Never an Idol moment
THE Australian Idol format is in for a shake-up. Though it’s been announced James Mathison will no longer be part of the show, Channel 10 executive producer Stephen Tate says more ‘‘quite significant’’ changes are on the way for the seventh season. ‘‘I can’t talk about them,’’ Tate says of the planned changes. ‘‘And there is a very real reason why I can’t, and it has to do with surprising the contestants. We’re not just being coy, the format changes we’re looking at will actually affect the entire run. So it’s not just something we’re doing in the theatre round or something we’re doing in auditions. It will affect the entirety.’’ Tate, who confirms judges Marcia Hines, Ian ‘‘Dicko’’ Dickson and Kyle Sandilands will return, says the biggest change will be unique to the Australian format of the Idol franchise. ‘‘It’s something Australia is leading the way in,’’ he says. ‘‘It hasn’t been tried anywhere else, so fingers crossed it works for us.’’ What did work for Australian Idol last year was the addition of celebrity mentors— Cyndi Lauper, Darren Hayes, Chris Isaak and Jermaine Jackson. Tate says to expect more big names this year. One change to the audition process this year is the addition of a separate call and online register for emergency-services workers who don’t get an opportunity to make it to auditions because they are shift workers. Melbourne auditions for Idol are on May 1-3.
The right response
HOSPITAL drama All Saints received a boost with the introduction of its new Medical Response Unit (MRU) at the start of this season. The makeover also introduced Mirrah Foulkes (above) in the role of Jo Mathieson. Since then Foulkes has also been filming alongside Guy Pearce and Joel Edgerton in crime drama Animal Kingdom. The film revolves around a 17-year-old who tries to survive a criminal family with help from a cop. But don’t expect Foulkes to leave her All Saints digs to tough it out in LA. ‘‘It’s not the sort of city I’d like to go and just hang out in,’’ Foulkes says.
THE first season of SBS series The Nest examined adult children living in the paternal home. A second series has been given the green light and will explore the work/family life balance. Demographer Bernard Salt will return to provide insight into the behavioural response of each family.
SCREEN Australia has announced it will back a slate of TV and film projects including Not 14 but 47, a Spirited Films/Big Picture Company concept from producers Jenny Day and Gillian Armstrong. Not 14 but 47 will be the fifth film in the series Armstrong has been making about the lives, hopes and dreams of three Adelaide girls since they were 14 in 1976.
CHANNEL 9 will on Sunday screen a Deborah Hutton special designed to help you survive the recession. Hutton will surprise a family on the verge of bankruptcy, offering them help through money expert Paul Clitheroe, builder James Bawden and real estate identity John McGrath.
JOHN Wood, who has recently appeared in The Cut and Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities, is to narrate for Foxtel’s The Weather Channel the doco special Forecast for Disaster: The Weather Behind Black Saturday. To screen on May 2, the doco will explain the weather conditions behind our bushfire disaster in February.