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Wendy of­fers some Lo­gies luck

WHEN Wendy Harmer heard her friend Gre­tel Killeen would be fly­ing solo as Lo­gies host— the same role Harmer took on back in 2002— she rang to wish her luck. Harmer has well and truly put her host­ing at­tempt and any neg­a­tiv­ity sur­round­ing the event be­hind her and is now fo­cus­ing on other chal­lenges, in­clud­ing her Pear­lie book se­ries. It’s be­ing adapted for TV as an an­i­mated se­ries and is well into pro­duc­tion. ‘‘The se­ries will air this year in Canada and here in Aus­tralia on Chan­nel 10,’’ Harmer says.

Ex­perts to an­chor Ashes

STU­ART MacGill (left) will host SBS’s Ashes cov­er­age, start­ing in July. Join­ing him will be Greg Matthews and Damien Mar­tyn. The sta­tion’s broad­cast will in­clude morn­ing up­dates, daily high­lights and live cov­er­age from 7.30pm for each of the five Tests. Cov­er­age will be avail­able in HD. SBS manag­ing di­rec­tor Shaun Brown says: ‘‘SBS was the only Aus­tralian free-to-air broad­caster who came to the ta­ble in 2005 to en­sure one of the great­est Ashes se­ries was broad­cast live and free to air to Aus­tralian audiences. Af­ter that suc­cess and SBS’s strength­ened part­ner­ship with the Eng­land and Wales Cricket Board, we re­newed our com­mit­ment to the Ashes by se­cur­ing this year’s free-to-air rights. This means ev­ery ball, ev­ery run and ev­ery wicket will be shown live and free to air on SBS1.’’

Crime king’s evil web

PRO­DUC­TION is set to be­gin on a doc­u­men­tary about con­tro­ver­sial crime boss Abe Saf­fron. Mr Sin— The Abe Saf­fron Story, is be­ing writ­ten and di­rected by Hugh Piper. The doco synopsis ex­plains: ‘‘This is a story of bribery, black­mail and cor­rup­tion that ex­am­ines how, like a spi­der in his web, Aus­tralia’s enig­matic crime boss Abe Saf­fron re­mained un­touch­able for so long.’’

Aussie Gear on the road again

SBS hopes view­ers will get be­hind the sec­ond sea­son of its motoring show Top Gear. Se­ries one was crit­i­cised for fall­ing short of the stan­dard set by the Bri­tish orig­i­nal, but the cast of Top Gear Aus­tralia is hav­ing fun film­ing the new sea­son. The first episode of sea­son two prom­ises to de­liver laughs as the hosts race from Fed­er­a­tion Square to Port­sea.

Ruby can’t shake act­ing bug

MTV pre­sen­ter Ruby Rose (left) has won the Favourite Fe­male Per­son­al­ity ti­tle at pay-TV’s AS­TRA Awards. Though she’s happy fo­cus­ing on in­ter­view­ing mu­si­cians, Rose says she wouldn’t mind act­ing. She dropped out of an act­ing course at the Vic­to­rian Col­lege of the Arts af­ter get­ting the MTV role, but the 23-year-old says she would like to pick up where she left off. ‘‘I re­ally love act­ing and I was half­way through my course when I got this gig so I couldn’t fin­ish it,’’ she says. ‘‘If the right role came along I would def­i­nitely love to do some act­ing.’’

Dance tour step­pin’ out

TICK­ETS have been sell­ing well for the live tour of So You Think You Can Dance Aus­tralia, prompt­ing or­gan­is­ers to an­nounce new shows for the tour. Third con­certs have been added for Mel­bourne and Syd­ney. The new Mel­bourne show is July 8 (evening) at Rod Laver Arena. Tick­ets went on sale on Mon­day. The live-tour con­cept is prov­ing so suc­cess­ful that there will be 18 shows na­tion­ally. The sea­son’s top 10 dancers will be back to­gether in mid-June to start re­hearsals for the con­cert tour.

Es­capee had Buck­ley’s chance

ABC1 has com­mis­sioned pro­duc­tion of a drama­tised doc­u­men­tary about es­caped con­vict William Buck­ley. The doco will star Jean-Marc Russ as Buck­ley, Chris Hay­wood (left) as John Mor­gan, Richie Ak­ers as James Gunn, Den­nis Coard as John Fawkner and Richard Cawthorne as Alex Thomp­son. The Rein­car­na­tions of William Buck­ley will be pre­sented by Mel­bourne Uni­ver­sity his­to­rian Dr Michael Cath­cart. David Tournier will ap­pear in the film as the Wathau­rong cul­ture and lan­guage ex­pert, and in­dige­nous cast will be drawn from Vic­to­ria and other parts of Aus­tralia. The doco will tell how Buck­ley, a 23-year-old con­vict es­capee, lived with Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple in Vic­to­ria for 32 years in the early 1800s. Buck­ley’s life was saved by an Abo­rig­i­nal tribe in 1803 and they made him one of their own. Buck­ley’s life with Abo­rig­ines of the Port Phillip Bay area is the most detailed record we have of in­dige­nous so­ci­ety be­fore it was changed by white cul­ture.

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