Roundup: Prince Harry interviews, Guardian hack, Koala Man

ITV's Prince Harry interview

Press freedom in Tanzania, Julian Assange, The Last King of the Cross, Break Point

Prince Harry Interview

Prince Harry defends tell-all memoir in furious ITV interview

Prince Harry launched a broadside at the king, the queen consort, his brother and other royals in a furious ITV interview in which he defended his revelatory memoir, claiming that remaining silent “only allows the abuser to abuse”, report The Guardian’s Caroline Davies and Ed Pilkington.

In excerpts from his book, Spare, read aloud during an interview with ITV’s Tom Bradby on Sunday night, Harry wrote that his interests had been “sacrificed” to Camilla’s “PR altar”.

Asked if he was “pretty consistently scathing” about his stepmother and the press, Harry replied: “Scathing? There’s no part of any of the things that I’ve said are scathing towards any member of my family, especially not my stepmother. There are things that have happened that have been incredibly hurtful, some in the past, some current.”

He accused the royal family of “a really horrible reaction” on the day of the Queen’s death, saying the family was on the “back foot” and he had witnessed “leaking and planting”. His words came after it was reported he claimed in his memoir that Meghan was “not welcome” at Balmoral.

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Highlights from Prince Harry’s US interview with 60 Minutes

Prince Harry spoke on American television for the first time about his upcoming memoir, “Spare,” in a 60 Minutes Interview with Anderson Cooper, reports CBS News.

These were some of the revelations from their chat.

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Prince Harry versus the press: Changing UK media now his ‘life’s work’

Prince Harry has revealed that reforming the British press is now his life’s work, a project he said his father – King Charles – has described as a “suicide mission”, reports Press Gazette’s Dominic Ponsford.

He said that following Jeremy Clarkson’s misogynistic attack on his wife in The Sun last month, it is a campaign for “accountability” which he is waging on behalf of the entire world.

He also said he believes that negative headlines against him are driven by intimidation on behalf of the UK’s three largest newspapers groups – the publishers of The Sun, Daily Mail and Daily Mirror – because he believes his ongoing legal actions could shut them down.

Speaking to ITV’s Tom Bradby ahead of the publication of his memoir Spare, Prince Harry revealed how he holds the UK press responsible for everything from the death of his mother in 1997 to his current rift with the rest of his family. He described the paparazzi following Diana’s car in Paris as one link in the chain of events that led to her death.

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Business of Media

Guardian Australia staff in the dark as global hack shutdown continues

Online and print news company The Guardian has asked its Australian staff to keep working from home until January 23, disabling printers, Wi-Fi and its network as it works to recover from a suspected ransomware attack, reports Nine Publishing’s Sam Buckingham-Jones.

Precious few details have emerged about the incident, which hit globally on December 20 and crippled some key IT systems – but has allowed the local news website to continue publishing.

Employees were told to work from home until January 9, but Guardian Media Group chief executive Anna Bateson sent a note to staff last week asking them to stay there for another fortnight. Reporters working from remote locations that use a different network, including Brisbane and NSW parliament, can work as normal. Offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra remain closed.

“To reduce strain on our networks and help the enterprise tech, ESD and other involved teams focus on the most essential fixes, everyone must work from home until at least Monday 23rd January in the UK, US and Australia, unless you are specifically asked to work from our offices,” Bateson wrote. “We have disabled Wi-Fi, network and printer access at all offices to enable the tech teams to get us up and running.”

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Hopes rise for press freedom in Tanzania as number of censured journalists falls

The number of journalists being censured for their work in Tanzania has fallen slightly, raising hopes that press freedom is improving in the country, reports The Guardian’s Caroline Kimeu.

Last year, 17 “press violations”, which include threats, arrests, denial of access to information and equipment seizures, were reported in the east African nation, the Media Council of Tanzania told the Guardian. This compares with 25 in 2021 and 41 in 2020.

The country’s previous president John Magufuli, who died in March 2021, was considered “hostile” to the media. During his term, Tanzania tumbled down the world press freedom index, from 71 in 2016 to 124 in 2021, out of 180 countries. The new president, Samia Suluhu, has adopted a more progressive stance. In her first month in office, she announced she did not want Tanzania to continue being infamous for violations of press freedom, and instructed the minister of information to lift some media bans imposed during Magufuli’s tenure.

