Cancer rejects Stan Zemanek. Former Sydney talkback radio presenter Stan Zemanek has died of a brain tumour at the age of 60. A statement issued today by his former employer, 2UE (Southern Cross Broadcasting), revealed his death. Zemanek had been battling the brain tumour since May last year. He returned to radio briefly, but had to retire last December. He was reported in Sydney papers last weekend as being near death. He is survived by his wife Marcella, two daughters, Gaby and Melissa, and two grandchildren. Zemanek began his broadcasting career in 1987 and spent the majority of his time at Sydney station 2UE. He also was a host of the TV talk show Beauty and The Beast. — Glenn Dyer Thank God You’re Back. Wednesdays look like being the closest fought night of the week for the next 10 weeks or so with Ten scoring a narrow win off the back of the return of the highly successful Thank God You’re Here. It returned to an average audience of 1.785 million, a bit higher than the 1.77 million average for the two series shown last year. It was the most watched program in Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne, was second in Brisbane and third in Perth. It helped Ten’s medi-drama, House, to 1.511 million for the fresh ep shown last night. It will also help Ten nail down the 16 to 39 age group this year and give it a chance of catching Seven in the 18 to 49 age group. Thank God You’re Here and Spicks and Specks which follows on the ABC at 8.30pm (1.289 million last night) are the best light entertainment programs on TV. With a combined audience of three million people in the main metro markets, and another one million in regional areas, it’s a pretty strong message from the viewing public that people like being entertained. — Glenn Dyer Munro punished, Harvs does the business. Some viewers might be glad to see the appearance of Peter Harvey reading the 6pm news on Channel 9 in Sydney, but they should really be asking why isn’t Mike Munro doing it? The word around the TV industry is that, short of sacking him, Nine can’t really do anything to punish Munro for being such an obvious, though unacknowledged, source for Gerald Stone’s book, Who Killed Channel 9?, except deprive him of air time. Munro has been reading the weekend news and would have been the logical person to fill-in for Mark Ferguson who is on holidays. Interestingly, Harvey’s numbers in Sydney have been a bit better than Ferguson’s were last week. An oddity perhaps, or just reinforcement that old blokes attract solid audiences when reading the news, as Seven’s Ian Ross is showing. — Glenn Dyer Moscow, Moscow … anyone? Believe it or not, the ABC is having trouble filling its Moscow posting. The present correspondent, Emma Griffiths, is due to return to Sydney by the end of the year where she is slated to become the NSW state political reporter, but the ABC is finding it hard to select a replacement. The position has been advertised internally twice and interviews have been held but no one really stood out. Moscow is a difficult post given some of the travel involved and the ABC beancounters’ parsimonious approach to cost re-imbursement. But with an important election coming up next March you’d think there would be at least one ambitious ABC reporter wanting the gig. Meanwhile, two rounds of interviews have been held for the executive producer’s position at Four Corners. The previous ep, Bruce Belsham, is now editor at the ABC news website. There’s strong talk that the EP’s job could go to an outsider, but someone who has done time at 4Cs…stay tuned. — Glenn Dyer The Fin Review double-up. They are a possessive lot at the Australian Financial Review in Sydney, or at the Fairfax printing plant at Chullora. This morning’s Sydney edition contains a rare production error: two pages appear in the paper twice and a couple don’t. Page 55 appears twice, once where it should be (after page 54) and again where page 39 should be. And page 10 appears twice: once where it should be and once where Page 26 should be. Is this one of the long awaited cost-savings of Brian McCarthy? — Glenn Dyer Queen not happy about losing crown jewels. The Queen channelled her inner diva when being snapped by US celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz to commemorate her recent US tour. Leibovitz suggested that the monarch divest herself of her crown. Oops. The Telegraph tells of the delicious behind-the-scenes moment captured by the crew following the monarch around for BBC1 documentary A Year with the Queen:
Miss Leibovitz … said: “I think it will look better without the crown because the garter robe is so…”
Before she could finish the sentence the Queen shot an icy glance at the photographer and said: “Less dressy? What do you think this is?” referring to her robes which came complete with diamonds and ermine. [Click here for the Queen’s shock horror expression]
The Queen, who is rarely seen ruffled in public, then turned on her heel and strode out of the room with a courtier in hasty pursuit lifting the large train of her blue velvet cape off the floor.
The Queen was then heard pointedly telling a lady-in-waiting: “I’m not changing anything. I’ve had enough dressing like this thank you very much.”
