By Claudia Siron
Fashion and lifestyle magazine, InStyle Australia, reaches its 20th birthday next April, and has more to celebrate than reaching an important milestone.
The brand has flourished over almost two decades, proven by growing engagement, increasing readership, and continued support from affluent readers. Acting editor, Alex Noonan, spoke to Mediaweek about their point of difference in their competitive set, their recent strategy phase and highlights for the brand over 2019.
InStyle’s point of difference within its competitive set is that its audience and advertisers come to it for shopping. “We are the ultimate destination for women who are looking to update their wardrobe, their beauty kit, or their home,” said Noonan. “Of course, we also have celebrity content that they often come to us for, but shopping is our big point of difference.”
Noonan said the brand calls its female audience ‘perennial’. “This is an ever-blooming, relevant audience of all ages. They know what’s happening in the world, they’re inclusive and they have friends of all ages. They have an enduring mindset rather than being a specific demographic.
“They’re urban; more than half live in Sydney or Melbourne. They’re highly affluent; we have the most affluent audience of our competitive set. They’re highly educated, and they’re very much on-trend with money to spend. That’s how we think of our audience when we create content across our various platforms.”
With InStyle turning 20 next year, it’s going through a big strategy phase which kicked off in the middle of the year, and from that has seen a lot of growth in its audience. Noonan said print readership currently sits at 115,000 and its multiplatform audience is 1,372,744. “Our last three covers have been three of the four of our best-selling covers in the last 18 months at newsstands.
“Our digital audience has tripled since the middle of the year, as we’ve had our website redesigned with a new strategy in place for there as well. We’ve also recently doubled our EN audience too. We’re focusing on how we connect with her and it appears the new strategy is working.”
Noonan told Mediaweek a great recent highlight this year was when they collaborated with Celeste Barber. “She was on our cover for the March issue – that was under Emily Taylor, as I’m the acting editor at the moment while she’s on maternity leave. It was a big turning point for InStyle having Celeste Barber on the cover. She’s huge on Instagram for her parody of the fashion industry, and the first time we really had someone who’s truly a social star being on the cover and it worked really well for us.”
“The sales were phenomenal and our social and online engagement was incredible. It was great to see our audience was engaged with that sort of content; a bit more light-hearted in the approach to fashion. Fashion had been so serious previously, and there’s been a big shift. That’s something we really try to incorporate into our content.”
The ‘Women of Style’ is a big calendar highlight for InStyle each year. “That is a tentpole which gives us the opportunity to celebrate 10 incredible Australian women. That was held back in May.”
More recently, the shift to producing more local covers has been exciting for the brand. Noonan said they used to probably lift about nine covers a year from the US and now they’re doing the opposite – they’re producing about nine locally each year. “In this last period we’ve had Asher Keddie, Phoebe Tonkin, Elyse Knowles, and Jessica Mauboy. All of these women performed incredibly well for us.
Nicole Kidman is actually the woman who’s been most featured on the cover of InStyle since its establishment. “She’s been on our covers nine times over the past almost 20 years – she is our most frequent cover star.”
“Local usually outperforms. There are always going to be those superstars like Jennifer Aniston, and we’re always going to love them, but it’s great that we can put more of a spotlight on upcoming Aussie actresses and women within the arts.”
What performs especially well in regards to content is InStyle’s shopping pages. “We have advertisers tell us that our readers go into the store with the magazine and point to that page to buy a product. It does drive sales, and so we’re pushing it out more online and on social media as well.”
Interviews with celebrities also do very well for the brand. “Celebrities trust InStyle; we are a brand, we’re not salacious. We are very much there to tell their story and it’s a safe environment for them which means we do get great access to talent whether that’s local or international.”
More recently, InStyle has been dialling up on their lifestyle section of the magazine. “We go into the homes of local style-makers and celebrities to see the Australian interiors, because that’s so different to other markets. We’re getting a lot of positive reaction from it.”
