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Sunday Age

Heeler loses faith in Gold

Author: SUZANNE CARBONE
Date: 11/05/2003
Words: 1299
          Publication: The Sunday Age
Section: News
Page: 1
The fine crime-solving folk of Mount Thomas should be dispatched forthwith to a case that has television town talking. Blue Heelers star John Wood has been nominated seven times for a Gold Logie, but the mystery is: why can't he ever steal it from the women who have held on tight since 1997?

Wood, the personable Senior Sergeant Tom Croydon, faces the seven-year itch in vying for the ultimate prize as judged by TV Week readers and televised on Channel 9 tonight. The esteemed statuette has been won by Channel Seven actresses since 1997, when former Blue Heelers star Lisa McCune won her first of four before passing the baton in 2001 to All Saints star Georgie Parker, who made it two in a row last year.

While it has been a publicist's dream for Seven to have the Gold Logie stay in-house, the Wood predicament has long been a running joke. Should he be chuffed to be nominated so many times, or embarrassed that he has never won? A male contender who may upset the run of the women is the ``What The . . .?" man, second-time nominee Rove McManus.

Since the awards began in 1959, most Gold Logies have gone to men: Graham Kennedy (six), Ray Martin (five), Bert Newton (four) and Daryl Somers (three), followed by Lisa McCune (four) and Georgie Parker (two).

Wood already has three Logies to his credit, but the Gold has eluded him and - shock! horror! - it, appears he has no chance of winning given that the readers of TV Week are not the same people who watch Blue Heelers. Industry data show that 60 per cent of TV Week readers are aged 14 to 39, whereas 59 per cent of Blue Heelers viewers are 40-plus.

The voting process is shrouded in as much mystery as a Blue Heelers plot. The 12 ``most popular" awards are judged by TV Week readers, and the 10 ``most outstanding" awards are judged by 50 people including industry experts, networks and TV Week judges.

The magazine does not reveal how many readers vote, but an industry source said that between 5 and 10 per cent of the 255,000 circulation took part in the ballot.

Wood shares the pessimism about one day holding the Gold. When the Logie nominees were announced last month and he was asked if this year was going to be his, he declared: ``I would doubt it very much," adding later that he was resigned to the fact that he did not appeal to ``the 250 12-year-olds" who voted.

Given that the popular awards are judged largely by the lip gloss and hipster-jean-wearing teeny-boppers that are TV Week's readers, the industry-voted awards have more clout. So, to win the Silver Logie for most outstanding actor/actress is a proud moment indeed.

Stars have been known to sneak out of Crown Casino's Palladium room during the telecast for a prolonged smoko when the popular awards are in progress. But not this year: organisers have slapped a ban on smoking and drinking in the foyer.

It is also lamented that the Logies do not equate with popularity as judged by television ratings - Blue Heelers is consistently in the top 10 - nor are the Logie winners mirrored in the more highbrow AFI awards.

The six-year domination of McCune and Parker reflects the changes in society's attitude to women and the eschewing of traditional male traits, says TV buff Alan McKee, media studies lecturer at the University of Queensland.

He said the community was rejecting masculine notions of strength, arrogance and force in favour of women's skills in persuasion and winning consent.

``The new image of Australian culture is a feminine image," McKee said, noting that the face of Australia in the Sydney Olympics opening ceremony was Nikki Webster.

``It's not surprising that the most popular icons of Australian identity, which is obviously in some way what the Logie winners are, are the people who are not just women, but you look at the kind of images of people winning them. It's Lisa McCune, it's Georgie Parker - they're nice, kind, sweet, generous, they bring people in, they listen to them, they understand them. These are the qualities that we are celebrating."

McKee said Wood was still in with a chance because his character shared the same characteristics.

``He's actually quite feminine in the sense that he appears attentive to people's needs, he's quite sensitive and quite empathic."

TV trend-spotter David Castran (managing director of Audience Development Australia), who researches viewer attitudes to TV programs and stars, said Wood was a ``very, very popular actor" but did not appeal to TV Week readers the way McManus did.

``My hot tip is Rove," Mr Castran said. ``He's been one of the fastest-growing talents and he is the number-one talent for people 16 to 39. Rove is the go and John Wood - sorry, another bridesmaid."

LOGIES LOGISTICS

• About 200 people work behind the scenes.

• 10,000 meal components will be served on the night.

• 6000 glasses will be used.

• An estimated 960 bottles of Chandon champagne will be consumed.

• 1000 guests have been invited.

• From the front door to the Atrium stairs, there will be 50 metres of red carpet.

• Approximately 300 limousines will be used on the night.

• 23 awards will be given out, including the Hall of Fame Award.

• There will be 50 security guards.

• The Logie Awards are made of aluminium and then dipped in gold and silver.

The most Gold Logies have gone to:

Graham Kennedy (6) 1959, 1960, 1967, 1969, 1974, 1978

Ray Martin (5) 1987, 1993-96

Bert Newton (4) 1979, 1981, 1982, 1984

Lisa McCune (4) 1997-2000

Daryl Somers (3) 1983, 1986, 1989

Georgie Parker (2) 2000-01

The Gold Logie has been won by women, Lisa McCune and Georgie Parker, since 1997. The last man to win the Gold was Ray Martin in 1996.

And the nominees are ...

MOST POPULAR AWARDS

Gold Logie

Lisa Chappell - McLeod's Daughters

Rove McManus - Rove [Live]

Georgie Parker - All Saints

Libby Tanner - All Saints

John Wood - Blue Heelers

Silver Logie

most popular actress

Bridie Carter - McLeod's Daughters

Lisa Chappell - McLeod's Daughters

Claudia Karvan - The Secret Life of Us

Georgie Parker - All Saints

Libby Tanner - All Saints

Silver Logie

most popular actor

Beau Brady - Home and Away

Samuel Johnson - The Secret Life of Us

Myles Pollard - McLeod's Daughters

Erik Thomson - All Saints

John Wood - Blue Heelers

Silver Logie

most popular Australian program

All Saints

Blue Heelers

Home and Away

McLeod's Daughters

The Secret Life of Us

Most popular new female talent

Michelle Ang - Neighbours

Mieke Buchan - SBS Wold Sports

Alexandra Davies - Young Lions

Jodie Dry - White Collar Blue

Delta Goodrem - Neighbours

Most popular new male talent

Jay Bunyan - Neighbours

Daniel Collopy - Home and Away

Michael Dorman - The Secret Life of Us

Patrick Harvey - Neighbours

Ben Mortley - McLeod's Daughters

MOST OUTSTANDING AWARDS

Silver Logie

most outstanding actress

Kerry Armstrong - MDA

Claudia Karvan - The Secret Life of Us

Deborah Mailman - The Secret Life of Us

Freya Stafford - White Collar Blue

Juliet Stevenson - The Road from Coorain

Silver Logie

most outstanding actor

Shane Bourne - MDA

John Howard - Always Greener

Samuel Johnson - The Secret Life of Us

Peter O'Brien - White Collar Blue

Gary Sweet - Stingers

Silver Logie

most outstanding drama

All Saints

Always Greener

MDA

The Secret Life of Us

Stingers

White Collar Blue

Most outstanding public affairs program

The 7.30 Report

Dateline

Foreign Correspondent

Lateline

Sunday

Most popular awards are judged by TV Week readers, and most outstanding awards by industry panels.

GOING FOR GONGS
Network         Nominations
Channel Ten     29
Channel Nine            27
Channel Seven       26
ABC                     19
SBS                     8
 
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