Monday, April 4, 2011

The Bolt and the Beautiful

Today the news filtered through that there was more to Andrew Bolt’s “all about me” tip and prediction at the end of yesterday’s Insiders. It was reported by Amanda Meade in The Oz that he was in talks with Channel 10 for his very own show!

Well done Andrew, finally you get a chance to come about from under the bushel where you’ve been hiding all these years, as Les Kendall would say, “You’ve got a light in you boy. Let it shine!”

Very quickly after the news came through , Possum on Twitter, fresh off his success last week starting up the #TonyTonight Twitter meme, came up with #boltsnewshow – which allowed the obviously biased evil leftist Twitter to go slightly mad with suggestions for what Bolt’s new show would be called, and it quickly became the top trending topic on Twitter in Australia.

Given I’m a bit light on things to write about today, I’m taking the standard MSM line of just grabbing stuff from Twitter. So in that vein, some of the best were:

@B_Natural: Australia's Got Malice
matthewbevan: Border Insecurity
AusDude71: Against the Wind Farm
upulie: Talkin' 'bout my Not Stolen Generation
KathyReid: Incite
Bor_Seyah: Top Fear
madcatjo2point0: Steve Price Is Right
alexmillier: Who wants to be a dill on air?
crazyjane13: So You Think You Can Rant
jonaholmesMW: Emission possible

Apologies to those missed – there were over 4000 of them, and there were a few repeats, (Top Fear got a few mentions), so apologies as well if you think I’ve given a line to someone else.

Personally though, I think such shows are aiming too low. Indeed I hope Channel 10 seizes this opportunity to give Bolt a chance to branch out and show off his thespian chops. I see Bolt playing a detective – sort of Bolt P.I. – where each week he has new and exciting sexy adventures where the culprit is invariably a Somali warlord living the high life on the dole in a two bedroom flat in Footscray.

If detective work ain’t his caper, perhaps Bolt MD, would be more his style. Instead of the tired old “lupus” being the standard cause of illness, the team of highly trained physicians at Robert Menzies Memorial Hospital would be stumped each week until the patient casually announces, “Hey you know, I really only started feeling ill when this family of asylum seekers moved in next door”.

And if all else fails, The Andrew Bolt Variety Hour would be sure to get the ratings soaring. Where Don Lane had Uri Gellar, Bolt could get in his very own climate scientists who could show us how if you hold a graph a certain way the curve magically starts to bend down. His slightly flirty repartee with guests Miranda Devine and Janet Albrechtsen each week would be sure to be the topic of giddy conversation at the water coolers the next morning. And with Andrew ending each night singing one of his favourite tunes – “A Whiter Shade of Pale” perhaps – well heck, I doubt you could get better entertainment anywhere this side of a Blankety Blanks repeat (the Daryl Somers version).


So seriously (really – you want to be serious about this?), will his show be a success? Well who the hell knows – for a start we don’t even know what it is to be. If his MTR ratings though are anything to go by, Channel 10 is taking a big risk. Bolt on TV seems to be best suited when he is the second banana – the guy who is there to say something outrageous and have a go at someone else – sort of the political equivalent of Sam Newman on The Footy Show. Now there may be lots of people who watch The Footy Show who say Sam is the best thing about it (and equally many who say he is the worst), but I doubt The Sam Newman Show would rate – and you have to figure if such a show would rate Channel 9 would have given it a shot by now.

I’ve watched Bolt on Insiders these many years – and I have no doubt he gets more of a reaction than other panellists – but I have only watched him on Insiders because he was on Insiders – ditto Piers Ackerman and others. I don’t watch the 7pm Project, (ABC News is on), and so when I see announced on Twitter that he is on that show I don’t feel any need switch over to be outraged. Ditto his appearances on The Today Show. If he started appearing on ABC Breakfast I’d probably make a comment, but I don’t ever switch over to Channel 9 to see what zany hijinks he is going to be up to today with Karl Stefanovik.

So if is to be a success I think he is going to need a bloody good support act – Bolt leading the discussion is pretty dull, because as you can see when he has been on Insiders, Bolt leading the discussion means “enough about you, here’s what I think”. No doubt a few (and probably me – if it doesn’t clash with something I usually watch) will tune in to the first episode for curiosity value, however it is amazing how a big reputation and audience in one medium does not transfer to TV – think Alan Jones Live, which lasted a whole 13 weeks.

But hey let’s not pre-judge a show before it has even been officially announced!

Good luck Andrew – here’s hoping you can be our very own Glenn Beck.


