As a cultural institution, the Lodges hold a special place in the national fold, alternately the target of praise and derision. The hosting gig was once the industry’s greatest poisonous gift, so bittersweet few dared to sip it. As the sun set over the Gold Coast Convention Centre, it fell to comedian Julia Morris to bravely open the proceedings.
“No big song and dance number from me, I’m too old,” Morris said. “What kind of night do we have ahead of us when they let a loose unit like me open the show. I used to watch the Logies and think, why do the same seven people get all the work? But here’s the thing, now that I’m one of them, I don’t want that to change.
The much-loved comedian played the soft hand, taking aim at the gender pay gap and quashing the culture. And perhaps because two years had passed between gigs, the normally hard-to-sell audience responded heartily. That feeling — positivity after two years of pandemic cancellations — seemed to be the recurring theme of the evening.
The major drama award winners of the night included critically acclaimed ABC dramas The newsreader and Firesand actors Anna Torv (The newsreader), Richard Roxburgh (Fires), Colin Friels (Wakefield) and Heather Mitchell (Love me).
The Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics (Seven) won Outstanding Sports Coverage; presenters Tony Armstrong and Dylan Alcott announced the victory. “Having an aboriginal man and a guy in a wheelchair here on commercial TV…we’ve got a long way to go, but it’s huge,” Alcott said.
In one of the most anticipated moments of the evening, the industry paused to honor TV legend Bert Newton after the 83-year-old legend died in 2021. Asked to share her thoughts on her late husband , Newton’s wife, Patti, who arrived at the awards accompanied by the couple’s daughter, Lauren, was greeted with a standing ovation when she took the stage.
Newton, who worked on each of the commercial networks, was held in near universal reverence by the industry. “I didn’t think I was going to be able to do that tonight, it’s still very raw,” Newton said. “I’ll never get over his absence. But I know he’s with me. In particular, Newton loved the Logie Awards, Patti said. “It was his baby,” she said “He absolutely loved it.”
In honor of Newton, the most popular presenter award was renamed the Bert Newton Award. The nominees were Carrie Bickmore (The project), Hamish Blake (Lego Masters Australia), Leigh Sales (7:30 a.m.), Melissa Leong (MasterChef Australia), Sonia Kruger (Big brother) and Tom Gleeson (difficult quiz). “It’s a step in the huge shadow of Bert,” Blake, who won, said in his acceptance speech.
Graham Kennedy Award for Most Popular New Talent went to ABC News Breakfastst sportscaster Tony Armstrong, who thanked the National Indigenous Radio Service (NIRS), which he credited with giving him the exposure as an AFL caller that landed him his job on the ABC.
The 32-year-old presenter also told his boss, ABC news director Justin Stevens, that he might need a pay rise – ‘contract negotiations, man’ he said – and thanked his mother Margaret, who he described as a “superstar”. ”
The award for Outstanding Children’s Program is usually not met with much fanfare, certainly in programming that has seen Gogglebox Australia, travel guides and The project winner of the awards, but the 2022 winner is one of Australia’s most valuable television exports, the ABC Bluey. The series, produced by Brisbane-based Ludo Pictures, has sold to over 110 countries.
The “in memoriam” segment acknowledged the deaths of actors Tom Long, Joy Westmore, Anne Phelan, Betty Bobbit, Dieter Brummer, David Gulpilil and Ben Unwin, broadcasters Clive James, Brian Henderson and Mike Raymond, television personality Jeanne Little, newsreader Kay Stammers, executives Paul Fenn and David Leckie, producers Mark Ruse, Jill Covitz, Michael Gudinski and Gerald Stone, puppeteer Ernie Carroll and television host Bert Newton.
The TV Week Hall of Fame’s Gold Logie went to sportscaster Bruce McAvaney. The 68-year-old broadcaster, who received the Order of Australia medal in June 2002, for his services to sports broadcasting, has been a major fixture in sporting events for decades, including the grand final of the AFL, the Melbourne Cup, the Summer Olympics and the Brownlow Medal.
In 2017, McAvaney revealed he had been diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Accepting the Hall of Fame Golden Logie, McAvaney described the modern sports world as “a real-life, do-or-die drama. It was a privilege to be there when this is happening and to tell you about it”.
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