Allahu Akbar, welcome to the jihad.” So said Charlie Pickering in his off-camera welcome to the audience at the taping for this year’s final episode of The Weekly. According to a tipster who attended last night’s taping, Pickering described this as a “traditional ABC greeting” — a comment bound not to be taken seriously by anyone, save for our taxpayer-funded Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton.

But the most tantalising bit of gossip came in response to a question from the audience on future production plans for the show. Crowd-man Danny McGinlay (trust the loose lips of the warm-up guy) assured the audience that not only would The Weekly be returning next year, but it would be returning with an even bigger budget and would likely go to air from February (Dutton’s backlash pending, we presume).

This leaves Ms Tips more than a little curious, given February has, for the past three years, been reserved for premiering the newest season of Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell, which appeared in the same 8.30pm timeslot before The Weekly took over in late April. And as Ms Tips reported at the timeThe Weekly only had room to grow because Mad As Hell had been denied a second run in 2015 due to budget cuts. But now we hear Pickering’s budget has increased, and he will be nabbing Micallef’s launch date. Well, we’re sure Bob Dylan wrote a song about this …

Peter Fray

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