With all of the visual content displaying fashion and shopping trends, Noonan told Mediaweek the print offering gets significant investment. “It’s costly to produce so much local content, and that is something that does set us apart. It’s something we’ve decided as a brand to really invest in because we know that’s what our audience wants.
“We’re celebrating our 20th birthday next April, so all the strategy work we’ve been doing and our repositioning is all in preparation for our 20th year, and setting the brand up for the next decade.”
By James Manning
There are many reasons why purchasing a copy of the 60th Anniversary edition of Vogue Australia is essential. For anybody with an interest in magazine publishing in Australia the December edition is a treasure trove.
Edwina McCann writes in her Editor’s Letter:
“Over the past 60 years, Vogue Australia has grown with Australia and Australians. And in this exciting digital age offering unlimited opportunity, we have so much more growing to do.”
And it’s some Editor’s Letter running across four pages!
Also in the note to readers, McCann addresses the lack of Indigenous storytelling in Vogue’s history. “Australia is proudly home to the longest continuous living human culture, stretching and connecting back 65,000 years. And yet, as a Sydney-born and raised woman, I am embarrassingly ignorant of it. Publishing this edition has given me the chance to start to educate myself – and perhaps you, our reader.
“As good fortune would have it, the incredible Bangarra Dance Theatre is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year too, and so we had the opportunity to photograph some of its dancers dressed in archival costumes at beautiful Little Bay in Sydney. I thank Yvonne Weldon for her poignant piece ‘True country’ and her guidance for our upcoming celebrations in Sydney. And also NGV director Tony Ellwood for introducing us to photographer Michael Cook, and NGV’s curator of Indigenous art, Myles Russell-Cook, for profiling artist-jeweller Maree Clarke and artist-fashion designer Lyn-Al Young. I hope the celebration of Indigenous culture and talents will be woven into Vogue for the next 60 years and beyond.”
Vogue Australia is also available on the new Apple News+ along with the rest of the titles from News Corp Australia – from its daily metro newspapers to its prestige print products.
McCann told Mediaweek: “We are working very closely with the Apple team and they redesign a lot of our content specifically for that platform. We are finding it is driving significant traffic to our site and to VIP.”
McCann added that a brand that she also looks after, GQ Australia, is also doing very well from Apple News+. “This speaks to something that we have always known which is the male audience do tend to be very digital when it comes that that type of content.”
Vogue Australia is able to sell the Apple News+ opportunity to an advertiser, and that is American Express with the anniversary edition. “American Express own 60th anniversary issue on that platform. We have proven we are able to monetise exclusivity on that space. We already partner with Amercian Express on Vogue Fashion’s Night Out. They appreciate high impact go-to-market opportunities.”
Foxtel’s Showcase channel is this week premiering a documentary on the brand in Australia. “This was a very new experience for me and not part of my natural skillset,” said McCann.
“We have some wonderful interviews with Anna Wintour and Baz Luhrmann plus Emma Watson, Catherine Martin, Elle Macpherson and Margot Robbie. We got such great people who were willing to take time out of their busy schedules to sit down and talk about Vogue.
“The documentary also goes behind-the-scenes at the cover shoot with Nicole Kidman which helps give people a sense of what it was like to put the edition together.
“There is also a focus on Vogue Australia’s history and its founder Bernie Laser and his career. He went on to do great things at Condé Nast internationally.”
McCann has also invited Edward Enninful, the editor of British Vogue to celebrate the Australian anniversary and he will do fashion shoots, in association with Destination NSW, in iconic Sydney locations during his stay.
“Those features will be published both in Australian and British Vogue next April. Around that there are a series of four special events we will be hosting over two days.”
McCann is looking toward December 22 when she can “fall in a heap” after a busy year.
Looking over the past 12 months, McCann said: “We have had a good year with positive revenues for the brand. We have been operating in a very difficult market and to be able to achieve what we have done is great. It’s great to be able to celebrate Vogue’s 60th in such a healthy position.”
