OUT OF THE BOX
The latest television news from Darren Devlyn and Erin McWhirter
Hey, hey, we want you back
A FACEBOOK fan page has been created to pressure a commercial TV network to commission the return of Hey Hey It’s Saturday. In less than a week, the number of fans who have joined the site’s petition for the legendary variety show’s return has jumped from 8840 to 9666. The fan page’s creator says: ‘‘ Hey Hey is responsible for not only bringing families together on a Saturday night, but also promoting many Australian music artists and actors and, without it, our music industry and movie industry has not been the same. Today’s TV is filled with crime shows, medical shows and all things that are depressing. What we need is variety, something that promotes Australian talent and something that fills us with good spirits.’’ Former Hey Hey host Daryl Somers has responded to the fan page, saying: ‘‘It’s touching that 10 years on from the final show so many are registering. As far as the show returning, it’s not out of the question. There have been talks with David Gyngell (Nine chief executive officer) and Michael Healy (director of programming) about a reunion show. You’ll certainly know about it if it happens’’.
Looking for a home
THE final verdict of new hit reality cooking program MasterChef Australia will be announced on July 19 and contestant Chris Badenoch is streets ahead of his competitors. Membership of his beer-appreciation business, BeerMasons, which was set up two years before he went on the program, has risen and he and business partner Renee Gresham are looking for premises around Australia for their first restaurant. ‘‘There’s no doubt being on MasterChef has helped all this,’’ Badenoch says. ‘‘We’ve had such good feedback from people all over the country and it’s just a matter of it being the right venue. There are people looking everywhere, all over Australia, at the moment to find the ideal property.’’
Shooting for goal
IVAN Zelic has played a first-aid guy in Home and Away and had a bit part in All Saints. Now he’s hit the big time with a role in Packed to the Rafters. The brother of former Australian soccer player Ned Zelic, Ivan was introduced during the second episode of the popular local drama as hunky doctor Luke Hanson. The new character’s arrival is likely to cause tension between on-again-off-again couple Mel (Zoe Ventoura) and Ben (Hugh Sheridan). Zelic has filmed four episodes for the new Rafters series.
Start writing now
IF YOU’RE planning to launch your career as a TV host on new digital channel ABC3, you’d better get a move on. Applications close tomorrow for those who want to be part of the Me On 3 nationwide search for new talent. On June 18, the ABC put out a casting call for people to apply for one of several presenter positions on the new digital kids’ channel. Since the campaign began, more than 50,000 people have visited abc.net.au/meon3 and 12,000 application forms have been downloaded.
Passing on the talent
HE DRESSED head to toe in pink as a fairy for an end-of-day parade at Movieworld; he’s often to be found playing board games with his young nephews; and he impressed national TV audiences with his trendy headband on a celebrity version of The Singing Bee. Now the host of Channel 9’s Saturday-morning show Kids’ WB, Shura Taft, has a new gig: fronting the kids’ game show Pyramid. But at 26, doesn’t he think it’s about time he grew up? ‘‘No way,’’ he says with a laugh. ‘‘Are you trying to make me out to be like Peter Pan?’’ The comparison is his, not ours, but it does seem to fit this rising star who openly admits he loves playing ‘‘all sorts of childish games’’ with nephews Jacob, 1, and Ethan, 3. Pyramid premieres soon on Nine. KEVIN Harrington and Shane Connor, two of Australia’s most accomplished actors, have decided it’s time to teach some tricks of their trade. Harrington (left) and Connor, who between them have 50 years’ experience, are hosting acting classes. Harrington’s credits include the role of Lewis Moran in Underbelly, and Connor has made his mark in Neighbours, Dirt Game and Moby Dick. Visit www.theactorscoach.com.au for details.
Naked ambition: MasterChef’s Chris Badenoch wants his own eatery.
Picture: DAVID CAIRD