That’s the spirit: Car­ols 2016

Car­ols co-hosts Lisa Wilkin­son and David Camp­bell put a tough TV year be­hind them to bring fes­tive joy

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - NEWS - writes TIF­FANY DUNK

AS the TV year comes to a close and Chan­nel 9 stars Lisa Wilkin­son and David Camp­bell pre­pare to take their long-awaited hol­i­days, the tra­di­tion of host­ing Car­ols by Can­dle­light on Christ­mas Eve of­fers the per­fect sign-off – es­pe­cially given the year they’ve both had.

From cov­er­ing end­less elec­tion cy­cles here and over­seas, to an on­slaught of tragic news sto­ries, it’s been a tough year to be in the news busi­ness.

Add in your co-hosts com­ing un­der some pretty in­tense scru­tiny – Karl Ste­fanovic’s mar­riage split and So­nia Kruger’s call for a Mus­lim ban – and it’s no won­der they are yearn­ing for a break.

“I think we all have to be hon­est, and say that 2016 was one of the tough­est years on record,” Camp­bell says. “There was a lot of bile that rose to the sur­face. We’ll all be glad to get this year be­hind us and start afresh. We’ve learnt a lot of lessons this year and I think those lessons cul­mi­nate on Christ­mas Eve.

“One of the great things that you can say about the hol­i­day pe­riod is that ev­ery­body is nice to each other. We need to look at Christ­mas as a hard restart.”

Wilkin­son agrees it’s been a big year, but for the To­day host it’s been one with plenty of per­sonal pay-offs. Hav­ing beaten Sun­rise in the five-city metro rat­ings and come close to top­pling them na­tion­ally, Wilkin­son says the ku­dos for the show has been “com­ing for a long time”.

“It’s taken 10 years of Karl [Ste­fanovic] and I be­ing to­gether and the gap con­sis­tently clos­ing ev­ery year. We’ve been work­ing hard and made the view­ers our No.1 pri­or­ity,” she says.

Wilkin­son still pinches her­self that she has what she calls the best job in tele­vi­sion – and co-host­ing Car­ols by Can­dle­light for the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive year with Camp­bell is the ic­ing on the cake.

“I reckon I have more smiles per minute dur­ing that show than at any other time dur­ing the year,” she says.

This year’s per­form­ers in­clude Dami Im, The Voice win­ner Al­fie Ar­curi, Ma­rina Prior, Shane Ja­cob­son and peren­nial kids favourites Hi5.

CAR­OLS BY CAN­DLE­LIGHT

SATUR­DAY, 8PM, NINE

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