Vogue December highlights
• At some retailers the Vogue Australia retail offer for December is priced at $9.99 and comes with a hardcover Zimmermann-designed notebook.
• Australia takes over: While Nicole Kidman features on the cover of Vogue Australia December, Cate Blanchett is on the UK cover. No Aussie on the US cover though where it is Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
• The magazine shows off its Australian team in the anniversary edition. So that would be one group photo, right? Wrong. To fit them all in – 63 people – Vogue features them in four photos.
• The history of Vogue Australia is detailed in the anniversary edition. It starts with journalist David Leser remembering his father Bernie Leser. There is also a piece by Conde Nast chairman of the board of directors Jonathan Newhouse about Bernie leading the company across four continents.
• Just eight editors across 60 years. The former Australian editors write for the December issue about their time on the brand – Eve Harmon, June McCallum, Nancy Pilcher, Marion Hume, Juliet Ashworth and Kirstie Clements. Sheila Scotter is the only one no longer with us after she passed away in 2012 at the age of 91.
The editor of GQ, Mike Christensen, is stepping down to return to the UK. While the announcement comes just days before the brand’s flagship Men of the Year event, Christensen has told Mediaweek he will still be officiating at the awards.
News Prestige Network’s editorial director of GQ Australia, Vogue Australia and Vogue Living Edwina McCann has announced the appointment of Jake Millar as acting editor of leading premium men’s lifestyle brand GQ Australia.
Millar, current deputy editor of GQ Australia, will step into the new role in mid-December succeeding Christensen who has resigned from the business to return to the UK with his young family at the end of the year.
Christensen has been with GQ Australia for more than seven years. He was appointed editor of GQ Australia in October 2017 and prior to that held positions of managing editor and chief sub editor.
“I am very thrilled with what the team has been able to achieve over the past few years,” Christensen told Mediaweek. “It was a tough decision to make to leave, but I am looking forward to seeing what Jake and the rest of the gifted team can do. The brand is in the best shape it’s ever been.”
Christensen said he is looking forward to what will be his final Men of the Year awards to showcase the brand. “It is not just a party for the famous, there are a lot of messages about the role models of today and tomorrow we are celebrating.”
His team has known about the departure for some time and Christensen leaves the building on December 6. He heads back to the UK later in December in time for Christmas.
Once back in the UK, Christensen, who has worked for Condé Nast UK in the past, will be exploring potential opportunities back in London.
McCann also announced Christopher Riley, current senior editor of GQ Australia, will take on the new role of acting deputy editor of the brand.
McCann said: “Both Jake and Chris have incredible passion for this brand and they step into their new roles in mid-December with my full support. GQ Australia is in a great place and together I know they will lead the team to even greater heights as we move into 2020.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mike Christensen for all of the great work he has done during his time with GQ Australia. As editor over the last two years he has refreshed the magazine, grown the brand through digital and social and was instrumental in launching the GQ Gentlemen’s Ball initiative which shines a light on people passionate about making positive change in the world.
“Mike will leave GQ Australia on a high note, following the 2019 GQ Men of the Year Awards and sending the January/February 2020 issue to print. While we are sad to lose Mike, we wish him and his family all the very best.”
Christensen spoke highly of McCann, telling Mediaweek: “When Edwina started working with us we all thought it was great news as she brings so much positive energy with her. She has been a brilliant role model and mentor to me. We have had some difficult times with the brand and she has played a big part in turning things around.”
Millar began his career with GQ Australia in 2011 as an editorial assistant, and has worked as the magazine’s features writer and features editor, before being promoted to deputy editor in November 2017.
Riley joined GQ Australia in July 2017, as senior sub editor and was promoted to the role of senior editor earlier this year.
• Get this – ARIA’s host and music legend plays for an hour then shouts the bar!
Guy Sebastian took to the Nova Red Room stage on the weekend for a Red Room performance ahead of his four nominations and hosting of the ARIA Awards this week.
