be stuck in Melbourne for a couple of weeks. She though it just too risky to fly unnecessarily. Shortly after domestic travel was banned and I was stuck in Melbourne for a few weeks.
“Because there has been a lack of live sport this year I think there will be a real appetite for it when Ninja Warrior hits the screens.”
The format has been changed significantly this year with Ninja Warriors racing side by side around the course. Fordham: “At the end of every episode, the fastest two Ninja’s go head-to-head. In the past we have only seen Ninja’s racing the clock so this will be good because you get to see the best two each night. From a commentary point of view it meant a change. Commentators I know said it would be a challenge because it is one thing to look at one Ninja, now you have to watch two and work out who’s in front.”
Fordham is convinced this year will offer much for the family audience Nine gets for the format. “The Ninja showdown each episode is compelling viewing.”
He also had a message about the series climax. “I think there is a very strong chance this is the year that we are going to see someone have a crack at Mount Midoriyama. Something that hasn’t happened so far. All the Ninjas have trained so hard for that so it is only a matter of time, and don’t be surprised if that time arrives pretty soon.”
As to other Nine roles for himself this year, Fordham doesn’t expect anything else in the immediate future.
“Nine has been very supportive of me and they have taken the view that because the TV and radio are now part of the one big business, they know the importance of 2GB breakfast. They have told me that anything they can do to take the pressure off at the TV end they will do.”
The focus for now will be on Ninja, with Nine and Fordham doing their best to promote the mid-year ratings hit and making sure it gets away well this year too. Especially as this year it faces new competition from Seven’s Farmer Wats a Wife.
“I am a presenter and reporter for hire at Nine. They know on election night I will be there. If they want to me turn up on any program to comment or do bits and pieces I am available.”
Fordham and his 2GB team collaborate often with Nine, sharing stories that make good TV and TV items that equally will work on radio too. “There are real benefits in being one big business as we both share phone numbers and addresses when it make sense. There are now so many opportunities to share stories.”
The MasterChef Australia Back To Win has named a winner with Emelia Jackson coming out of the finale as the champion, on the second half of the MasterChef Grand Finale on 10.
After months of challenges, it came down to Laura and Emelia (who both competed in season six and are close friends) in the Finale. They were both welcomed to the kitchen by former contestants and the judges as they prepared for their final challenge.
To win the trophy and $250,000 they had four hours to prepare a three-course meal of entrée, main and dessert for the judges and former contestants; over 60 plates of food.
Cake maker Emelia was daunted by Laura’s service experience running a restaurant and decided to go down the classic route with her French- inspired and technique-driven menu.
Her menu began with a light entrée of scallops, turnip and apple, a heavier main with beef short rib, crumbed and fried, plus onion with a Szechuan pepper sauce. For dessert, a pistachio financier, pistachio mousse, Davidson Plum and raspberry sorbet and meringue.
Laura’s menu had a native Australian ingredient theme. Her entrée was seared bonito with lilly pilly and fried saltbush, main was pork loin with muntries and three sauces, and she planned to finish with an adventurous dessert featuring Jerusalem artichoke and cumquat.
With three hours to go, Emelia discovered her beef short ribs weren’t cooked, which threw her plans completely out the window. She needed the stock inside the pressure cookers for the pepper sauce and the beef itself. After setting them to cook for an additional 20 minutes, they still weren’t cooked and Andy suggested she might need to consider a plan B of a quicker cooking primary cut of meat. When she finally released the pressure cookers, her risk had paid off, but she found herself racing against the clock to crumb and fry her beef to make it on time for service.
Laura with so much on the go at once juggled to take a pan of Jerusalem artichoke caramel off the stove, which had its handle over the pork rendering and accidentally grabbed it with her bare hand. The burn was instant and excruciating. She called for the nurse but managed to get the pork off the heat before having her hand treated. She had to carry on largely one-handed.
Pushing through the pain, Laura made it to service and plated up a beautiful entrée. The judges were impressed with the sophistication of the seared bonito with smoked fish emulsion eats with perfectly balanced native ingredients she had cleverly used as seasoning, including the lilly pillies, saltbush and Geraldton wax oil.
Emelia’s entrée also had a flawless tasting, it was bright, acidic and elegant, having used the lathe to create ribbons of pickled turnip and fresh apple and perfectly searing the scallops on one side. Pressing on with her main, she had to compromise by cooling the beef down in a blast chiller rather than in the pressure cooker and worried it was too dry. She raced through the crumbing and frying but the tasting went well. The beef was perfectly moist, and the stand-out was the complex pepper sauce.
