Dicko de­cides

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Front Page - ANOOSKA TUCKER- EVANS

IAN ‘‘ Dicko’’ Dick­son is a con­tro­ver­sial, of­ten out­spo­ken re­al­ity TV per­son­al­ity, but he prom­ises to dis­play no such bravado on his new show Can of Worms.

The TDT se­ries in­volves a group of pan­el­lists tack­ling thorny is­sues in­clud­ing whether it’s OK to spy on your chil­dren on­line and if it’s all right to tell your kids there is no God.

The se­ries will fea­ture celebri­ties dis­cussing the hot top­ics as well as sur­vey re­sults from polls con­ducted by Roy Mor­gan.

‘‘ It just seems like ev­ery day some­one’s be­ing of­fended by some­thing and it’s our de­sire to pull that apart and say, ‘ Well, are we?’,’’ Dick­son says.

‘‘ We have the con­ver­sa­tion and we have some fun with it and get down and dirty with it, and then we say, ‘ Well, that’s what we think; what does Aus­tralia think?’, and we’ve got a polling com­pany who will tell us what Aus­tralia thinks on these is­sues. Hope­fully we’ll be able to cre­ate some res­o­lu­tion.’’

The idea for the de­bate-style show came to the for­mer record la­bel ex­ec­u­tive af­ter he came un­der fire for his com­ments about singer Paulini and that in­fa­mous gold dress on Aus­tralian Idol in 2003.

‘‘ I was re­ally shocked that the whole coun­try went into melt­down over com­ments that I made that were me just say­ing what I thought – be­ing hon­est,’’ he says.

‘‘ I thought Aus­tralia was a very open, knock­about, hon­est coun­try where peo­ple are pre­pared to tell you what they thought, but it ap­peared that wasn’t the case and it started to fas­ci­nate me and then, bit by bit, I started piec­ing it to­gether and I thought, ‘ I won­der if there’s a TV show in this where we can dis­cuss pub­lic moral­ity or po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness and make it fas­ci­nat­ing and en­ter­tain­ing and in­spir­ing’, and that’s where we are now.’’

Dick­son ( pic­tured) says the show will fea­ture stars from the TV, sport­ing and en­ter­tain­ment spheres who are not nec­es­sar­ily known for their opin­ions. But the for­mer ra­dio jock says he’ll be keep­ing his opin­ions to him­self.

‘‘ I’ll just be fa­cil­i­tat­ing the con­ver­sa­tion and en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to open up with their thoughts,’’ he says.

‘‘ Ide­ally we’re cre­at­ing a fam­ily show that peo­ple at home can watch with their teenagers and we can open up a di­a­logue on a few dif­fer­ent things and just show that it’s ac­tu­ally OK to have an opin­ion.’’

Ac­claimed TV pre­sen­ter and pro­ducer Andrew Den­ton is be­hind the scenes. Den­ton’s com­pany, Zapruder’s Other Films, and Dick­son’s Wa­ter Cooler Me­dia have jointly de­vel­oped the se­ries.

‘‘ It’s fas­ci­nat­ing and daunt­ing as well [ work­ing with Den­ton],’’ he says.

‘‘ He’s a very smart guy and oc­ca­sion­ally he makes you feel like the work-ex­pe­ri­ence boy.

‘‘ I feel some­times like I should be just run­ning around mak­ing tea and do­ing pho­to­copy­ing. But he’s shown a lot of faith in me and he’s taken to this show.’’

So does the show have what it takes to be a hit? ‘‘ We want it to be smart, we want it to be brave but we want it to be warm as well. If we can get all of those things right, then it will be a great, suc­cess­ful, fam­ily show,’’ Dick­son says. Can Of Worms, TDT, Mon­day, 8.30pm

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