Leibovitz later seen mopping her brow in relief that she hadn’t ask the Queen to pose naked in a tub of milk. — Jane Nethercote
Crime: another excuse to show booty. Both FHM and Ralph magazines have shown remarkable restraint, deciding not to run a photo shoot of Keara Douglas, victim of the recent Melbourne shooting allegedly carried out by Hells Angels member Christopher Hudson. They resisted despite the considerable temptation of Douglas’s job description: part-time model and exotic dancer. Publishing the photos would be distasteful, the lads’ mags told the Herald Sun. Zoo Weekly‘s editors were not so conscience-troubled however, running an article titled “Melbourne shooting survivor’s MySpace photos” to show “Kaera Douglas before the tragic incident”. At story’s end, they ask: Do YOU have a true crime story for Zoo? Send it to [email protected]. Some might feel the considerable temptation to introduce quotation marks at this point. Of course, FHM and Zoo Weekly have the same publisher, Emap Australia — as Zoo Weekly says, it is “published by the team that brings you FHM” — which just goes to show that sometimes you can have it both ways. — Jane Nethercote
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Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners: Ten’s night. it has been waiting a while for it but Thank God You’re Here returned with 1.785 million people to be the most watched program. House followed it with 1.511 million, Seven news next with 1.511 million and Today Tonight was next with 1.345 million. Spicks and Specks averaged 1.289 million, Nine News 1.278 million and A Current Affair 1.242 million. Cold Case was next for Nine with 1.186 million, Home And Away won the 7pm battle with 1.157 million for Seven and Police Files Unlocked averaged 1.144 million for 10th spot for Seven at 8 pm. The Force returned for Seven at 7.30 pm and averaged 1.113 million (an average return). Temptation for Nine at 7 pm had 1.106 million, Without A Trace hung in there at 9.30 pm for Nine with 1.098 million, the 7 pm ABC News averaged 1.084 million and McLeod’s Daughters averaged 1.083 million and was swamped by the return of Thank God. That was a repeat of last year’s experience. The Chaser’s repeats averaged 923,000 and Medium on Ten at 9.30, averaged 9.83 million. The Nation at 10.30 pm for Nine averaged 418,000, which was second best in the slot for most of the hour. Proportionately it was better than Tuesday night at 9.30 pm, but Without A Trace averaged over a million and CSI New York just over 800,000, so the more popular lead-in helped. It was interesting to see Andrew Denton on The Nation last night. A bit of support from one talk show host to another, across the networks? I hope so! The Losers: The Force on Seven was a soft start. It probably needs Border Security or something stronger in front of it. Ten and Nine were strong, Seven for programming reasons was a bit weaker than it appears. A close night, which means viewers were well served. News & CA: Seven News again won nationally but for the first time in several months, needed the big Perth margin (149,000 viewers) to win nationally by 123,000. Nine won Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane (for the first time in a while), Seven won Adelaide and Perth. Today Tonight won nationally by 103,000 and 121,000 in Perth. TT won Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. Nine won Sydney and Brisbane. Nine’s Nightline averaged 248,000. Ten News At Five averaged 896,000, the Late News/Sports Tonight averaged 483,000 from 10.30pm to around 11.15pm. The 7.30 Report averaged 756,000 (hurt by Thank God), Lateline 236,000, Lateline Business, 139,000. World News Australia on SBS, 217,000 at 6.30 pm, 2167,000 at 9.30 pm. Dateline, 198,000. 7am Sunrise, 372,000, 7am Today, 240,000. 9am Morning Show on Seven, 193,000, KAK at 9 on Nine, 146,000. 9am With David and Kim, 94,000. The Stats: Ten won with 27.8% (21.3%) from Seven with 26.0% (23.4%) with Nine third on 25.4% (34.2%), the ABC was on 15.4% (16.7%) and SBS was on 5.5% (4.4%). Ten won Sydney, Melbourne, drew Brisbane with Seven, won Adelaide (Seven third) and finished second in Perth behind Seven. Seven leads the week 30.3% to 26.3%. In regional areas a different result. Nine won through WIN/NBN with 29.6% from Southern Cross (ten) with 25.1%, Prime/7Qld was third with 24.5%, the ABC was on 14.2% and SBS was on 6.6%. Glenn Dyer’s comments: This was the most interesting night for weeks. Ten snuck home, relegating Nine to third spot for the second night in a row. Seven hung on for second as it got rid of the end of Prison Break in Sydney and Brisbane. The Force started softly. I reckon it does need a stronger program in front of it. In the 6pm to 10.30pm battle, Seven was actually third behind Ten and Nine. This was a night Ten had been looking forward to. Will it be enough to kick start the year? Yes. Elsewhere, it really depends on how Australian Idol goes and if Neighbours can hang on to any extra viewers it gets from the revamp starting July 23. Another interesting feature was the old style result (from 2005 and early 2006, at least in the News and Current Affairs battle at 6 to 7pm). Nine had its best night for sometime with wins on the east coast in news, forcing Seven News to use its usual big margin in Perth. Peter Harvey does well again in Sydney and scored a win. Tonight the big question is how many viewers with Sea Patrol hang on to from last week’s 1.9 million-plus launch? A figure above 1.7 million would be greeted joyfully at Willoughby.