Laura was worried her burnt hand had distracted her from the pork and she may have overcooked it, but the internal temperature was perfect and the pork was blushing pink when sliced. The triple sauce combination of thyme, masala and sage was challenging for the palette but in a good way.
Emelia took the French tradition of a financier to the next level, surrounding it with pistachio mousse and a white chocolate pistachio coating. The memory of coming third in season six after her dessert was out of balance is inescapable and she worried that it could happen again because the pistachio components were very rich and needed the sour Davidson plum and raspberry to balance it out.
Laura took a huge risk with her unusual savoury dessert by using Jerusalem artichoke in her gelato, caramel and crispy skin and pairing it with cumquat gel. When an unexpected beeping came from her freezer she realised the door had been open, but couldn’t be sure for how long. She hoped the gelato hadn’t been compromised and pushed through with the final touch for her adventurous dessert, adding a chocolate crunch with wattleseed.
Having reached their verdict the judges commended Laura and Emelia on having cooked a three-course meal worthy of the Grand Finale, with nothing splitting their entrée and main dishes.
Melissa said that before the desserts arrived there was nothing in it, so this course was the one that ultimately decided the winner.
Laura was praised for her combination of Jerusalem artichoke and cumquat that was strange to behold at first, but delicious to eat with delicately balanced flavours that Laura is known for. Though Emelia’s classic flavours of pistachio and raspberry were much more familiar, they were equally as delicious and well balanced.
Acknowledging that it was always going to be the smallest of things that would decide the winner, Melissa delivered the final verdict: “Laura, your gelato and crumb had some textural issues; Emelia, your dish had none and that’s why Emelia you are the winner of MasterChef Back To Win.”
Emelia left the competition holding the MasterChef Australia trophy and a cash prize of $250,000 while Laura received a cash prize of $30,000.
Network 10 has announced the pint-sized series Junior MasterChef Australia will return with three familiar faces in 2020.
Jock Zonfrillo, Melissa Leong and Andy Allen are returning to the MasterChef kitchen as judges for a show that will showcase and celebrate the best and brightest young cooks Australia has to offer.
Judge Melissa Leong said: “We are so thrilled to be bringing Junior MasterChef Australia to life very soon. To be showcasing a generation of kids who have grown up with the show and who have literally been cooking for most of their lives, you know this is going to be spectacular.
“Jock, Andy and I are very excited to meet our incredible little cooks, and to see what the next generation has in store.”
Talented cooks across the country aged between nine and 14 will try their luck and test their culinary skills in the MasterChef kitchen, as they aim to impress the three judges who joined the MasterChef franchise earlier this year.
Network 10 head of drama and executive production, Rick Maier, said: “It’s been nine years since we last heard the rattle of pots and pans with brilliant young Australians at the pass. High time for a recall, we think – especially at a time when families are sharing more and more adventures in the kitchen together.
“With Melissa, Jock and Andy in charge, we’re all looking forward to discovering the next generation of Pohs, Reynolds and Callums. Their time starts now.”
• Tim Ross amongst the presenters on new Shelter streaming platform
Shelter is the name of a new curated global streaming platform for architecture, design, lifestyle and outdoor living content which launches on July 31. The platform brings together quality films, television series and the exclusive Shelter Originals: Inspired Architecture series. Shelter has partnered with global magazines Design Anthology and Green Magazine among others, to host and present premium video content from these distinctive international brands.
Shelter creator Dustin Clare said: “Design is at the centre of our lives – from our homes and environment, to our aspirations, our holidays and our escapes, and there are so many films and TV series which explore our relationship to our space. With a passionate audience for this genre Shelter was created as the premium home of quality curated video content.
“The reality of lockdown has made us re-examine our connection to home, our immediate environment, and the world around us. Through Shelter, we invite you to explore, be inspired, be entertained and engrossed, and most of all, be engaged with the world of architecture, design, lifestyle and outdoor living.
“With a genuine focus on sustainability content on our platform we have partnered with Eden Reforestation Projects, a non-profit org established to reduce poverty and restore healthy forests in countries devastated by deforestation. Each month a tree will be planted to represent every subscriber, with a view to us and each of our subscribers planting many thousands of trees where they are most needed,” he said.
Clare said the interactive cross-platform approach to content marks a new standard for streaming platforms, delivering a range of ‘must-watch’ options from feature length films to television series, snackable short series and premium magazine content.
