NT stars in picture for TV awards
Bert Newton, the undisputed king of Australian television, has hosted the Logie awards 19 times. With Aussie TV’s night of nights on tonight, the 78year-old tells COLIN VICKERY what has moved him the most.
BREAKOUT Territory TV star Rob Collins will be among the names to watch at tonight’s TV Week Logie Awards.
Collins is nominated for his work in the ABC series Cleverman and Network Ten series The Wrong Girl.
Collins, whose heritage is from the Tiwi Islands, is one of two proud Territorians nominated, with perennial favourite Jess Mauboy a finalist for the Seven Network show The Secret Daughter.
Two of Collins’s fellow Cleverman cast members – Deborah Mailman and Hunter Page-Lochard – are up for awards, with Page-Lochard a finalist alongside Collins in the Graham Kennedy award for most outstanding newcomer.
Cleverman is also a finalist for the most outstanding drama series award.
The nominations come after several rollercoaster years for Collins, during which he has starred as Mufasa in the stage production of The Lion King as well as his critically acclaimed television roles.
The award ceremony, held at the Crown Palladium in Melbourne, will be broadcast from 7pm Darwin time on the Nine Network.
HOSTING MY FIRST LOGIES (1968)
It was 1967 and an unusual telecast because it took place in the Zodiac Room on a cruise ship, the Fairstar.
That was because The Seekers were going to London on it and they performed on the Logies. I remember that I wasn’t the first choice to host.
The special guest was American actor Vic Morrow. He was a method actor and his longest comment throughout the show was “man, this is crazy”. That is all he said.
It was special because one of the first Logies I presented was to Patti. I have been told by Channel 9 that there is no record of it and in some respects that is very good news.
WINNING GOLD (1985)
I’ve won four Gold Logies. Obviously winning the first one was wonderful. It was in 1979, the year my daughter Lauren was born. Also I was made an MBE that year.
I think I was nominated for Gold about 15 times. The last one that I won in 1985 was very special to me because it was nearing the end of my time at Channel 9 and I was the 40to-1 outsider in the field.
Winning was not just a surprise, it was quite a shock.
MUHAMMAD ALI (1979)
I don’t think a week goes by without someone saying to me “I like the boy”, after all these years. Back then I’d been doing a series of live commercials on Graham Kennedy’s show in which I played Colonel Sanders and that was the catchphrase.
When I said “I like the boy” with Muhammad Ali, all of a sudden there was a light in his eyes that I’d never seen in anyone before and I knew I was in trouble. I was too innocent. I had no idea why it was so offensive. Lauren Tewes from
The Love Boat was in the audience and in an endeavour to save me was calling out “he said Roy, not boy” and I stupidly replied “no, I said boy” which made it even worse.
The thing that got me out of it was that Muhammad Ali realised that from my point of view it was a pretty innocent remark. Later, he presented me with the Gold Logie and afterwards we had a long chat.
Talking to him was like talking to an aura. There was something special about him. You felt his presence before you saw him.
A DRUNK MICHAEL COLE SWEARS ON STAGE (1973)
When actor Michael Cole said “shit”, which was the first time it was said on Australian television, it was quite a moment. The program aired on a Friday night and the network received a couple of hundred calls from people complaining.
Back in those years they always replayed the Logies on a Sunday afternoon.
They edited out his piece and we got 2000 calls complaining. That tells you something about the significance. Mod Squad
ANDREW DENTON (1999)
I think this is one of the best Logies of all time. It is one that I didn’t compere. Andrew did it on two occasions and his first one is one of the best compering jobs I’ve seen by anyone anywhere in any show. It was the show in which he went down into the audience and did byplay with James Packer. As a viewer, because I was home watching, it was a show I will never forget. When you’re talking great Logies, you’ve got to mention that one.
CARRIE BICKMORE (2015)
That was a beautiful moment. I learnt pretty early in the piece that great television is made up of moments.
For a show like the Logies, which seems to go for three weeks on the one night if you can get one moment, which inevitably comes out of left field, it will be the major memory of the show.
Carrie’s speech made the show something special – much more than just the Gold Logie. It came right from the heart. I was most impressed.
DAME EDNA (1984, 1993)
Over the years, there was one guest who, as soon as you saw their name on the rundown, you knew you were in for 15 minutes of wonderful television and that was when Barry Humphries allowed Dame Edna to come on stage.
I was lucky enough to have her as a guest a couple of times and you knew it would be sheer entertainment.
PRESENTING THE GOLD LOGIE TO GRAHAM KENNEDY (1969, ’71, ’74, ’78)
Graham Kennedy is synonymous with the Logies. He named them. He won five Gold Logies and tons more in other categories. I presented most of his Gold Logies to him and it really was giving it to a very close friend. That was always a good feeling. Many years ago, I suggested that the Gold Logie be renamed the Graham Kennedy Gold Logie.
I realise that there is a Best New Talent Graham Kennedy Logie but I think he deserves a little more than that. He always told me that he regretted calling them the Logies. He said “I should have called them the Kennedys”.
DON LANE’S GOLD (1977)
I got a special thrill the night Don won. He’d been nominated a number of times. I thought it was a win that was well-deserved. He very kindly grabbed me around the shoulders and said “six months at my place, and six months at yours”.
He was very important in my career – he kickstarted it again. To see Don win and for me to have the pleasure of giving it to him was wonderful.
JOHN WAYNE (1975)
They usually had a cocktail party the night before the Logies for the guests. I saw John Wayne coming down the hallway tall as a gum tree with that walk that nobody else could do and all of a sudden this voice said: “I want to see Newton”.
The captain of his boat was an Australian and he said to John: “When you get there look for a bloke named Newton and he’ll look after you”.
After the cocktail party, John and Patti and I and an actor named William Conrad ( Cannon) ended up having a few drinks and John told us stories of Hollywood, the likes of which I’d never heard before.
It was one of the best nights of my life. He was a delightful bloke.
Rob Collins will be one to watch at tonight’s Logies, along with fellow Territorian Jess Mauboy (inset)
NEWTON’S LORE: Bert Newton’s on-air brush with boxing legend Muhammad Ali in 1979, above, is one of the TV star’s favourite Logies memories – along with, clockwise, Carrie Bickmore’s Gold Logie acceptance speech in 2015; Michael Cole swearing on stage in 1973; presenting the Gold Logie to Graham Kennedy in 1969; and Andrew Denton’s hosting performance – and byplay with James Packer – in 1999.