No holds barred
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: www.vega915.com.au. Wrestlerock is an over-18 event.
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.
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