Comic twist of fate as Hamish Blake finds golden form
IN SOMETHING of a boilover, Melbourne comic Hamish Blake last night took out the Gold Logie award for Australia's most popular television performer.
Blake's win, his first personal Logie, denoted the surprisingly diverse group that shared the bounty of a lively evening.
Judged simply by Channel Nine's pre-event promotion and the thousands of youthful female fans staking out almost every crevice of the Crown complex throughout the weekend, this year's Logies initially appeared to be an awards night masquerading as a promotional vehicle for the pop band One Direction.
Some fans camped out overnight to see One Direction. Photo: Simon O'Dwyer
But in a colourful ceremony at Crown's Palladium, there were actually some gongs handed out. The awards were again split between the public-voted honours (''most popular'') and those selected by a panel of peers (''most outstanding'').
The results between them never converged. The winner of the most outstanding drama series, the ABC's esteemed drama The Slap, was not even nominated in the public-voted category.
Although last night's event was technically without a host, Adam Hills opened proceedings as guest presenter with an amusing, searing diatribe that included digs at Manu Feildel, Gina Rinehart, Brynne Edelsten, Karl Stefanovic and the Ten network's latest stab at vacuous reality TV.
The winners: 2012 Logie Awards
Funnyman Hamish Blake has a laugh with his Gold Logie in hand. Photo: Simon Schluter
The ABC dominated the industry-based awards, scoring six wins, including Melissa George for her work on The Slap, Sarah Ferguson for Four Corners, and Spicks and Specks.
In one shock result, short-priced favourite Alex Dimitriades lost the most outstanding actor award to Rob Carlton for his excellent portrayal of Kerry Packer in Paper Giants.
In a twist, Howzat, Nine's mini-series focusing on Mr Packer's involvement in the set-up of World Series Cricket and which is currently filming in Melbourne, features another actor, Lachy Hulme, playing Mr Packer due to producers not coming to terms with Carlton.
In the most-popular categories, the results were shared around more. Seven won five Logies while Ten landed three and Nine and the ABC two each.
Asher Keddie took home the night's first award: Silver Logie for most popular actress for the second year playing the neurotic obstetrician Nina Proudman in Ten's charming local drama Offspring.
Seven's Packed to the Rafters was once again voted most popular drama series, and its star Hugh Sheridan took out the Silver Logie for most popular actor for the third straight year.
A bigger shock perhaps was the Silver Logie given to Adam Hills, who collected most popular presenter. The win rewards the ratings success of Spicks and Specks, the game show Hills hosted until late last year. Remarkably, it's his first win after 11 nominations.
Also surprising, as well as Blake's Gold Logie win, his show Hamish and Andy's Gap Year was named most popular light entertainment program.
Interestingly, Seven's ratings leviathan My Kitchen Rules lost most popular reality program to Nine's resurgent reality series The Block.
Organisers also took the time to give a moving tribute to industry legend Ian ''Molly'' Meldrum, who was unable to attend the event.
For the hundreds of teenage girls who gave up their final sleep-in of the school holidays to catch a glimpse of One Direction, the weekend was all about the British boy band. Kayla Tipping, from Frankston, was up at 4am and by dawn the 13-year-old was at Crown with her mum and a handful of friends hoping to spy Niall, Zayn, Liam, Louis and Harry. But especially Harry.
''I love his eyes, his voice, his curls, his smile, his body. Oh my God. Everything about him just makes me smile,'' she gushed.
Her mum, Liana Goodwin, said she was happy to get up early if it meant her daughter could see her idols. ''I stalked out Bon Jovi's hotel room when they were here in the '80s so I understand where they're coming from,'' she said.
By lunchtime they had been joined by hundreds of other teenage fans, many of whom had also arrived just as the sun was coming up.
When the group finally appeared just after 2pm, it was evident the wait - which for many began at Melbourne Airport more than 30 hours earlier - was worth it.
The band, which has sold more than 4.2 million records, appeared for just 15 minutes to pre-record their hit song What Makes You Beautiful for the Logies telecast.
''Oh my God, this has made my life,'' shrieked 14-year-old Ashley Oehler, through tears. ''I saw all of them and Louis' foot. This is just too much.''
Full list of winners:
Gold Logie, Most Popular Personality on TV
Hamish Blake (Hamish & Andy's Gap Year, Nine Network)
Silver Logie, Most Popular Actor
Hugh Sheridan (Ben Rafter, Packed To The Rafters, Seven Network)
Silver Logie, Most Popular Actress
Asher Keddie (Nina Proudman, Offspring, Network Ten / Ita Buttrose, Paper Giants: The Birth Of Cleo, ABC1)
Silver Logie, Most Popular Presenter
Adam Hills (Spicks and Specks / In Gordon St Tonight, ABC1)
Most Popular New Male Talent
Steve Peacocke (Darryl "Brax" Braxton, Home and Away, Seven Network)
Most Popular New Female Talent
Melissa Bergland (Winners & Losers, Seven Network)
Most Popular Drama Series
Packed To The Rafters (Seven Network)
Most Popular Light Entertainment Program
Hamish & Andy's Gap Year (Nine Network)
Most Popular Lifestyle Program
Better Homes & Gardens (Seven Network)
Most Popular Sports Program
2011 AFL Grand Final (Network Ten)
Most Popular Reality Program
The Block (Nine Network)
Most Popular Factual Program
Bondi Rescue (Network Ten)
Silver Logie, Outstanding Drama Series, Miniseries or Telemovie
The Slap (ABC1)
Silver Logie, Outstanding Actor
Rob Carlton (Paper Giants, ABC1)
Silver Logie, Outstanding Actress
Melissa George (The Slap, ABC1)
Graham Kennedy Award for Outstanding New Talent
Chelsie Preston Crayford (Underbelly: Razor, Nine Network)
Outstanding News Coverage
The Queensland Floods (Nine News, Nine Network)
Outstanding Public Affairs Report
A Bloody Business (Four Corners/Sarah Ferguson, ABC1)
Outstanding Light Entertainment Program
Spicks And Specks (ABC1)
Outstanding Sports Coverage
State Of Origin III (Nine Network)
Outstanding Children's Program
My Place (ABC3)
Outstanding Factual Program
Go Back To Where You Came From (SBS)