Roundup: Pauline Hanson to join SAS, ABC funding, Kitchen Nightmares

Pauline Hanson

Dr Norman Swan, Rupert Murdoch, Kate Langbroek, Israel Folau, The Block, Carrie Bickmore’s Project replacement

Business of Media

Labor moves to protect ABC funding after $526m cut under Coalition

The Albanese government is reviewing ways to protect the financial stability of the ABC after the public broadcaster lost $526m in funding under the Coalition, reports The Guardian’s Amanda Meade.

The communications minister, Michelle Rowland, told Guardian Australia that on top of a new five-year funding cycle work was under way on a review of funding certainty.

A public consultation in the new year will examine how more stability can be given to the national broadcasters to “safeguard against funding cuts and political interference”.

“The ABC must be funded to a level that ensures it can fulfil its charter to provide high-quality, accessible, and diverse programming,” Rowland said in a speech to the Victorian Friends of the ABC on Tuesday evening.

Rowland said her department will hold a targeted public consultation next year but there are a number of issues that will not be canvassed, including efficiency, the charters of the ABC and SBS and any merger of the two broadcasters.

Labor has already reinstated $83.7m in funding cuts and committed to extending the three-year cycle to five years in an attempt to take funding beyond the election cycle.

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ABC health expert Norman Swan apologises after claiming Senator Kimberley Kitching’s death was linked to Covid

ABC’s health expert Dr Norman Swan was forced to issue an apology after making the statements about the death of Shane Warne and Senator Kimberly Kitching on ABC News on Tuesday morning, reports News Corp’s Samantha Maiden.

“It’s too much of a coincidence that Shane Warne and the Labor Senator in Victoria died not long after a Covid infection, and people are reporting sudden death after Covid infection. It’s not benign,” he said

However, Senator Kitching did not contract Covid before her death and had not tested positive previously.

“I’ve personally apologised to Andrew her husband,” Dr Swan told

“I’ve clearly made an error which I deeply regret. I do recall such reports and have checked with others who did too but that doesn’t excuse my having upset the family.”

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Murdoch tells Trump he will not back fresh White House bid – report

Rupert Murdoch has reportedly warned Donald Trump his media empire will not back any attempt to return to the White House, as former supporters turn to the youthful Florida governor Ron DeSantis, reports The Guardian’s Mark Sweney.

After the Republican party’s disappointing performance in the US midterm elections, in particular the poor showing by candidates backed by Trump, Murdoch’s rightwing media empire appears to be seeking a clean break from the former president’s damaged reputation and perceived waning political power.

Last week, Murdoch’s influential media empire, including right-leaning Fox News, his flagship paper the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Post, each rounded on Trump, calling him a loser and a flop responsible for dragging the Republicans into “one political fiasco after another”.

“We have been clear with Donald. There have been conversations between them during which Rupert made it clear to Donald that we cannot back another run for the White House,” a senior News Corp source told the i newspaper.

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Kate Langbroek slams KIIS FM for failing to renew ‘The 3PM Pick Up’

Kate Langbroek has hit out at KIIS FM for not treating her and her radio co-hosts as well as they treat Kyle and Jackie O, reports News Corp’s Andrew Bucklow.

Langbroek currently co-hosts The 3PM Pick Up on KIIS FM with Monty Dimond and Yumi Stynes, but it was announced last month that the show would not be returning in 2023.

It was Dimond who broke the news of the show’s departure, writing on Instagram: “After 8 years of doing the @3pmpickup on the wireless it’s time to hang up the headphones.

“Bummer that the big wigs at KIIS couldn’t present acceptable terms for us to move forward”.

Langbroek elaborated on Dimond’s comments in an interview with’s podcast, I’ve Got News For You.

When asked what happened between KIIS FM and The 3PM Pick Up, Langbroek said: “Well, look, I’m just gonna say this: Sometimes you just can’t come to terms. And if you can’t come to terms, it’s best you part ways.”

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Why director Nel Minchin took on Israel Folau and cancel culture

Making a documentary in a cancel culture about someone who has been cancelled is a tricky business. Director Nel Minchin became acutely aware of this when she began sourcing interviews for her two-part series Folau, reports Nine Publishing’s Bridget McManus.

