From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

Musical chairs at SBS. It’s been reported Paul Cutler is set to step down as the network news and current affairs boss at SBS. And there’s a ready-made replacement on tap: Jim Carroll, the former news and current affairs boss at Ten who was one of Lachie Murdoch’s early victims in the purges of 2011 and 2012. Carroll joined SBS just before Christmas as executive producer of World News Australia. Moving up to the top job will be an easy step for him. He’s the hot tip — stay tuned.

Trouble in paradise. This from a TV type:

“The perils of outsourcing. Looks like there are a number of unhappy and unpaid crew on the ABC commissioned drama Serangoon Road shot in Singapore with a bundle of Singaporean government subsidy. The production was under-budgeted with many very inexperienced Singaporean crew and a very unhappy Australian contingent.”

Is it true that the producer may have run into financial difficulties before? What due diligence did the ABC do?

We asked the ABC what was going on. An emailed statement confirms it is a co-production with ABC TV and HBO Asia, with investment from ScreenWest and Singapore’s Media Development Authority. It added:

“Shooting finishes today in Singapore and everyone is being paid as contracted. There was a very experienced Australian creative team on the production including Executive Producer, Producer, Line Producer, Directors and DOPs from Australia, plus leading cast from Asia and Australia. Post production is well underway in Australia. ABC TV will screen Serangoon Road later this year.”

A return for Ja’mie? We know comedian Chris Lilley will be back on the ABC this year, but the project remains a tightly-kept secret. A caller to 3AW reckons precocious and selfish teenager Ja’mie has been spotted filming episodes at a Melbourne private school. Ja’mie was a hit on Lilley’s Summer Heights High and We Can Be Heroes (although we wonder if Ja’mie must be getting on a little now). Know more? Fill us in.

We didn’t throw the poll, say shooters … Tips displayed curiosity recently about whether an Age online poll on guns had been gamed by shooters. A tipster who was previously involved with the Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia said the group did urge members to game polls, and suggested people check the IP addresses of votes cast. Not true, says Tim Bannister, CEO of the SSAA:

“I’m no IT whiz but how would checking the IT addresses of people who vote on an online poll show that they are members of the Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia? Oh and for the record, no, we didn’t contact our members to vote. But a good idea and we will certainly look at it!

By the way, when I worked at Channel 7 in Adelaide as a teenager they had two manual counters that clicked over when people rang their poll. One for yes and the other for no. Problem was they hadn’t worked for some years. When I asked statuesque sports reporter Anne Fulwood how they worked out the results she gave a Mona Lisian smile and said “there are some questions best unasked”. I didn’t last there long …”.

Sounds like the Channel 7 poll might be as accurate as some of these newfangled online polls.

… as pharmacists hit their own poll woes. The Pharmacy Guild of Australia has denied accusations it manipulated a poll on the Australian Doctor website, asking whether pharmacists should administer vaccines. Did quite a lot of the votes come from two IP addresses, one of which was linked to the Guild’s Queensland branch?

Scorpios need not attend. Seems like the SA government has plenty of spare cash, putting on this event for staff at the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI).

From: Dixon, Christine (DPTI)

Sent: Tuesday, 29 January 2013 5:41 PM

To: Dixon, Christine (DPTI); DL:DPTI PD Planning Division

Subject: Astrology presentation — Lunch time forum When: Tuesday, 5 February 2013 12:30 PM-1:30 PM (UTC+09:30) Adelaide.

Hi All,

In October Helen Hartley presented to the LSG Women in Leadership forum on breast cancer awareness. We have invited Helen back to provide a humorous look at astrology. Please bring your lunch and settle back for an entertaining lunchtime forum. Places are limited, so if you would like to come please reply asap to secure your place.

Kind regards, Chris Dixon

Astrology Matters … the art of perfect timing. Helen Hartley uses a personal clock (horoscope) to provide clients with insight about how to use timing for life decisions or developmental directions. This enables them to maximise their resources and excel personally and professionally … We live in a symbolic universe and Carl Jung, one of the twentieth century’s greatest psychologists, stated “Whatever is born or done this moment has the qualities of this moment of time.” The qualities (or energies) of the moment can be deciphered from the symbolism in the sky … Helen Hartley, Human Resources by Design.

As our mole said, “We can’t afford to electrify all our suburban train system but we can engage an astrologer to help us with our human resources matters!”

Tips loves a good office email so don’t be shy about that “forward” button.

Crikey’s fantasy Q&A. Tips is tremendously excited that 2013’s inaugural Q&A on Monday will feature, drumroll please … Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury, Christopher Pyne, Amanda Vanstone etc. Yawn. Crikey has decided to help out Aunty by drafting up our fantasy Q&A panel, with the help of our readers. Send us your dream panel, five members maximum, living or dead. We’ll send off the best ones to the executive producer. Feel free to pick a theme.

Here’s Tips’ pick: Hillary Clinton, Christopher Hitchens, Tony Windsor, Arianna Huffington and Noel Coward. No room for Pyne …

*Heard anything that might interest Crikey? Send your tips to [email protected] or use our guaranteed anonymous form.