The second show of Nova’s ARIA Week of Red Rooms was held at The Factory Theatre in Marrickville. Hosts on the night were Nova’s 96.9 weekend breakfast show Matt De Groot, Sarah McGilvray and Matty J (pictured onstage with Guy). The theatre was packed with an invited 400 fans who got the special treatment from the music icon as he performed for over an hour.
As always when Guy Sebastian takes to the stage, he created an incredible atmosphere and had his audience captivated. After taking the stage he said: “I get to try and make your life better and help you forget your worries for an hour or so, how crazy is that; that’s an honour.”
Sebastian and his eight-piece band played a selection of hits including Like a Drum, Like It Like That, Bloodstone, Battle Scars, Get Along, Who’s That Girl, Woah and one of his biggest ever hits, the recent single Choir. He also treated the fans to an acapella performance, as well as a cover of the Neon Treeshit single, Animal, which had the crowd moving and singing along.
In celebration of his new song Let Me Drink (and in a Red Room first) Sebastian surprised the crowd with an impromptu bar tab, splashing $2,000 over the bar on fans.
Guests in attendance included chairman and CEO of Sony Music Entertainment Australia Denis Handlin, singer/songwriter Barry Conrad, Home and Away actress Courtney Miller, TV host Carissa Walford, DJ and TV host Flex Mami.
This first decision he made was reversing one only a couple of weeks old by bringing back Stephen Beers to 3AW as station manager.
Today Malone has revealed his second appointment, this time in Sydney, and one that should be as popular as his first.
Malone is bringing back Greg Byrnes (pictured) to radio. A former 2UE news and program director, Byrnes has been at Sky News for the past decade.
During his years in TV, Byrnes was channel manager and national editor. More recently he has been executive producer of the Sky News successful evening talk shows.
“Greg has a long and impressive career in media, and in particular radio, starting at 2XL Cooma in 1990,” said Malone today. “He joined 2UE in 1993 and spent 17 years there.”
At Macquarie Media, Byrnes will be responsible for all on air content across the radio division – the 2GB-3AW-4BC-6PR talk network and the Macquarie Sports Radio network along the east coast.
Byrnes will report to Malone and he starts in his new role this week.
Women in business are in the spotlight on a first of its kind TV show hosted by digital PR disruptor Jules Brooke. She’s The Boss, on Ticker TV, features women as business owners being interviewed about their business journey.
Brooke said with the proliferation of female-run businesses (now more than 30% of all businesses) it is important that women continue to support each other.
“She’s The Boss is showcasing the huge array of businesses across a myriad of industries that are being run by women,” she Brooke. “With guests such as George McEncroe, the Founder of Shebah, and Monica Meldrum, the founder of Whole Kids foods sharing stories of their initial inspiration, what they have learned along the way and offering advice to viewers as part of the show.
“We’re a bit starved for business TV that is interesting or appealing to people that are interested in business, but also innovation and technology. She’s The Boss show makes business TV relevant to the hundreds of thousands of women running their own business, never mind the hundreds of thousands more that are considering it.”
Ticker TV was founded by Ahron Young, ex Bureau Chief for Sky Business. The channel is streaming live through the app and also on Twitter.
Top photo: Jules Brook on Ticker TV via TickerTV.com.au
By Trent Thomas
Ford v Ferrari has spent a second week atop the Australian box office after a small decline of 24% on its opening weekend total and was one of only two films, along with Last Christmas to break the $1m threshold this past weekend.
Only one film joins the top five this week as 21 Bridges starring Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther) takes the place of Terminator: Dark Fate which made a total of $8.05m over its first four weeks of release.
Overall, the Australian box office declined 26% on the previous weekends total making $7.28m.
A solid second week in Australian theatres has seen the film, based on the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans race, swell to $5.40m after producing an average of $4,664 on 418 screens.
The film clawed it’s way back to the second spot at the Australian box office after slipping to third last week. This is the third week in a row the film made a $1m+ total as its overall revenue now sits at $4.46m. The film was shown on 277 screens for an average of $4,439.
