See you Latter
Ron Casey's producer, Paul Latter, apparently became so fed up with 2GB's
hot-tempered weekend presenter that he resigned last Monday.
Latter says tactfully he's "looking for new challenges". Casey says he was
told by program director Mike Jeffreys that Latter didn't want to work with him
"because I was too abrasive". And was he? "Yes," says Casey, explaining that he
"got too abrasive" when Latter ordered the panel operator to press the dump
button on Casey a couple of times and Casey didn't believe it was warranted.
"I referred to Camilla Parker-Bowles as a 'royal slut' because she was
married when she started an affair with Prince Charles and it continued when he
was married to Princess Diana," he says.
"Another time I said Prince Charles was a stuck-up prig." Does he feel that
this was misheard? "Probably, but if they were bloody listening hard enough
they'd know I didn't say something else," says Casey.
"If I can't say that, what can I possibly say on talkback radio? I am an avid
listener to Stan Zemanek [2GB's morning presenter] and what he gets away with
leaves me in the shade."
In the meantime, Latter is saying he had to order the dump button just a few
times "but it wouldn't have been major - not like a dozen times in the program
or anything". Latter is moving to 2SM to produce Clive Robertson.
Who wants to be ... lost
The trend towards rough and tumble reality shows continues, with US network
CBS unveiling the latest in the line - Survivor. Sixteen finalists, culled from
6,000 applicants, will compete in endurance tests on an isolated island in the
South China Sea. Over 13 one-hour episodes, the group will be reduced to two
finalists, with the previously eliminated contestants deciding which of them
wins the $US1 million prize money.
The show is filmed by remote cameras and small camera crews who will also be
on the island but will not interact with the contestants.
A version of the show that screened in Sweden three years ago created a stir
when one of its contestants committed suicide after returning home. At the time,
the Swedish TV network denied any responsibility. CBS says each of its
contestants has been psychologically tested to avoid such an incident.
Ranging in age from 22 to 72, the contestants include a college student,
retired Navy SEAL, lawyer, neurologist, truck driver, travelling salesman and
No Australian broadcaster has been announced for the program, but the Nine
Network has a standing agreement to consider CBS program material offered to the
Meanwhile, Seven's reality/survival program, The Mole, will soon wrap up,
with the mole's identity to be revealed on April 12.
Home and hosed
It's a long way from Summer Bay, but one of Home and Away's sun-bronzed kids
has made it onto the Radio Times cover, the BBC-produced weekly guide to British
TV programs, which sells nearly two million copies a week.
Naomi Watts spent what she describes inside as "six miserable weeks" in 1991
playing Julie Gibson in the Australian soap. She became better known to viewers
in Brides of Christ, playing Frances Heffenam, the rebellious daughter of a
woman who defied the church by obtaining a divorce.
Born in England, Watts migrated to Australia as a teenager. Now all eyes are
upon her as she plays opposite Derek Jacobi in the leading role of Alice Maybell
in the BBC's latest period drama, The Wyvern Mystery. This is a chilling tale
by 19th-century horror writer Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. The two-part series is
coming soon on the ABC.
Meanwhile, another former member of the Summer Bay crowd, Isla Fisher, gets
her big moment in the final episode of Oliver Twist (ABC, Sunday, 8.30pm),
playing Bet, the friend of Nancy (Emily Woof). Fisher played the young Shannon
in Home and Away for three seasons from 1994.
ABC runs strong
In the wake of SBS's Global Outstanding Achievement Award, the ABC is sharing
in a gong from The Royal Television Society. It's for Best Children's Drama in
the UK, awarded for the three-part thriller See How They Run, a joint ABC-BBC
production which screened here last year.
Filmed on location in Britain and Australia and starring Peter O'Brien
(Neighbours) and Anne Looby (A Country Practice, Simone de Beauvoir's Babies),
See How They Run beat early favourites Pig Heart Boy and My Parents are Aliens.
Conde's winning form
Not only has a move to expel 2UE from the Federation of Australian Radio
Broadcasters failed, but FARB has invited John Conde, 2UE's executive chairman,
to join its codes committee.
The chairman of FARB, Gary Roberts, says: "We felt it was an invitation that
was an obvious one to extend, given the circumstances."
Conde says the FARB board told him: "We think you know more about the codes
than anyone, John." And he was delighted to accept.
The move to expel 2UE, for breaching the industry's voluntary codes of
practice, came from John Singleton, major shareholder of the rival Macquarie
Network, in a letter tabled at the February meeting of FARB. Following that
meeting, Singleton was quoted as saying: "Either 2UE goes down or FARB goes
down. If the voluntary code is to survive, 2UE has to go."
Asked about Singleton's letter, Roberts says: "The correspondence from
Macquarie was tabled and given due consideration. It serves no purpose to expel
anyone. The decision was how to work constructively together to move forward ...
2UE and the board will work constructively together to move forward. We're very
positive about it."
Forget about playing sport ... or even watching it. The trend is to talk
about it. The latest sweat-propelled, panel-format gab-fest is Ten's V8
Superstars, a one-hour effort featuring race drivers Mark Skaife, Neil Crompton
and Russell Ingall plus Network Ten commentators Bill Woods and Mark Oastler.
The official line is that this crew - with two guests per show - will
discuss, debate and outright argue issues "from on and off the track, in an open
forum normally reserved
for the pits".
The first episode will be recorded in front of a live audience this Friday
and broadcast on Sunday at 1pm. Additional episodes are planned: two in June and
one to coincide with the Bathurst V8 race in November.