The carousel encompasses stories of inspiring design and architecture, a deep dive into sustainability, history, and real life aspirational stories, and features famous faces including Charlie Luxton, Dermot Bannon, Tim Ross, Sarah Beeney and more.
One of Shelter’s exclusive offerings is its Inspired Architecture Series. These 6 x 15 minute episodes commissioned by Shelter explore six uniquely Australian structures including JR’s Hut in Gundagai, Permanent Camping in Mudgee and Hart House at Great Mackerel Beach. All in their own way inspirational and isolated, the series explores the narrative of the buildings and their creators, and draws the viewer into an active exploration of modern architecture and design. Each episode includes interviews with the Architects and their commissioning clients, cinematically shot and crafted by award-winning filmmaker Jim Lounsbury (The Meaning of Vanlife, The Infinite Lens).
Curated from Australia, New Zealand, Europe, United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, United States and South America, Shelter will feature more than 200 hours of content available July 31, with new content to be added every month. Highlights available from July 31 include:
• Festival favourite Tadao Ando: From Emptiness to Infinity (2013) pays homage to one of the world’s most renowned architects: the Japanese ‘Master of Minimalism’ Tadao Ando. The film introduces viewers to his famous buildings and offers an exclusive look into his work process, inspiration and motivations.
• Winner of Best Documentary at the Atlas Awards International Film Festival, Don Freeman’s Art House (2016) is a film which thoughtfully explores the homes of eleven creatives and examines the integration of their craft with their living spaces including the labyrinthine sculptural home @eliphante.village , hand crafted by Michael Kahn and Leda Livant over the 28 year period of their relationship, beginning in 1979.
• Winner of the Green Planet Award at the Rhode Island International Film Festival Tiny (2013) is a film about dreaming big and living small. Many are now choosing to focus on flexibility, financial freedom, and quality of life over quantity of space. These self-proclaimed “Tiny Housers” live in homes smaller than the average parking space, often built on wheels to bypass building codes and zoning laws. Tiny takes viewers inside six of these homes stripped to their essentials, exploring the owners’ stories and the design innovations that make them work.
• The documentary film Do More With Less (Hacer Mucho Con Poco) (2017) explores the new wave of architecture being developed by contemporary Ecuadorian designers in South America, with creative new ways of existing in the post-financial crisis world. The film is an inspiring look at the future of architecture and the potential for an alternative economic model to exist – one characterised by social, economic and environmental awareness.
• Harry Seidler: Modernist (2017), a retrospective celebration of the life and work of Australia’s most controversial architect. Sixty years of work is showcased through sumptuous photography and interviews with leading architects from around the world.
• The Edge of the Possible (1998) charts the dramatic course of the creation of a masterpiece and includes a rare interview with Jørn Utzon as he reflects on his role in the compelling story of the conception and construction of the Sydney Opera House
• TV series Charlie Luxton’s Homes by the Sea follows architectural designer and television presenter @charlierluxton as he travels along Britain’s stunning coastline in search of the most outstanding coastal architecture he can find.
• Streets of Your Town (2015) with comedian, broadcaster and architecture enthusiast Tim Ross. A two-part series focusing on the aesthetics of our suburbs.
Shelter: the deal
• New content launched each month.
• 14 day free trial available
Download the Shelter app for iOS and Android from 31 July or watch online.
The 12th series sees the popular Australian households return to the couch to review the best and worst of 2020’s newest television programs.
Returning are Happily married couple Lee and Keith, Greek best friends Anastasia and Faye, close-knit family The Daltons, women in the Silbery Family and the fun-loving Delpechitra family, Indigenous Art dealers Mick and Di, new parents Matty and Sarah Marie and “uncle” Jad, brother and sister foodies Tim and Leanne, flatmates and Milo and Nic, modern day Aussie gals Kaday and Chantel and the Sydney clan of five, the Elias family.
Gogglebox Australia is an Endemol Shine Australia production for Foxtel and Network 10.
By Trent Thomas
The Australian box office is continuing to move sideways as it slowly recovers from the COVID-19 lockdown as it once again registered a 1% weekly decline after bringing in a total of $1.86m.
The good news is that two new releases have made the top five over the weekend, including a new #1 in The King of Staten Island.
Judd Apatow‘s latest project see’s him teaming up with Pete Davidson who is starring in his biggest vehicle yet off the back being a main cast member on Saturday Night Live and a much-publicised engagement with Ariana Grande. The film is considered semi-autobiographical based on Davidson’s life including losing his firefighter father during 9-11 and struggling with depression. In its first week of release, the film averaged $2,049 on 163 screens.