The latest entry from the female crime-fighting franchise slips to third spot after its second week of release. The film averaged $2,879 on 345 screens, bringing its total to $3.36m.
The only new entry to the top five is about a NYPD detective who shuts down the eponymous 21 bridges of Manhattan to find two suspected cop killers. The new arrival averaged $2,436 on 203 screens.
After eight weeks the DC flick still finds itself in the top five, making a total of $39.33m so far over the course of its run. This past weekend it made an average of $2,238 on 216 screens.
By James Manning
Last survey Monday of 2019
•Nine: ACA then night of ob docs enough for Nine to rank #1
•Seven: Start of final week of Home and Away the last Rookie
•10: Musical on The Project, Top 5 on Race, HYBPA? Finale
•ABC: Australian Story pulls strong numbers, Tracey Spicer doco
•SBS: Royalty again the winner, then 24 Hours in Emergency
•Seven News 954,000/910,000
•Nine News 879,000/880,000
•A Current Affair 735,000
•ABC News 673,000
•The Project 251,000/453,000
•10 News First 369,000
•The Drum 173,000
•SBS World News 129,000
The last week of Home and Away for the year started with 611,000.
Zumbo’s Just Desserts then did 356,000.
Two episodes of The Rookie followed with the second being the series final. The first did 349,000 with the final on 310,000.
Quentin Long from Australian Traveller magazine was a guest on A Current Affair as reporter Steve Marshall investigated claims made about a travel agent. The episode also featured a story about wrong house numbers which was confusing Australia Post, reporter Brady Halls and the viewers in what was a classic piece of ACAfun. The show’s week started on 735,000.
A night of ob docs followed with RBT on 544,000, Paramedics on 357,000 and Kings Cross ER on 233,000.
The Project featured an energetic choreographed dance number featuring Carrie Bickmore with support from Pete Helliar and Hamish Macdonald plus some of the show’s staff. Stopping by the studio for what turned out to be a great interview was UK actor Timothy Spaulding.
The final five on The Amazing Race got to travel across Africa and they all lived to compete in one more episode in another non-elimination leg. The episode did 609,000 to win the timeslot and help lead 10 to win all key demos.
The final episode of Have You Been Paying Attention? for 2019 had everything – a great panel and some hilarious guest questioners and a couple of awkward product integrations that were saved with some clever gags. Ed Kavalee and Sam Pang together with host Tom Gleisner have been the glue holding the show together for another year with Kitty Flannagan, Mick Molloy and Melanie Bracewell getting the finale guests slots after many appearances across the year. The show hit a real purple patch in the past couple of months in the ratings and the final episode did 870,000, not far below its best this year.
Australian Story was well inside the top 10 with 646,000 as the show reported on the disappearance of a teenage girl seemingly without trace.
The controversial Silent No More: Shining A Light started with host Tracey Spicer meeting people sharing stories of sexual harassment. The audience was 425,000.
Media Watch then did 415,000 followed by Q&A on 298,000.
The Royal House of Windsor drew 200,000 viewers.
24 Hours in Emergency then did 149,000.
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.4%||7TWO||3.8%||GO!||2.4%||10 Bold||3.7%||VICELAND||1.1%|
|ABC ME||0.9%||7mate||4.7%||GEM||3.2%||10 Peach||2.4%||Food Net||0.9%|
|7Food||0.4%||SBS World Movies||0.7%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.8%||7TWO||4.4%||GO!||3.9%||WIN Bold||4.0%||VICELAND||1.3%|
|ABC ME||1.3%||7mate||5.5%||GEM||5.3%||WIN Peach||1.7%||Food Net||0.9%|
|ABC NEWS||0.9%||7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)||1.6%||9Life||1.9%||Sky News on WIN||1.7%||NITV||0.1%|
|7food (QLD only)||0.2%|
|MONDAY METRO ALL TV|
16 – 39
18 – 49
25 – 54
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
Bauer Media is identifying which staff to lay off following the German family-owned media group’s merger with arch rival Pacific Magazines, from the Kerry Stokes-controlled Seven West Media, reports The Australian’s Lilly Vitorovich.
