Fool's gold moments in TV time
Logies nights: Adam Hills, Chris Lilley and Andrew Denton in 2008. Photo: Penny Stephens
IF TELEVISION is a broad church, then the honour roll of who's won what at the annual TV Week Logie Awards is indeed a peculiar-looking congregation. Australian television has always been a mixture of the brilliant and the mundane, and television's night of nights, for better or worse, reflects that. The grand, the fabulous and the no-so-camera-shy, thrown together and book-ended by jazzy musical numbers. To mark the occasion, Green Guide offers up the 10 Logie Awards you'll never see.
The Logie for Best Logie Awards Host. Ever.
Chris Noth and Joan Rivers in 2006. Photo: Justin McManus
Winner: Andrew Denton.
They call it a poisoned chalice, and they're right. Few people survive hosting the Logies without bruises and scratches. On the path to Logie gold, littered with the corpses of those who came and were conquered, one man stands out: Andrew Denton, who in 1999 charmed the room, the audience, the critics and even then-Channel Nine chief executive James Packer, on whose lap he sat. No small achievement.
The Logie for Most Logies Won by Someone You've Never Heard Of*
Anne Wills with Ernie Signley (centre) and a colleague.
Winner: Anne Wills.
*Unless you live in Adelaide. Willsy, as she's known in South Australia, is the sort of bubbly TV personality that is now, sadly, lost to a bygone era. Earlier iterations of the Logies included categories for ''state-based'' personalities and programs, and Willsy holds an impressive record: she won 19 Logie Awards between 1968 and 1992.
The Logie for Weirdest Overseas Guest Invited to the Logies
Natalie Blair in 2008. Photo: Penny Stephens
Winner: John Wayne.
The Logies has seen them all, from Italian film star Gina Lollobrigida and Swedish actor Britt Ekland, comedian Phyllis Diller, even, during a spell when the Logies thought they were the Oscars, US film icons Burt Lancaster and Glenn Ford. But no Logies guest seemed so wholly out of his genre than western star John Wayne who was a guest in 1975. Saddle up!
The Logie for Biggest Phone Bill Run Up by an Overseas Guest
Winner: Holly Robinson.
The former 21 Jump Street star was a guest in 1995, just before her marriage to former American football star Rodney Peete. Ever wondered how you organise a wedding from Melbourne? The answer is by making lots and lots of overseas phone calls. Ms Robinson Peete also wins a Special Logie for mispronouncing the Logies; she called them ''the Loh-jees''.
The Logie for Logie Category They Should Totally Bring Back
Winner: Best TV commercial.
Ah, what fun this was. Between 1966 and 1978 there was a Logie for best TV commercial. Coca-Cola was the Lisa McCune of soft drinks, scoring no fewer than four Logie wins (1966, '70, '71, '77), followed by deodorant Uncle Sam ('75, '76) but the wryest smile is saved for cigarettes, with wins for Cambridge ('69), Winfield ('73) and Kingford ('74).
The Logie for the Gold Logie Nominee No One Had Heard Of*
Winner: Natalie Blair.
*Unless you watched Neighbours.
Apparently popular with the younger set (she was crowned Queen of Teen at the Dolly Teen Choice Awards in 2007) Natalie Blair made an unexpected and eyebrow-arching appearance in the Gold Logie category in '07 and '08. Blair did not have a big national profile and made an awkward addition alongside names such as Andrew Denton, Chris Lilley, Lisa McCune and Bert Newton.
The Logie for Best Monologue by an Overseas Guest
Winner: Joan Rivers
The funniest woman to set foot on the Logies stage. When introduced by Richard Wilkins, she said: ''They don't know who the shit I am. I don't know why the f--- I'm here. I know him [pointing to Wilkins] and I know you're all famous [gesturing to audience] and I hope you all win. I know I'm sitting with important people, I don't know who you are. It's the ugliest award I've ever seen.''
The Logie for Biggest (Inadvertent) Racial Slur Ever Uttered
Winner: Bert Newton
Truly a priceless TV moment, in which Bert Newton inadvertently offended American boxer Muhammad Ali. ''I like the boy,'' Newton said. ''Did you say Roy or Boy?'' Ali asked, as the audience called out to Newton to correct the remark. Ali was charmed and went on: ''I don't want to embarrass nobody, but is this real gold? What do you do to win one of these? Is this a big thing?'' Newton replied: ''This is 23 years for me.'' Ali returned: ''Twenty-three years for this?''
The Logie for Outstanding Achievement in a Logies Opening Segment
Winner: John-Michael Howson and Lady Joan Hardy.
It was 1984. ''It's the night the Australian television industry is showcased to the public,'' Howson gushed. ''And I am so excited, John-Michael, because this is the first Logies presentation I have ever been to; the cocktail party was lovely,'' Hardy replied. ''You can see people really make an effort to look their best at the Logies. It's real showbusiness,'' Howson responded. Hardy: ''It is indeed a very glittery occasion tonight.'' Howson: ''My word.'' My word, indeed.
The Logie for Outstanding Performance the Morning After the Night Before
Winner: Karl Stefanovic.
In the opening moments of the post-Logies Today show in 2009, Stefanovic paused in the middle of updating the weather and said: ''You know what, who cares?'' What followed was alternately funny and excruciating. He later said: ''It was a very big Logies night. Probably too big. I didn't feel drunk when I woke up the next morning, otherwise I would not have gone on air, but clearly from the vision I have seen I wasn't at my best.''
The TV Week Logie Awards air Sunday on Channel Nine.