After 23 weeks of release Sonic the Hedgehog finds itself again in the top five, thanks in large part to the unique post COVID-19 state the industry finds itself in. The film’s total now sits at $13.58m after averaging $1,260 on 172 screens.
The second new release to join the top five this week is the horror film Follow Me. The film follows a social media personality who goes to Moscow for new content, which sees him pushing the limits and entering a world of danger. The horror film averaged $1,343 on 153 screens.
The South Korean animation has made its three weeks in the top five after averaging $1,188 on 161 screens.
The reimagining fo the Charles Dickens classic has spent three weeks in the top five since its release and was the most screened film in the country this past weekend shown on 232 screens averaging $677.
By James Manning
• MasterChef delivers 10 winning recipe as Emilia takes the title
• 10 records best share and biggest audience of 2020
• MasterChef biggest entertainment crowd of 2020, biggest since 2016
Seven News 1,210,000/1,161,000
Nine News 1,154,000/1,112,000
ABC News 883,000
A Current Affair 769,000
The Project 373,000/677,000
10 News 428,000/293,000
Nine News Late Edition 256,000
The Drum 232,000
News Breakfast 223,000
SBS World News 187,000
Seven: Home and Away returned with 649,000 after a week 29 average of 667,000.
Big Brother was on 712,000 after 723,000 a week ago. The top five faced not one but two big challenges to determine who would be up for eviction. Sophie’s return to the game came at a cost and she started tonight’s two challenges with a disadvantage, while Mat’s carry over power from the last challenge meant he would get two votes at the next eviction if he was voting and one vote if he was nominated. Sarah was first to drop out of the first challenge meaning she was automatically up for eviction. Tonight the penultimate episode will decide the top three who will feature in the final on Wednesday.
Nine: With The Voice over and Nine’s next major franchise Ninja Warrior not starting until Sunday the network counted on the British Royal Family last night, much in the same way SBS does on Mondays!
A Current Affair followed the news with 769,000 after a week 20 average of 750,000.
Fergie and Andrew featured some pretty familiar footage but still managed 469,000. That wasn’t a terrible number, but it did rank fourth in the timeslot.
The Royals: A Family in Crisis followed with 366,000.
Earlier in the day Today had its best audience in six weeks and was a winner along the east coast capitals.
10: Network 10 and its primary channel had their best night of the year ranking #1 in both measures.
The Project did a big number – 677,000 – thanks in part to the appearance of Reynold who failed to make the MasterChef final during the cook on Sunday night.
Then MasterChef delivered what it had to do. The format is the biggest property on 10 and the series finale should have delivered the biggest ratings and audience of the year and that is exactly what it did.
The MasterChef: Back to Win finale started with 1,261,000 and then climbed to 1,523,000 when Emilia was announced the winner. Lots of talking points for viewers along the way last night. Starting with the crazy ambition of the challenge – one person to cook a three course meal for former contestants and the judges. During the cook Laura suffered a bad burn to one hand meaning she had to continue with that liability. The look on her face seemed to indicate she was thinking about pulling out, but she, or the producers, managed to find the motivation to continue.
MasterChef’s list of achievements is long last night:
• Biggest MasterChef episode since 2016
• Biggest entertainment episode of 2020 (Winner announced)
• Channel 10’s biggest audience since October 2017 (The Bachelorette Grand Finale Winner Announced 1,643,000)
• Network 10’s biggest audience since July 2016
For details on how Emila won, see also: MasterChef Australia: Emelia Jackson named Back to Win champion
Later in the night Have You Been Paying Attention? did 771,000 despite the later start.
ABC: Back Roads was visiting the Dampier Peninsula with 579,000 watching.
Four Corners did 455,000 followed by Media Watch on 471,000.
Q+A was on 286,000, well below last week’s 429,000.
SBS: Part two of The Windsor’s Lost Letters had 174,000 watching.
A repeat of 24 Hours in Emergency followed with 128,000.
