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