By Scott Ellis
It’s Australian television’s night of nights, the moment the cast, crew and creators of the shows we love are acknowledged with their industry’s most-coveted award… and every year, The TV Week Logie Awards is also a surprise.
Here’s ten moments – planned and otherwise – when the Logies night was every bit as entertaining as the cast, crew and creations they celebrated.
1. WE DOFF OUR HATS!
When Carrie Bickmore won gold in 2015, it was a suitable salute to a performer who had not only outperformed everyone else that year, but had done after one of the most testing times in her life. Accepting the award, she dedicated the win to her late husband Greg, who had died of brain cancer two years before and used her acceptance speech to highlight the need for research. To cap it off, she whipped out a blue woollen beanie, popped it on and launched her Beanies For Brain Cancer charity… and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
2. WORK THAT PODIUM
Before Carrie won her gold in 2015, Indigenous actor Miranda Tapsell had already won two silver Logies that night, for Most Outstanding Newcomer and Most Popular New Talent. She had time left over to explain just why the Australian television industry needed to think outside the box when it comes to race. “"Put more beautiful people of colour on TV and connect viewers in ways which transcend race and unite us,” she asked. A standing ovation erupted.
3. PARTY ON
The various Logies after-parties are as legendary as the awards themselves, protected by the Australian version of the Vegas Rule - What Happens At The Parties Stays At The Parties. All that goes out the window however when the police are called in, as in 2011 when an incident involving five security guards left former Logie winner Dieter Brummer charged with a range of offences. In his defence, Brummer had been at the Logies as part of the Underbelly cast…
The problem with an award that celebrates the most popular personality on TV is it can mean the stars who have worked tirelessly, sometimes for years, just don’t get the votes if they’re up against the Next Big Thing. In 2010 however, the public decided it was time to remember someone who had been slogging away in his role for so long he was actually in the Guinness Book Of Records for the feat. And so it was gold went to Ray Meagher, aka Alf from Home And Away!
5. THE DAY AFTER THE NIGHT BEFORE
In 2009, the Gold Logie went to Today show host Karl Stefanovic. By the next day he was suffering from what must have been one big celebration. Back at his Today show desk, he looked unfocussed, struggled to string sentences together and mid-way through the weather, just gave up, saying: “You know what? Who cares?” Karl later conceded “I wasn’t at my best”.
6. WHERE AM I?
The Logies has a rich tradition of bringing special guests in from overseas, most of whom appreciate the honour and few who were just in it for the trip to Australia. At the “just here for the trip” end was the late Joan Rivers who in 2006 happily told viewers: “I don’t know why the f**k I’m here!” She went on to say she didn’t know who she was sitting with, the Logie was the ugliest award she’d ever seen and that anyone who wanted one could get hers on eBay the next day.
7. HOSTS WITH THE MOST
Hosting The Logies has been called “The Poisoned Chalice”, a role that is long, tough and thankless. Almost every host aside from Bert Newtown has copped flack from viewers or critics for making the show more about themselves than the awards. But there have been years where it all comes together. Widely acknowledged as the best of all is Andrew Denton, host in 1999 and 2000. He held the room enraptured from the start, when he solemnly acknowledged the traditional owners of the land upon which the event was being held: “The Packers”.
8. YOU’RE THE VOICES
The musical acts at the Logies have long been a highlight of the night, from Chris Lilley’s surreal performance of Indigeridoo in 2006 (with Cathy Freeman as guest vocalist) to a Kylie performance in 2014 that left the singer shouting “I wasn’t lip-synching! Honest!!”. Anyone who appears however is always going to have a tough act to beat in the 1993 duet between Australia’s John Farnham and the UK’s Tom Jones. The two rocked out the most unlikely song imaginable – ACDC’s It’s A Long Way To The Top, complete with bagpipe solo.
9. KNOCK OUT MOMENT
Another international guest not quite sure what to make of the Logies was boxing legend Muhammad Ali who in 1979 presented Bert Newtown with gold. One of Bert’s catchcries at the time was “I like the boy!” which he happily said of Ali… unaware that in America, calling an African American “boy” was downright offensive. A few tense moments followed when it looked like Bert might go down for the count before Ali, ever the pro, realised it was inadvertent and jumped back into the rehearsed banter.
10. DO NOT ADJUST YOUR SETS!
And last but definitely not least, Waleed Aly's 2016 Gold Logies win in which he stared down the barrel of the camera and made a poignant assessment of the prejudice of the Australian television industry. "Do not adjust your sets," he said. "There is nothing wrong with this picture". In his moving speech, he dedicated his Logie to "Dimitri, Mustafa, and all other people with unpronounceable names like Waleed". Aly also made a moving tribute to his wife Susan Carland. "If she had my job she would be better at it than me" he mused to applause from the audience.