In a bit of house keeping – there won’t be a blog post tomorrow, I’m meeting up with a mate who has spent the last 4 months touring round the middle east. Apparently some interesting things have happened in that area of late…


Anonymous said...

ok, that's it, i'm not coming back until you stop talking about bloody AB - roflmao :)

Ben Harris-Roxas said...

The best way to deal with a fire is to starve it of oxygen...

Thirdborn said...


I personally liked "So you think you are black".

Anonymous said...

One I liked - I think it was from Possum - was 'Snide and Prejudice'.


Greg Jericho said...

That's it anon. I agree - it is boring, I just liked the hash tag tonight. I'll leave it to the Poison Pen lads.

DaveB said...

If only we had our own Jon Stewart to mock him.

Jaeger said...

Some good ones there; I don't tweet, but "The Bitching Hour", "Troll of the Century" and "So Sue Me" were some that came to mind... They'll probably call it something boring like "The Bolt Hole".

Jaeger said...

Maybe "Nuts and Bolt"?

Coldsnacks said...

My best suggestion was (Not) Talkin' About Your (Stolen) Generation.

Anon @ 4: Yeah that was Possum. He and @mikestuchbery were on fire.

Richard Green said...

Regarding the risk factor could be the Packer/Murdoch influence, and I don't just mean the penchance for those two scions to lose money. Given the Murdoch dynasty is happy to subsidise the loss making Australian for their own purposes, and the Packers allowed Alan Jones to keep his spot on the Today show despite knowing that a sizable percentage of viewers changed the channel to get away from him (something recorded in ratings data). The first thing that happened when the hard nosed private equity types stepped in was to remove his segment.

So those two, combined with a vested interest in Rinehart gives enough power to subsidise a loss making Bolt.

thefactis said...

Gina Rinehart and Murdoch will certainly be advocates of this. At least Negus stays, I'm happy.

Anonymous said...

It's "Pure Poison" not "Poison Pen".

Kelly said...

Im thinking more Charlie Sheen...

Fozzy said...

Grog, enjoy your night off tomorrow.

However, the day after that you can't use the excuse you have nothing to write about. :-)

I'm sure you'll have a great time tomorrow night!

haitch said...

There WAS a Sam Newman show, the absolutely risible 'Sam and the Fatman' with 'Fatty' Vautin, and it got canned pretty quickly!

Hillbilly Skeleton said...

Lol. 'The Second Banana and In the Banana Republic Tonight'.

Anonymous said...

Good tweet on QandA tonight, Grog - only Julie Bishop was out of the knowledge loop.

I see Chris Kenny (also a QandA tweeter recently) is on next week.
The Lee Van Cleef of Australian politics, he is a former media adviser to Downer and Chief of Staff for Turnbull. The South Australians will know him for his murky involvement in the Hindmarsh Island affair, of which I know nothing.

He will be joined on QandA by Greg Hunt, who was also in Downer's office. Someone should ask the two of them if it is true they know which former colleague of theirs (and understood still to be a colleague of Hunt) leaked Andrew Wilkie's ONA paper on Iraq to Bolt.

Bri said...

Just when I thought I couldn't enjoy this blog any more, you throw in a Strictly Ballroom reference.

It's hard to imagine his show getting anything more than a lot of initial curiosity then tapering off to a level that will bring a swift axe. I don't think he has anything to offer most debates aside from a bit of backward offensiveness and a few smarmy sound bites.

I agree about the format. If Channel Ten use him in the 'right' way then he could unfortunately find a new niche. Unlikely though (I hope).

Anonymous said...

My husband giggled at "Steve Price Is Right" (he never laughs at political stuff) and in all seriousness "Who Wants to be a Dill on Air" made me laugh so hard I banged my head on the table

Hillbilly Skeleton said...

Could someone draft a really catchy question along the lines of Anon's suggestion above, for qanda next week? I'm not good at framing the question in the accusatory and smarmy way they seem to like. I'd just be interested to see whether qanda has the guts to ask it of the 2 former Downer staffers.

BSA Bob said...

Richard Green & thefactis are probably on the money here.

Mott the Hoople said...

I love the idea that when his ratings plummet after the morbid curiosity opening night, Bolt-metrics will be used to prove that more and more people are watching the show.

Greg Jericho said...

Bri - have been trying for a Strictly Ballroom reference for a while!

Anon - Who Wants to be a Dill on Air was my favourite as well.

Anon - Pure Poison! Doh!

The Sam and Fatty Show? Wow that one totally skipped by me.

Apathy said...

What about:

Queer As Bolt
My Emissions Rules
Left Right 101
The Bolt's War on Everything