‘We know what to do now’
Julia Zemiro’s plans to redeem the ABC’s New Year’s Eve coverage
JULIA Zemiro intends to finish 2014 in the way she spent most of it — on our screens. This year alone, she’s hosted the
Countdown anniversary specials, Rockwiz, Eurovision, Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery, bared her soul in Adam Zwar’s Agony of … specials and done a stint with the Sydney Theatre Company.
So it’s fitting that Zemiro, along with “great mate” Toby Truslove, will present the ABC’s coverage of Sydney’s New Year’s Eve fireworks.
“I’m almost on the ABC a bit too much at the moment,” she says. “You want people to miss you a bit. I’m really glad for all the work I have, but I also say no to a lot of things. I think that if everyone sees you everywhere they get a bit tired of you.”
Zemiro is a firm favourite with ABC viewers, but knows she has her work cut out hosting NYE. Last year’s coverage, with Lawrence Mooney and Stephanie Brantz, was labelled a train wreck, tasteless and offensive. Viewers were quick to vent their displeasure on Twitter and via talkback radio.
“It’s so easy to comment, it’s not easy to ‘do’,” Zemiro says. “I mean, people have a right to their opinion. We’re up there representing the channel.
“They (Mooney and Brantz) were the first. It’s easier for us to be the second. We know what not to do now.”
Pre-produced elements of the night’s entertainment will again rely heavily on ABC talent, past and present and future.
Charlie Pickering will give viewers a sneak peek of his new show, Adam Zwar will present The Agony of New Year’s
Eve and other guests will include Tom Gleeson, Denise Scott and Alan Brough. Tom Ballard in a chopper should bring a few laughs, as well as live crosses to Peter Helliar “partying at home”.
Striking the right balance is “a tricky thing”, Zemiro says.
“No one’s going to watch for the full four hours. I’m assuming people will go and get their wine, come back, say, ‘Oh it’s Shaun Micallef, I want to see him’, but then see us and think ‘I don’t want to watch them’.”
Zemiro insists the broadcast covers not only revellers, but also those stuck working. She can sympathise, having spent Christmases and New Year’s in the ’80s working as a waitress.
Given her immense workload this year, Zemiro’s in surprisingly good spirits.
“I will say to you that I have no children, and when you have no children, your energy levels are very high,” she says. “I lead a very free life, so my work … once it’s done, all I’ve got to think about is myself, so it’s actually OK.”
It wasn’t always the case. “Five years ago I was buggered. And I thought, this is really not the way I want to be living,” she says.
“For a while there, I’d finish a project and everyone would go for a drink but I couldn’t because I was off to do a corporate job.
“But you know, I’ve paid off my mortgage, it was a great thing to do. I do get tired, but not like I used to.”
Zemiro plans to reprise her year onscreen with many of the same gigs next year, including the successful Home Delivery, likely to be commissioned for a third series.
“It’s looking good, on the proviso that the ABC has found , you know, $60 down the back of the couch now that they’ve had so many cuts,” Zemiro says. “I think that they’re happy with the show and they like how it rates. I would say it’s looking good.”
NEW YEAR’S EVE BROADCAST
WEDNESDAY, 8.30PM, ABC