The ABC documentary traces the rise and fall of Israel Folau, the former Wallabies star who ignited a political and ideological storm with his homophobic tweets first posted during the marriage equality campaign that led to his sacking by Rugby Australia in 2019.

Multiple research calls for the documentary went cold, including those to Sky News broadcaster Alan Jones, and to Folau himself. Former Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle declined. Others who opposed Folau’s religious tirade against the LGBTQI community questioned the relevance of the project.

“People asked ‘why would you do something like this when it was such a traumatic experience for people?’” says Minchin, whose credits include Firestarter: The Story of Bangarra and Matilda & Me, a behind-the-scenes documentary about the stage musical by her brother, Tim Minchin.

“This is a conversation that continues to come up in different ways. And not just about religion, but other areas where people are speaking their opinions that get shut down for whatever reason.”

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Pauline Hanson joins Channel 7’s SAS Australia

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson, who sparked outrage after she wore burqa during question time, is set to be shipped to the Middle East as she turns to reality TV and Channel 7’s SAS Australia to revive her political fortunes, reports News Corp’s Samantha Maiden.

She’s survived jail, Dancing with the Stars and even her original Svengali David Oldfield, but Senator Hanson could be heading to the small screen again.

The former fish and chip shop owner, who coined the phrase “please explain”, could claim up to six figures to appear on the program, but hasn’t yet revealed what, if anything, she is getting paid.

Senator Hanson could expect a lump-sum payment that could be as high as six figures — a daily fee of around $2500, and a bonus of between $1000 and $5000 every three days.

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Inside the battle to sell the final house from The Block

Jenny Heath and Dylan Adams began the 2022 season of The Block with the unique advantage of being the show’s first tradie couple, but they ended it in limbo, reports News Corp’s Adelaide Lang.

The couple has the unfortunate distinction of being the only participants in this year’s season not to have sold the house they worked so hard to build.

In the show’s most controversial finale yet, winning pair Omar and Oz took home a record-breaking $1.68m profit while two couples failed to sell their houses at all.

Despite sharing the dubious honour with Jenny and Dylan, fellow contestants Sharon Johal and Ankur Dogra managed to offload their home on Friday in a shocking development that propelled them into second place.

The couple sold their home to the contentious “Lambo Guy” who arrived in the finale in a yellow Lamborghini and drove up the price for Omar and Oz’s home in a bidding war with serial Block buyer Danny Wallis.

He bought Sharon and Ankur’s home for $4.25m, which left the Block couple with a profit of $170,000.

Yet Jenny and Dylan are yet to find their winning bidder for the five bedroom, three bathroom home they built over 12 weeks.

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Three frontrunners in race to be Carrie Bickmore’s The Project replacement

The clock is ticking on Carrie Bickmore’s final episode of The Project, with a replacement for the TV host yet to be announced, reports News Corp’s Lexie Cartwright.

Bickmore, 41, announced in October she’d be wrapping up on the Ten current affairs program after 13 years, with her final show to be November 30.

The network is yet to reveal who will replace the popular TV host, but regular Project panellist Kate Langbroek – who is currently hosting Nine’s new show My Mum, Your Dad – has dropped the names of three frontrunners.

Langbroek ruled out herself from the race, suggesting the role will either go to Chrissie Swan, Georgie Tunny or Studio 10’s Sarah Harris.

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‘Take ownership’: Celebrity chef hits back as Kitchen Nightmares feud continues

Celebrity chef Colin Fassnidge says Sydney cafe owner Virginia Cheong needs to take ownership for her restaurant woes, reports News Corp’s Karlie Rutherford.

It comes after The Daily Telegraph broke news of a stoush between Channel 7’s Kitchen Nightmares, hosted by Fassnidge, and the homebush cafe owner who featured in a recent episode.

Cheong claims she has lost business since appearing on the show because customers think her restaurant is a joke after rebranding from Cafe de Vie to Cafe Toubouli in the episode.

Production’s decision to move her coffee machine from street view to the back of the restaurant also hasn’t helped sales, she claimed.

“She (claims she has) lost four grand a week from us moving a coffee machine … she wasn’t even making that much when we were there,” Fassnidge told Confidential.

“We filmed the show in May, so it has taken her until November to realise that the coffee machine, she could move it back. She can do whatever she wants, it is her joint. She could have changed the name back and moved the coffee machine, it doesn’t take six months to work that out.”

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