No holds barred

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Out Of The Box -

IF HE hasn’t lost his mar­bles, he’s at least about to have them scat­tered. On Fri­day Vega an­nouncer and Aus­tralian Idol judge Ian Dick­son will climb into the wrestling ring— a stunt prompted by Dick­son taunt­ing wrestlers and wrestling fans by insin­u­at­ing they live in a world of make-be­lieve. Af­ter hear­ing Dick­son’s spray on ra­dio, Wrestlerock pro­moter Ju­lian James dared him to take on Aus­tralia’s king of hard­core wrestling, Krack­er­jack. Dicko has even adopted a wrestling per­sona— The Guv’nor— for the oc­ca­sion. The bad news for Dick­son is that Krack­er­jack has al­ready listed the sig­na­ture moves he plans to use in the bout. Among them are the spinal tap (a guar­an­tee Dick­son will need to be car­ried from the ring). Krack­er­jack says: ‘‘Dicko can run his mouth off all he likes, but af­ter I’m fin­ished with him the only thing fake about the sit­u­a­tion will be his teeth’’. Dicko last week had a prac­tice ses­sion with wrestler Mr Big to pre­pare him for Fri­day’s bout. The show­down will take place at the Hi-Fi Bar, 125 Swanston St, Mel­bourne. For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion: Wrestlerock is an over-18 event.

Out­sourc­ing anger

GRUM­BLINGS of dis­con­tent rang out loud from the ABC’s Rip­pon­lea stu­dios last week, where ABC crew were out­sourced by ABC Re­sources Sales to film Count­down to 111 for Fox­tel. Hun­dreds of peo­ple, in­clud­ing host Molly Mel­drum, mu­si­cians and au­di­ence, de­scended on Rip­pon­lea, tak­ing over stu­dio space, the SeaChange bar (which has lost its iconic mu­ral to make it more cam­er­afriendly), make-up and dress­ing rooms, park­ing space and the VIP and green room fa­cil­i­ties. Pro­duc­tion of in-house ABC pro­grams in Mel­bourne is in­creas­ingly dis­rupted by the grow­ing ABC prac­tice of leas­ing its staff and fa­cil­i­ties to ri­val net­works and pro­duc­tion com­pa­nies, who film se­ries in­clud­ing Fox­tel’s Project Run­way and SBS’s New­stopia at Rip­pon­lea. Iron­i­cally, Count­down was orig­i­nally an ABC pro­duc­tion. FILM­ING wrapped last week on the sec­ond se­ries of Chan­nel 7’s City Homi­cide (above), with an AFI Award nom­i­na­tion for best tele­vi­sion drama se­ries and the cer­tainty that it will re­turn to air next year. The se­ries, which stars Shane Bourne, Daniel Macpher­son, Aaron Ped­er­sen, Damien Richardson, Na­dine Gar­ner and Noni Ha­zle­hurst, con­tin­ues to per­form well over­seas. New sales to France and the Mid­dle East have been an­nounced by dis­trib­u­tor South­ern Star. Seven’s other hit drama Packed to the Rafters is also sell­ing well with many deals pend­ing. The se­ries al­ready has been picked up by pay-TV in Aus­tralia, New Zealand, South Africa and Bel­gium.

Homi­cide a big hit

The Rush is on

NO DEAL has been signed, but Chan­nel 10 ap­pears likely to re­new its lo­cal drama se­ries Rush when it an­nounces its 2009 line-up on Mon­day. First on the agenda for the pro­duc­ers will be cast­ing a new lead role to re­place one of the squad, who dies in the episode screen­ing on Tues­day.

In­for­mant to talk

CHAN­NEL 10 has fi­nally sched­uled The In­for­mant, a tele­movie star­ring William McInnes, Colin Friels, Anita Hegh and Stephen Curry, to screen on Fri­day, Novem­ber 14. Com­mis­sioned by for­mer Ten drama chief Sue Mas­ters from the team that made Un­der­belly and The So­ci­ety Mur­ders, The In­for­mant stars McInnes as a fa­ther with a se­cret past. The pacy script won a gong for Greg Had­drick at this year’s Aus­tralian Writ­ers’ Guild awards.

Cold com­fort

MONTHS of film­ing in sub-zero con­di­tions have paid off for di­rec­tor Malcolm McDon­ald, who won the Jules Verne Award for best di­rec­tor for his ABC doc­u­men­tary Maw­son— Life and Death in Antarc­tica at a film fes­ti­val in Los An­ge­les. The film, which fol­lows Ade­laide ad­ven­turer Tim Jarvis as he re­traces the epic Antarc­tic ex­pe­di­tion of Dou­glas Maw­son in 1912, won best doc­u­men­tary at the In­ter­na­tional Fes­ti­val of Moun­tain Films in Slo­vakia and is a fi­nal­ist at the Moun­tain& Ad­ven­ture Film Fes­ti­val in Aus­tria next week.

No pain, no gain: Mr Big gives Ian Dick­son a taste of what to ex­pect from Krack­er­jack. Pic­ture: CAMERON TANDY

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