The $40m deal, which was announced last month, will bring several dozen glossy magazines, including New Idea, Australian Women’s Weekly and Woman’s Day, under one roof if Australia’s competition regulator gives the green light next month.
There will be duplication in many roles, particularly back office, and some editorial roles once the marriage is sealed, and it is understood Bauer is “starting to define the roles post-merger”.
In its statement to the ASX on October 21, Seven said the sale was expected to be completed by the end of the year, subject to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s approval.
Former senator David Leyonhjelm has been ordered to pay Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young $120,000 over defamatory comments he made suggesting she was a misandrist and a hypocrite, reports ABC News’ Claire Campbell.
The Federal Court previously heard that at the conclusion of a Senate vote in June 2018, Leyonhjelm told Senator Hanson-Young that she should “stop shagging men”.
In a media statement, Leyonhjelm claimed he had made the comment in response to an interjection by Senator Hanson-Young along the lines of “all men are rapists”.
However, Justice Richard White found Senator Hanson-Young did not speak those words.
“Instead, it is likely that the respondent ‘heard’ that which he was predisposed to hear by reason of his pre-existing opinion of the applicant as someone who made ‘collectivist’ statements,” Justice White said.
Senator Hanson-Young said she was “pleased with the court’s decision”.
“When men do the wrong thing, they should apologise. Most men do. But when they don’t they should be called out,” she said.
“It’s for every woman and girl who’s been told or made to stay silent in the face of harassment and disrespect that I took legal action.”
The matter will return to court in December to discuss who will pay the legal costs.
A sex fetish master whose “pup” died after silicone was injected into his scrotum is suing Network 10 over a report his lawyer argues portrayed him as a murderer, reports AAP in an item published in The Daily Telegraph.
The November 2018 report on The Project centred on the death of Melbourne man Jack Chapman who had been in a relationship with United States man Dylan Hafertepen before succumbing to multiple respiratory issues and silicon injection syndrome.
The TV report featured Hafertepen being invited to the home of Mr Chapman’s mother, Linda Chapman, and being covertly recorded as she told him he was “wholly and solely responsible for my son’s death”.
The network sought two extra weeks to file its defence. It said lawyers were busy, producers and the journalist involved – Hamish Macdonald– needed to be interviewed and evidence re-examined to see if it had changed. The court was told Chapman was suing Hafertepen in the US for wrongful death and documents from that case would be sought.
Network 10 has been awarded Best Television News Report and Best Television News Camera at the 2019 SA Press Club Awards last weekend.
The awards ceremony, which was presented at Hotel Grand Chancellor on Hindley, delivered two wins and three commendations amongst 11 finalists for 10 News First Adelaide.
10 News First journalist Kate Somers was awarded Best Television News Report for her outstanding coverage of the arrest of an organised gang of shoplifters at Adelaide’s Burnside Village. With exclusive footage and interviews adding to the unmatched coverage, the story has since had more than one million views online.
Best Television News Camera was presented to 10 News First’s Matt Bonser for his exceptional images of the new tourism enterprises around Uluru since the climb’s closure. Utilising three different types of cameras and multiple shooting techniques to best capture the story, he was widely praised by industry peers.
Marcel De Rooy was highly commended in the same category for his sensational camera work on a city escape. During a manhunt, Marcel found the hidden fugitive and stayed with him until police arrived, rolling the whole time in a courageous piece of camera work.
Reporter Chloe Bouras received a commendation in Best Television News Report for her sensitive reporting of the Flinders Medical Centre “ramping” disaster, which saw patients waiting for urgent medical attention in the back of ambulance vehicles.
Chloe was also one of the finalists in the highly-coveted category of Young Journalist of the Year, assessed by industry veterans and senior representatives across television and print media.
Up against the country’s finest newspaper and television headline writers, multi-nominated producer Christie Peucker received a commendation for her unique take on headline writing for three pieces of work.
