What the
Logie Awards last night lacked in glamour and excitement it made up for
in political drama, largely ignored by the mainstream media’s
entertainment writers and gossip columnists, too busy looking for TV
starlets being naughty. Kiwi/Aussie Hollywood actor Sam Neil set the
tone for the night with a snide remark about PM John Howard’s support
for the Iraq war. As he read the nominations for the Gold Logie award,
the well-oiled Sam let rip with: “The Logies are about democracy, the
viewers voting for their stars – and one day Iraq might get their own
Logie Awards”.

At the media conference later, he refused to
elaborate on his comments, quickly moving on to showbiz topics, and
ruling out the possibility of a Jurassic Park 4 movie coming
out. Earlier on, Premier Steve Bracks and wife Terri, dressed in a hot
red gown, were booed loudly as they arrived at Crown Casino’s Palladium.
In contrast, Kim Beazley and his daughter were greeted with loud cheers of “we want Kim, we want Kim. Give us an autograph.”

Blue Heeler’s
star John Wood, recipient of a Silver Logie, pleaded with Premier
Bracks and Bomber Beazley for more funding of the ABC and the promotion
of Australian talent. Watching on was former Liberal Party powerbroker
Michael Kroger, who attended with second wife, Ann Peacock, Crown
Casino’s marketing manager and daughter of Andrew. In other Logies
news:

No booze for journos: For the first time in
living memory, no alcohol was served to hacks in the media room until
the end when Rove McManus was named as Gold Logie winner. The
complaints flowed the whole night from “thirsty” scribes.

Show-biz powerbroker – or just throwing his weight around? On
the subject of food and drink, The Herald Sun’s TV writer Robert
Fidgeon, was clearly taking a break from his well-publicised diet. But
Fidgeon has emerged as a show-biz powerbroker, making or breaking
talent with his his regular column. John Wood, another big framed man,
came up to him privately and thanked him for the favourable press, as
did actress Claudia Karvan from the award-winning Fox drama series
‘Love My Way’.

Dyer – the enforcer: Melbourne Nine News
reporter Wayne Dyer, who has the physique of a prizefighter, let rip
with an almighty dummy spit at photographers whose flash photography
was ruining his TV cameraman’s shots. After the outburst, the
snaparazzi were on their best behaviour.

Ten – those open-minded people…
The Ten Network likes to let it all hang out, so much so that one well known senior female Neighbours
star brought her girlfriend along and were pashing at the after party,
and no-one batted an eyelid. Cleaners busted two young Ten employees, a
male and a female, together in the disabled toilets. Let’s say they
weren’t involved in a deep and meaningful political discussion…

What’s going on, Thorpedo? Swimming
champion Ian Thorpe’s behaviour puzzled some in the media room. He
seemed to spend most of his time swapping in-jokes with FOX FM Radio
man Adam Richards, the warm-up man for the room, and largely ignored
everyone else. The Thorpedo’s shock new hairstyle was universally given
the thumbs down.

Mark Ferguson – diplomat: Mark Ferguson
was on hand to accept the award for best news coverage on behalf of the
Nine Network, for its coverage of the tsunami. An independent
journalist asked him if it was the correct decision to send veteran
reporter Ray Martin, considering Brett McLeod was doing an excellent
job on the ground. Ferguson played the question with a straight bat. “I
don’t make those decisions,” he said.

Tension at Seven table:
Two
Ten TV executives, lips loosened by copious amounts of booze, were
laughing among themselves at the network after-party about former Australian Idol
judge and Ten employee Ian “Dicko” Dickson. Apparently Dicko has
angered some higher ups at his new network, Seven. The tension was felt
at the guest table during the awards ceremony. How long will Dicko last
at his new home before the free lunch runs out?

What’s in a name? TV
legend Lorrae Desmond may not be a happy camper, especially after
someone misspelt her first name as Lorae on the White Carpet, which
listed all the Gold Logie winners down the years, starting with Graham
Kennedy and Panda in 1959.

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