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.0%||7TWO||2.8%||GO!||1.8%||10 Bold||3.6%||VICELAND||1.1%|
|ABC ME||0.4%||7mate||3.2%||GEM||2.2%||10 Peach||1.8%||Food Net||0.6%|
|9Rush||1.0%||SBS World Movies||0.8%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.4%||7TWO||3.8%||GO!||1.8%||WIN Bold||5.0%||VICELAND||1.4%|
|ABC ME||0.6%||7mate||3.6%||GEM||4.5%||WIN Peach||1.7%||Food Net||0.6%|
|ABC NEWS||1.2%||7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)||1.5%||9Life||2.1%||Sky News on WIN||1.8%||NITV||0.2%|
|MONDAY METRO ALL TV|
16-39 Top Five
18-49 Top Five
25-54 Top Five
Shares all people, 6pm-midnight, Overnight (Live and AsLive), Audience numbers FTA metro, Sub TV national
Source: OzTAM and Regional TAM 2018. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) without the prior written consent of OzTAM
This week Josh Frydenberg is sorting out the national economy; next week it’s how to get the digital behemoths to pay fair compensation to media companies for their content, reports The Australian’s John Durie.
Google crossed a Rubicon in June, declaring it would pay media companies in Germany, Brazil and Australia, but left open how much, when and how.
Last year’s ACCC digital platforms inquiry recommended a voluntary code of conduct between the two sides, but by April, with no agreement visible, it told the government the code should be mandatory, which meant it had enforcement power.
Next week’s ACCC code will be a draft but the final code is expected to be legislated by the end of August, so the draft is close to the proposed final version and will be more than game playing.
The free-to-air broadcasters including Nine have recommended a collection agency like the Copyright Agency, with the money allocated based on investment in journalism.
News Corp has suggested direct negotiations between the publishers and the platforms.
There is some good news for media people looking for work and those on subsidised salaries, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s David Crowe:
Millions of workers will keep receiving the JobKeeper wage subsidy until the end of March in a dramatic extension of the $70 billion program under a fresh eligibility test to ensure the payments go to those in genuine need.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will reveal the new rates on Tuesday to replace the JobKeeper payment of $1500 per fortnight and the temporary boost to JobSeeker to $1100 per fortnight.
With the second wave of coronavirus infections sparking fears of a deeper and longer recession, the government revoked its original plan to phase out the emergency payments at the end of September and instead heeded business calls to extend them for about six months.
While the government was tight-lipped about the new JobKeeper rate, it is tipped to be more than $1100 per fortnight for full-time workers.
When Guardian Australia launched its membership program this time four years ago we started with 1,500 supporters. This week we’ve hit 150,000 supporters – a neat symmetry of numbers, with some added zeroes, writes Guardian Australian associate editor Lucy Clark.
Setting this goal was driven by the belief that a plurality of voices in the media landscape – and getting the highest quality independent journalism into the hands of many – is good for democracy and good for public discourse.
We keep saying this, but the challenges to journalism from many quarters are unrelenting – perpetual job losses, disappearing newsrooms, the undermining of the business model, the loss of regional news coverage, cuts to the public broadcaster. More than ever, public interest journalism needs to be strong and it needs to be supported – and in the case of Guardian Australia, reader support is part of our strength. It safeguards our future.
Now we are embarking on more vital projects – a deep dive into how young Australians will cope with unprecedented unemployment rates, an investigation into how it is that so many Indigenous children are in jail, and how the disruptions of 2020 can give rise to an environmentally friendly recovery. As always, we’ll continue to give voice to the voiceless, and hold power to account.
Your support is not only financial. The messages we receive about why you choose to pay for our journalism when you don’t have to, and why our journalism is important to you, are motivating. My greatest privilege as membership editor is being in this two-way conversation, and knowing you feel part of our community. During this difficult year the newsroom has found inspiration – and great comfort – in your words of encouragement.
Carrie-Anne Greenbank is to be the next European correspondent for Nine News, replacing Sophie Walsh who is returning to Nine Sydney, reports TV Tonight.
She has been with Nine for over a decade, and Nine Melbourne for the past four years, previously with Nine Brisbane, and Gold Coast and WIN News in regional Queensland.
Meanwhile Melbourne based journalist David Woiwod had his last day on Sunrise last Friday before flying to the US to join the Seven News US bureau.
Woiwod has covered a number of Victoria’s biggest stories including the Bourke Street attack, Essendon Airport crash, the committal of Cardinal George Pell and the Victorian bushfires. A former state political reporter, he has covered also covered international stories including the Nice Terror attacks in France and the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.
Q, the magazine that was once a cornerstone of the British music press, is to cease publication. The next issue, published on 28 July, will be its last, reports The Guardian.
The editor, Ted Kessler, said in a tweet: “The pandemic did for us and there was nothing more to it than that.” In an editor’s letter in the final issue he wrote: “We’ve been a lean operation for all of my tenure, employing a variety of ways to help keep our head above water in an extremely challenging print market. Covid-19 wiped all that out. I must apologise profusely for my failure to keep Q afloat.”
