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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.

Sec­ond Nest

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.

Grow­ing up

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.

Re­ces­sion tips

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.

Weather man

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.

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