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Dicko’s soap bub­ble

IAN Dick­son (right), who is rev­el­ling in his judg­ing role on the new sea­son of Aus­tralian Idol, is about to find out if he can act. Dick­son has been in ne­go­ti­a­tions with the pro­duc­ers of Neigh­bours for a guest ap­pear­ance on the iconic Aussie soap.

Wood­wards fit The Bill

LOOK out for a spe­cial episode of long-run­ning ABC drama The Bill on Septem­ber 20. It fea­tures act­ing heavy­weight Ed­ward Wood­ward, his son Tim and grand­son Sam. It’s the first time the Wood­ward boys have worked to­gether.

Moon and the stars

YOU know TV is a tough in­dus­try when you miss out on a role play­ing your­self in a TV com­edy that you co-cre­ated and co-wrote. That’s al­most the sit­u­a­tion fac­ing long­time Mel­bourne com­edy writer Bren­dan Luno in a new eight-part sit­com What­ever Hap­pened to That Guy?, which starts film­ing in Mel­bourne this month. Star­ring and co-writ­ten by co­me­dian Peter Moon, the se­ries cen­tres on a fic­tion­alised ver­sion of Moon’s life as an ex-B-grade celebrity, says Luno, who has worked with Moon since the pair teamed up on Fast For­ward. Luno was short­listed for the role of Bruno, Moon’s long-time writ­ing part­ner, but di­rec­tor Ted Emery cast Scot­tish ac­tor Paul Ire­land in­stead. But all is not lost, with Luno hop­ing his nine-year-old son Joshua will still land a role. ‘‘I will just have to live my pa­thetic show­biz dreams through my son,’’ he jokes. The se­ries is be­ing co-pro­duced by Moon’s com­pany and Ruby En­ter­tain­ment’s Steve Luby for the Com­edy Chan­nel.

Worth a laugh

HIGH-pro­file co­me­di­ans in­clud­ing Dave Hughes, Rove McManus, Adam Richard and Corinne Grant have thrown their weight be­hind a ben­e­fit to raise money for Chan­nel 31’s new comic va­ri­ety show Stu­dio A. The Spec­tac­u­lar Com­edy Fundraiser will be held at Rich­mond’s Cor­ner Ho­tel on Septem­ber 17, fea­tur­ing a strong line-up of stars, many of whom launched their ca­reers on Chan­nel 31 se­ries such as The Loft. Stu­dio A se­ries pro­ducer Ged Wood, who also worked on The Loft, says or­gan­is­ers hope to raise a few thou­sands dol­lars to help fi­nance the new se­ries, which is be­ing pro­duced by RMITV and pre­mieres on Oc­to­ber 9. Tick­ets are avail­able through the pub.

Part­ner in life

IT’S been a busy year for ac­tor Rodger Corser with lead­ing roles in Un­der­belly and the new Chan­nel 10 drama Rush, along with the Em­mynom­i­nated mul­ti­me­dia cam­paign pro­mot­ing the lat­est sea­son of Lost. But of his many co-stars one stands out as a favourite— his wife, Re­nae Berry, who plays his on-screen ex-girl­friend in a forth­com­ing episode of Rush. It’s only a small scene but hope­fully she’ll be able to come back in the fu­ture, Corser says. Berry also ap­pears in the first episode of Nine’s new drama se­ries, The Strip.

Show­ing off Aussie tal­ent

DIS­TRI­BU­TION com­pany South­ern Star In­ter­na­tional has high hopes for its drama slate at the forth­com­ing in­ter­na­tional TV mar­ket, MIPCOM, where it will sell new Aussie dra­mas Packed to the Rafters, Rush and City Homi­cide, along with a raft of fac­tual pro­gram­ming. The chief ex­ec­u­tive of South­ern Star In­ter­na­tional, Cathy Payne, says Aus­tralian drama is again sell­ing well over­seas af­ter a lull of sev­eral years. ‘‘Aus­tralian drama re­ally works well when they can play it day­time,’’ Payne says. ‘‘It’s got to have flex­i­bil­ity. McLeod’s Daugh­ters works be­cause you know ex­actly what you’re get­ting and Wa­ter Rats still sells.’’ Packed to the Rafters sold to New Zealand sight-un­seen as a broad-based fam­ily drama to re­place McLeod’s Daugh­ters, which winds up this year.

Ev­ery dog has its day

WRIT­ING has be­gun on a sec­ond se­ries of Wil­fred for SBS, but the ma­nip­u­la­tive ca­nine cre­ation of Adam Zwar and Ja­son Gann may also be headed over­seas. The creators have been ap­proached by pro­duc­ers who are in­ter­ested in the for­mat for the Ger­man mar­ket, cen­tred on a petu­lant pooch named Wolf­gang.

Cook­ing up a treat

THE hum­ble lit­tle cook­book that be­came a best­seller for en­ter­pris­ing home cooks Kim McCosker and Rachael Ber­ming­ham, 4 In­gre­di­ents, launches in its small-screen for­mat next week on the Life­style Chan­nel. The book and se­ries fol­low the premise that you can make easy, af­ford­able and healthy meals us­ing four or fewer in­gre­di­ents. It pre­mieres on Septem­ber 11 at 7.30pm.

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