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