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.

Sunday Territorian - - NEWS - CRAIG DUN­LOP

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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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”.


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.


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.

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