Adelaide’s 10 News First executive editor Fiona Clark said: “The 10 News First entries recognised this year by the South Australian Press Club represent hard work, innovation, and improvisation. They also represent the attitude displayed by the staff in the Adelaide newsroom year-round, and I could not be more proud.”
There will be boosted bragging rights for whichever act wins the ARIA for Best Group this year with U2 booked to present the gong, reports News Corp’s Kathy McCabe.
It will be the world’s biggest group’s final night in Australia, performing their last show on the triumphant Joshua Tree tour in Perth.
They will cross live via video to present the aware to the winner with 5 Seconds Of Summer, Birds Of Tokyo, Hilltop Hoods, RÜFÜS DU SOL and The Teskey Brothers nominated for the 2019 Best Group award.
U2 were an obvious choice to present the award as they hold the record for the most ARIA No. 1 albums by a group, having reached the chart summit 11 times.
Bono last featured at the ARIAs in 2006 when he made an impassioned speech to induct his friends Midnight Oil to the ARIA Hall of Fame.
The international presence at the Australian equivalent of the Grammys is significant this year as YouTube will be streaming the ARIAs live to the world.
Mischievous puppet Agro will be up to his old tricks, fronting a special edition live show to celebrate his 30th birthday in Brisbane, reports News Corp’s Shiloh Payne.
Nineties nostalgia will be rife as Agro Up Late with Jamie Dunnkicks off in March to honour the beloved character at the Brisbane Comedy Festival.
Audiences will come face-to-face with the puppet in an adults-only journey back in time. The pair will be joined on stage by former Big Brother star Ben Zabel as the new Anne-Marie in a Q&A-style Cartoon Connection.
Agro creator Dunn puts his enduring love for the puppet down to the character’s bold personality.
“I think people love Agro’s irreverence, his cheekiness – they were simpler times and we had a lot of fun,” Dunn said.
The puppet’s popularity won Dunn seven consecutive Logie awards, which bettered any existing streak in 1997.
Agro Up Late with Jamie Dunnruns from March 17-22 at the Brisbane Powerhouse.
Agro is also one of the presenters at the ARIA Awards on Wednesday night.
The heads of Australia’s state rugby unions have been blindsided by a decision by the game’s national body to reject a broadcast deal from Foxtel and instead open talks with Optus, describing the move as concerning, report The Australian’s Leo Shanahan and Steve Jackson.
As revealed by The Australian on Monday, Rugby Australia does not have a TV broadcast deal with any major provider after talks between RA and Foxtel broke down during a meeting in Japan following the World Cup. RA rejected Foxtel’s offer of about $20 million as an effective “rollover” agreement on the current arrangement.
The board is now in talks with Optus to show the Rugby Championship, Super Rugby and Wallabies tours even though the telco lacks a free-to-air TV broadcasting partner and paid $50m in 2018 for three years of the English Premier League rights.
Former Nine and Seven boss David Leckie, who oversaw broadcast rights deals with both the NRL and AFL, said that the RA board overplayed its hand by demanding an “unrealistic” amount for the rights.
“I know a little bit about TV and if the rights go to Optus, it will kill the game,” he said. “If you’re an advertiser or sponsor, you’d be thinking, ‘Well, we don’t need to worry about rugby anymore’.”
The devastation of Australia’s Ashes defeat at Headingley has been laid bare in a behind-the-scenes documentary that is also set to shed new light on the team’s rise from the tumult of South Africa, reports The Age’s Jon Pierik.
Cricket Australia and Australian production company Whooshka will in March release on streaming service Amazon Prime Video an eight-part documentary – The Test: A New Era for Australia’s Team– that begins when Justin Langer took charge as coach of an emotionally distraught side in May last year.
Director Adrian Brown takes viewers through a dramatic year, which involved the suspensions of Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft for their roles in the ball-tampering saga, the struggles at home against India last summer and the rebirth through this year’s World Cup and Ashes campaigns.