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Sun-Herald

TV & RADIO

Author: Rachel Browne
Date: 26/10/2003
Words: 900
Source: SHD
          Publication: Sun Herald
Section: News
Page: 43
Queue here to be queer

FIRST Popstars, now production company Screentime is developing Gaystars which aims to create a contemporary version of those ultra-camp disco doyens the Village People.

A Screentime spokeswoman confirmed the company was developing the project after news of the series leaked out at the international television market conference, MIPCOM, two weeks ago.

The reality series, which is being made with an international partner, is tipped to go into production before the end of the year.

This will no doubt be music to the ears of those men who are reportedly inundating Channel Ten with applications to appear on the Australian version of US hit Queer Eye For The Straight Guy.

After all, Queer Eye only needs five fashion-conscious gay men whereas Gaystars will audition hundreds before culling them down to the final group.

This is your life, again

WITH Mike Munro's contract to Channel Nine due to expire in November, there has been plenty of speculation about whether the former A Current Affair host will re-sign with the network.

Munro publicly declared that he would not worry if he never returned to the television industry but our sources at Nine say he won't vanish from our screens any time soon.

While Munro has not signed on the dotted line, Nine expects he will return to the network to host This Is Your Life next year.

Executives are probably watching what has happened to the UK version of the program with interest. The BBC canned the nostalgia fest last week after almost 50 years on air in which its audience dropped from a peak of 20 million viewers to just 3.5 million.

Producer cooks up success THE restaurant reality genre is running a close second to the renovation reality genre in terms of success with 18,000 couples registering to appear on Seven's new series, My Restaurant Rules.

Seven's production team is sifting through the applications and production on the show is expected to start in December.

Meanwhile, Survivor creator Mark Burnett's latest project, The Restaurant, premieres on Channel Ten on Tuesday after winning acclaim in the US.

``When I started Survivor 31/2 years ago, they told me it would never work and now it's one of the most popular shows in the US and we're working on the eighth series," he said. ``When I said I was going to produce The Restaurant, they said it would never work and I said, `Well, that's exactly what you said about Survivor'."

Burnett is currently preparing the second series of The Restaurant, set in New York chef Rocco DiSpirito's upmarket eatery, as well as working on a new show, The Apprentice, in which 16 young people compete for a job with multimillionaire property developer Donald Trump, the new series of Survivor and All Stars Survivor, which will feature past winners from the show.

Lunch with bite

CHANNEL Seven head of news and current affairs Peter Meakin has evolved into something of a legendary luncher since decamping from Nine earlier this year.

First he was spotted breaking bread with Nine's Anna Coren , who has since joined Seven and will host Today Tonight over summer.

Then he was spotted dining with none other than Coren's erstwhile newsroom colleague Leila McKinnon , who has since announced her engagement to Nine's deputy CEO David Gyngell . We presume this means she will stay with the network.

Now Meakin has moved on to the national broadcaster, with word that he shared a meal with the ABC's Asia-Pacific satellite service newsreader, Jacinta Tynan, at a restaurant frequented by TV types just around the corner from Nine's Willoughby HQ.

It was hardly the most discreet spot for a quiet chat but then Meakin's fondness for stirring things up is well documented.

Reg shows us the ropes

MATTHEW Johns, better known as The Footy Show's Reg Reagan and Trent the flight steward, has signed to host his own show for Channel Nine.

Johns will present Sydney Getaway, a local spin-off from Nine's long-running travel series Getaway.

The show, which premieres this afternoon , features reports from the existing Getaway team of Catriona Rowntree , Sorrel Wilby , Ben Dark and Brendon Julian .

Rhett who does give a damn

AFTER appearing on Seven's Home And Away as schoolteacher Paris Burnett earlier this year, Adelaide actor Rhett Giles has moved to the studio next door to work on All Saints.

Giles worked on a few episodes of All Saints last year and clearly made such a good impression that he's been invited back for a semi-regular gig.

Giles returns to the Seven medical drama this Tuesday, playing firefighter Michael Plummer.

OOPS . . .

* Live television is fraught with peril as the producers of Channel Ten's ARIAs broadcast discovered on Tuesday. Singer Amiel Daemion , performing her hit Love Song, managed to replace the lyric ``another stupid love song" with the original line ``another f---ing love song". While we're sure no one in the audience blushed, we don't know about the viewers at home.

TUNED IN

McLeod's Daughters, Nine

Births, deaths and marriages are usually guaranteed ratings winners and so it was with the funeral of Claire McLeod (Lisa Chappell) on Wednesday. The episode drew the show's highest figure 1,701,915 viewers nationally and even managed to out-rate the previous week's episode in which she died in a nasty ute accident.

TUNED OUT

Rugby World Cup: Argentina v Romania, Seven

With the business end of the Rugby World Cup still a few weeks away, Seven's coverage has yet to reach its ratings potential. This less-than-nail-biting game was watched by 317,014 nationally, trailing Ten's Oprah Meets The Queer Fab Five special (870,125) and Nine's Without A Trace (1,454,076).

Movement at the stations

* Big Brother 3 runner-up Chrissie Swan and comedian Ronnie Stanton have signed as breakfast hosts on the Sunshine Coast's Hot 91 , which launches tomorrow .

* Tony Squires will host the ABC's telecast of the AFI Awards on November 21, while Rachael Blake will present the Australian Film Critics Circle Awards this Friday.

* Channel Seven has appointed Lewis Martin as national sales manager and Kurt Burnette as national sport and Sydney sales manager.

 
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