In May, its owner Bauer Media had put the title under review along with a number of others in its portfolio, as sales and advertising revenues diminished during the coronavirus pandemic. “The pandemic and lockdown has further accelerated the trends already affecting the publishing industry,” Chris Duncan, the chief executive of UK publishing, said when announcing the plans. Its circulation had dwindled to 28,359, with less than half of that coming from newsstand sales, compared with a peak of more than 200,000 in 2001.
Q was celebrated for its breezily engaging tone, long-form interview features, and wide-ranging tastes that encompassed indie-rock, rap, R&B, dance, pop and more.
It was founded in 1986 by (former Smash Hits editors) Mark Ellen and David Hepworth, its original name of Cue – referencing the cueing up of the next record – was tweaked to prevent confusion from snooker fans and to stand out on newsstands. It was one of the key documents of the 1990s Britpop scene, and was known for its canonical lists of great albums and songs.
In the Australian film and television production industry, locally owned small businesses compete with huge multinationals: studios and networks such as Disney, NBC Universal, Warner Brothers, German giant RTL, Britain’s ITV and even the BBC. We are all competing for the same eyeballs on screen and the same crews to make the shows, writes CJZ co-founder Nick Murray in Nine newspapers.
On Friday, the Morrison government announced a $400 million package to assist the attraction of foreign blockbuster productions to Australia – productions exclusively made by the foreign multinationals.
The Morrison government is to be congratulated for its support of the film and television industry. Despite the perception, over the past three decades Liberal governments have always been more supportive of our industry than Labor governments. But here’s the rub: unlike every other industry, the government is subsidising foreign producers while local productions receive far less, indeed in most cases, no government support.
It’s a tough business to be in, but screen production is an industry where machines cannot replace actual people doing jobs. Our local industry has always punched above its weight, but we are reeling from COVID-19. Right now there is a government inquiry under way to decide on a balanced system of support mechanisms for the entire industry.
The odd thing about Friday’s announcement is that it locks in a system where foreign productions get more support than local production. We need regulation and support that fosters an environment to create shows out of the germs of ideas, because unlike the foreign productions, we’re here for the long haul.
Upset viewers of The Voice accused the TV singing contest of being “rigged”, after contestant Chris Sebastian – the brother of Guy Sebastian, one of the show’s judges – won its finale on Sunday night, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Robert Moran.
The viewer-voted episode saw Sebastian win over fellow finalists Siala Robson, Johnny Manuel and Stellar Perry in a decision the show had described as “one of the closest Voice title races in history”.
Sebastian denied receiving any preferential treatment, and said, as Guy’s brother, he’d anticipated “negativity” going into the show.
“Controversy is just part of being on television. I knew it was going to be a thing on this show, but I don’t care,” he said.
“It’s a voted show, it’s audited, it couldn’t be more above board. More people voted for me than are slamming me, so I’m going to focus on those people.”
A Channel Nine spokesperson said: “The public vote for The Voice winner is highly regulated, operated by an independent third party, and overseen by lawyers. This year’s result is the tightest ever, with less than half a percent of the votes separating the winner and runner-up.”
The International Cricket Council (ICC) today confirmed the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia 2020 has been postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The IBC Board agreed to continue to monitor the rapidly changing situation and assess all the information available in order to make a considered decision on future hosts to ensure the sport is able to stage safe and successful global events in 2021 and 2022.
The IBC Board will also continue to evaluate the situation in relation to being able to stage the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2021 in New Zealand in February next year. In the meantime, planning for this event continues as scheduled.
ICC chief executive Manu Sawhney said: “We have undertaken a comprehensive and complex contingency planning exercise and through this process, our number one priority has been to protect the health and safety of everyone involved in the sport.
“The decision to postpone the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup was taken after careful consideration of all of the options available to us and gives us the best possible opportunity of delivering two safe and successful T20 World Cups for fans around the world.
“Our members now have the clarity they need around event windows to enable them to reschedule lost bilateral and domestic cricket. Moving the Men’s Cricket World Cup to a later window is a critical element of this and gives us a better chance of maintaining the integrity of the qualification process. This additional time will be used to reschedule games that might be lost because of the pandemic ensuring qualification can be decided on the field of play.
“Throughout this process we have worked closely with our key stakeholders including governments, members, broadcasters, partners and medical experts to enable us to reach a collective decision for the good of the game and our fans. I would like to thank everyone involved for their commitment to a safe return to cricket.”