Bourne ul­ti­ma­tum

Shane Bourne wants his au­di­ence to re­lax — but stay put — when he hosts this year’s Lo­gies, say Holly Byrnes Dar­ren Dev­lyn

Herald Sun - Switched On - - On The Couch -

HERE’S a vis­ual that should get you watch­ing this year’s Lo­gies: Shane Bourne in ‘‘ a lit­tle off-theshoul­der num­ber, a spray tan and I’m even think­ing of hav­ing a Brazil­ian’’.

OK, so it may have a few reach­ing for the re­mote, but it’s this kind of cheeky ap­proach to the TV in­dus­try event that makes this year’s host a safe pair of hands.

For all the con­tro­versy the an­nual awards show has al­ready at­tracted, Bourne has pledged he won’t be chas­ing more head­lines, Ricky

Ger­vais-style.

Af­ter the Bri­tish comic’s han­dling of the Golden Globes in Jan­uary, Chan­nel 9’s de­ci­sion to hand over the host­ing du­ties to an­other fun­ny­man came with some risk.

That’s just not what Bourne is about.

‘‘ I’ma huge fan of Ricky, on so many lev­els . . . but forme, I thought what he did was in­ap­pro­pri­ate. I wouldn’t want to be sitting in the room. If you were at a roast or a com­edy night, go for your life. But these awards are a chance to in­dulge a lit­tle,’’ Bourne says.

Af­ter 40 years do­ing com­edy, he adds: ‘‘ I’m not scared of do­ing any­thing cheeky, but I don’t think you want to be vi­cious. Peo­ple are hu­man be­ings, af­ter all. We’re there to cel­e­brate and that’s how I’m ap­proach­ing it.’’

With in­dus­try swip­ing al­ready in full swing over the nom­i­na­tions, es­pe­cially for the Gold Lo­gie nod for new­comer Chrissie Swan, the vet­eran is not keen to add fuel to that fire.

In­stead, the City Homi­cide star says it’s a healthy sign the au­di­ence is em­brac­ing new blood.

‘‘ It means we’re not just stuck in a rut like we have been in the past.’’

De­fend­ing the much­ma­ligned on­line vot­ing sys­tem this year, he adds: ‘‘ It means dif­fer­ent peo­ple are hav­ing a say. They are prob­a­bly sitting there watch­ing morn­ing tele­vi­sion, ob­vi­ously with Karl (Ste­fanovic) and Chrissie get­ting noms. I think that’s great. It gives the night a bit of a boost.’’

It’s no sur­prise there are cyn­ics ask­ing if Swan de­serves her Gold nom­i­na­tion. It’s a fair ques­tion, given The Cir­cle at­tracts about 70,000 view­ers a day.

That is a huge dif­fer­ence from Gold Lo­gie nom­i­nees Re­becca Gib­ney and Jessica Marais — their Packed to the Rafters av­er­ages about two mil­lion view­ers.

‘‘ There is no way she is one of the top six TV per­son­al­i­ties in Aus­tralia,’’ one mys­ti­fied me­dia an­a­lyst says of Swan.

Dig deeper and Swan’s Gold nom­i­na­tion isn’t such a shock.

For a start, The Cir­cle’s rat­ings are mis­lead­ing. The Cir­cle is a show peo­ple dip into for 30 min­utes at a time, so the cu­mu­la­tive au­di­ence across the week would be sub­stan­tial — pos­si­bly about one mil­lion.

Also, Swan has ben­e­fited from an ag­gres­sive Lo­gies cam­paign by Chan­nel 10, which has en­cour­aged view­ers to get on­line and vote.

Nine cam­paigned ag­gres­sively for To­day’s Ste­fanovic, and he has also been nom­i­nated for Gold.

Gib­ney won gold in 2009, but this is Marais’s first such nom­i­na­tion, though she has won Lo­gies for most out­stand­ing new tal­ent and most pop­u­lar new fe­male tal­ent.

Marais left Rafters ear­lier this year and is al­legedly ‘‘ close’’ to sign­ing for a US se­ries.

Bourne, mean­while, knows one way to en­sure a good Lo­gies tele­cast.

He ar­gues the doors of the Crown au­di­to­rium should be locked to keep the TV beasts from roam­ing.

‘‘ It’s a tough room. They’re a bunch of cyn­ics, and I count my­self in that . . . but I reckon the main prob­lem is, they let peo­ple out.

‘‘ When the ad breaks come — and I do this my­self — you scarper to the loo or what­ever, and there’s a fair bit of move­ment. When you come back (live), half the room’s gone.’’

While pub­li­cists and press agents have tried to make the boozed-up star a relic of Lo­gies of old, Bourne ad­mits he wouldn’t mind there be­ing a few ‘‘ tired and emo­tional mo­ments’’ on his show.

‘‘ It’s a bit of a shame we don’t see much of that any­more. Maybe we can get a lit­tle bit of that in this year.’’ TV Week Lo­gie Awards, Chan­nel 9, Sun­day, 7.30pm

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