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Julian Assange denied permission to attend Vivienne Westwood funeral

Julian Assange has been denied permission to leave prison to attend the funeral of Dame Vivienne Westwood, according to her family, reports The Guardian’s Ben Quinn.

Westwood’s family said they were “deeply disappointed that we were unable to fulfil Vivienne’s wishes but are unsurprised by the decision, which is unjust and in keeping with the inhumane treatment [Assange] has received from the UK authorities up to this point”.

They added: “Julian has not been convicted of any crime, yet he is treated as if he is a terrorist, the only thing he is guilty of is publishing the truth.”

Westwood, a pioneering fashion designer and activist who played a key role in the punk movement, was a prominent supporter of the WikiLeaks founder. She died “peacefully, surrounded by her family” in Clapham, south London, on 29 December.

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The Last King of the Cross: First look at TV show about nightclub mogul John Ibrahim

In our exclusive first look at The Last King Of The Cross, one thing is clear: Sydney nightclub identity John Ibrahim wants to tell a story of brotherhood, reports News Corp’s Mikaela Wilkes.

The 10-part made-for-TV series based on John Ibrahim’s 2017 book opens with a tense exchange between John and his and his older brother Sam.

“I don’t know how to help you anymore,” a young adult John (played by Lincoln Younes) says.

The trailer, which aired during The Bachelor Australia’s premiere, cuts to a dramatic montage of the Ibrahims’ childhood in war-torn Lebanon.

Then back: “Don’t worry. The last thing I ever wanted in the world was for you to help me,” Sam (Claude Jabbour) replies.

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‘Why not Wollongong?’ Disney backs irreverent Aussie superhero spoof

It’s been years since Michael Cusack lived in Dapto, the Wollongong suburb where he was born and raised. But even now as the 32-year-old writer and animator divides his time between Melbourne and Los Angeles, the voices, attitudes and humour the area instilled in him remain. Most of his previous animated series take place in what Cusack describes as “a bizarro Dapto”, and his latest, Koala Man, is no different, reports Nine Publishing’s Craig Mathieson.

“I was thinking about superheroes: Batman has Gotham, Spider-Man has New York. If one was in a small Australian suburb that would be funny,” says Cusack, calling in from a brief holiday break on South Australia’s Kangaroo Island before Disney’s global launch of Koala Man kicks off. “I think it’s fun to put Dapto on the screen because growing up you’re always seeing American stuff – so many films with Los Angeles. Why not Wollongong?”

Peppered with frisky language, serious strine, and absurdist eventualities, Koala Man is a superhero show where the hero is quite average. Voiced by Cusack with just the right note of bowls club self-delusion, Kevin is a suburban everyman obsessed with making a difference in his neighbourhood. Donning a mask and cape to become Koala Man, the husband and father of two cracks down on littering, regulates unkempt front lawns, and generally lets locals know “what you’re doing here is not on”.

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Sports Media

Will Break Point do for tennis what Drive to Survive did for F1?

In the third episode of Break Point, Netflix’s behind-the-scenes exploration of the international tennis tour, an autograph-seeking child holds his pen and big yellow ball up to an adult in athletic gear and asks, “Are you a player?”, reports Nine Publishing’s Malcolm Knox.

This is the elephant in this 10-episode room. The men’s tour in 2022 remained the domain of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, while the biggest women’s names were Ash Barty and Serena Williams, even as they were retiring from the game. Nobody would ever ask any of them if they were a player.

Netflix did not have access to those household names, and so, in their shadow, it has reframed its narrative as a quest for the next big thing. Who is going to break into that club?

The producers found themselves at a disadvantage compared with Netflix’s hugely popular Formula 1: Drive to Survive and Amazon’s cricket series The Test, which had access to those sports’ biggest drawcards.

Drive to Survive, with its fly on the very fast-moving wall of motor sport’s premier division, outstanding production values and fresh access, has regenerated interest in Formula 1.

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