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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Bmag April 10th 2012 - Logies, Fuglies and Molkies

Why does this feel like a confession? I know you’re going to laugh at me. But I’m just going to spit it out and you can judge me accordingly! I enjoy watching the Logies. There, I’ve said it! I almost-certainly never know half the winners, but it takes me back to my teenage years when I watched a lot more television and lived for “TV’s night of nights”! Remember when Kylie Minogue won the Gold in 1988? I was 16, she was only three years older than me and suddenly up there with the likes of Graham Kennedy? At that moment, I was convinced it was the end of the world!

Now in my 40s, I will watch the Logies on Sunday night, hoping the teenagers of today are just as excited as I was. Just as I hold on to the tradition that is the Logies, I also enjoy the anti-Logies that have popped up in recent years.

There were the Fuglies, created in 2002 by social media marketer Anthony Dever, who would fly from Brisbane to Melbourne with a square of red carpet, stand outside the Logies venue and announce the online-voted winners to people walking past! The Fuglies ran for seven years and included awards such as Spunkiest Male on Australian Television and Most Spankable Female.

Last year, Brisbane-based TV blogger Steve Molk launched the Molkies, similar to the Fuglies but culminating in a sponsored gala awards night. The second annual Molkies were held on 31 March with categories such as Worst Product Placement (won by Coles for Masterchef), World Program or Series (Kyle and Jackie O’s Night With the Stars) and the Brown Molkie for the Person You Always Change Channels to Avoid (Kyle Sandilands). Accepting his 2012 Gold Molkie for the Person You Always Change Channels to Watch, Adam Hills described the Molkies as “the true gauge of quality in the Australian TV industry”!

But back to the Logies. I’m probably just pining for that teenage Logie Award excitement, but it’s 28 years since we had separate Logies for each of the states. And I miss those awards. In a moment, I’m going to ask you who would win Most Popular Male and Female on Queensland TV and Most Popular Queensland show in 2012. But first here’s a little Logies history, and why state-based awards won’t be brought back in a hurry.

The first Logie Awards, in 1959, were part of Channel Nine’s In Melbourne Tonight. No prizes for guessing which show won Best Program. In their second outing, the Logies had a Best Presenter for each network! That lasted just the one year. By 1961, the format and categories started to settle down and statebased Most Popular Male and Female Logies were introduced. Brian Tait and Nancy Knudsen were Queensland’s inaugural winners, along with Channel Seven’s The Late Show for Most Popular Queensland Show.

Other Most Popular Queensland Male and Female winners over the years included Jill and Dick McCann, Paul and Rhonda Sharratt, George Wallace jnr, Ron Caddee, Dina Heslop and for nine consecutive years, Jacki MacDonald. Theatre Royal, I’ve Got a Secret, Studio Nine and the Dick McCann Show were among the winners of Most Popular Queensland Show. Inevitably, the downscaling of local television production meant the Queensland Logies were taking on a newsy hue.

From 1980 until the last year of state-based Logies in 1984, Most Popular Queensland Show was won by a 6.30pm current affairs show, either Today Tonight (then on Nine) or State Affair (on Seven). When it came to Most Popular Male, the variety show performers of the ’60s and ’70s were pushed aside for the interviewers and newsreaders, including Paul Griffin, Glenn Taylor and Andrew Carroll. Jacki MacDonald just kept on winning Most Popular Female – from 1978 to 1984 – but then Jacki always was the exception. Who else could present Channel 0 News in Brisbane then fly to Melbourne to co-host Hey Hey It’s Saturday on Nine?! In 2012, there are news, lifestyle and children’s programs made here in Brisbane.

So, if state-based Logies were to be reinstated, who would win Most Popular Male and Most Popular Female? And what would be Most Popular Queensland Show? Email your votes to the email address below and I’ll report back in a couple of weeks. And no, you can’t vote for Jacki MacDonald!

Bmag April 24th 2012 - 1000 ideas for Brisbane

Amid all the recent concern about crime in South East Queensland, it’s comforting and refreshing to see someone talking about positive ideas for the future of our city. And no, I’m not talking about any of the candidates for this Saturday’s local government elections. See what you think of these suggestions, then I’ll tell you who’s behind this month-long citywide brainstorming session:

• Moving libraries – trollies of books in King George Square and the Queen Street Mall where people can pick up pre-ordered books and return others as part of their commute;

• Free entry for locals to art exhibitions, if they bring a guest from interstate or overseas (proven by licence and postcodes);

• Have one day a year where people all wear a name tag and go out of their way to say hello to each other;

• Pop-up performances by members of our professional opera, theatre and ballet groups;

• Create a Brisbane war-cry to be chanted before all major sporting and cultural events.

These are just some of the ideas collected so far as part of an Australian Property Council campaign called Make Brisbane Work. The goal is no fewer than 1000 ideas! The Council’s Queensland division executive director Kathy MacDermott says: “The focus is creating a Brilliant Brisbane. Through collecting 1000 ideas, we aim to promote positive thinking and talking about how our cities need to change and grow.

“As you can see, there are some great concepts. We are looking for all sorts of ideas, big or small, practical or implausible. We want to hear them all!”

As the ideas are collected they will be published at brisbane and you’ll be able to vote for your favourite. There’s no guarantee that any of the 1000 suggestions, even the winning one, will become a reality straight away. But they could provide the kernel for someone, something, sometime in the future.

Here are some more of the ideas already submitted to the Make Brisbane Work website:

• A city flower farm in King George Square, cared for by groups of volunteers;

• A “self-expression corner” featuring large canvasses which, when completed, would be placed around building sites;

• Make Brisbane “The World’s Summer Suitless City”;

• A light beam from the top of City Hall that can be seen from Noosa to Coolangatta;

• A maze in the CBD;

• Make all tunnel tolls a standard $2;

• Free public transport in the CBD.

Local Logies

In the last issue of bmag, I lamented the loss (admittedly 28 years ago!) of local Logie Awards and asked you who would win Most Popular Male and Female personalities on Queensland TV if state-by-state Logies were still handed out.

Among those who responded was Dorothy Carroll, who emailed: “Spencer, I really enjoyed your column because I learnt about Queensland’s television heritage. The only name I knew and recognised was Jacki MacDonald and that was only because of Hey Hey It’s Saturday. I watch Bill McDonald and Georgie Lewis on Ten at 5pm followed by The Project and then turn over to the ABC for its 7pm News. On Sundays, I tend to watch Seven as the Flashback becomes a talking point amongst the family.”

Based on all your emails and Twitter comments, I can announce that the 2012 winners would have been (drum roll please!) – Bill McDonald (Ten News) and Jessica Van Vonderen (7.30 Queensland and ABC News weekends).

Try swapping

For the next 12 weeks, ABC radio presenters and listeners are teaming up with Diabetes Queensland to Swap It, Don’t Stop It. The idea is to make a series of small swaps in your life, both dietary and lifestyle, to hopefully decrease your waist measurement. Irrespective of height, if your waist is more than 80cm (women) or 94cm (men) you have an increased risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes and should do something about it.

Tune in to 612 ABC Brisbane between now and July for tips. Here’s one to get you started – hop off the bus one stop earlier. It won’t kill you to walk the extra few hundred metres. In fact, it might just save your life.