When stand-up comedian and TV and radio host Sam Pang accepted the award for most popular actress on behalf of colleague Kitty Flanagan for Fisk at last year’s Logies, his cameo speech became one of the most memorable moments of the evening.
Taking to the podium with gold statuette in hand, he compared the experience to the 1973 Oscars, when Marlon Brando won and sent Sacheen Littlefeather to collect his award.
The packed crowd at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre came alive.
“Kitty would be mortified that she won this award, considering all the nominees, she’ll be glad to know it wasn’t a very popular win in the room,” he said.
“First, I wanted to say that I had a small part in season one of Fisk, this will be the first time that a speech is longer than the part. Not invited back for season two, but that doesn’t matter.’
TV executives, table guests, fellow comedians in the room, including mate Andy Lee, and even betting agencies pondered – could Pang be the next Logies host after an 11-year hiatus?
Dreams do come true.
On June 20, the Seven Network announced the 49-year-old former AFL reserves footballer was going to host the 63rd annual TV Week Logie Awards on July 30.
Indeed, he joins an illustrious club of previous hosts including Graham Kennedy, Bert Newton, Don Lane, Andrew Denton, Shaun Micallef – as well as a few (Wendy Harmer in 2002 and Gretel Killeen in 2009) who were criticised.
“Sam was on standby to accept an award for Kitty Flanagan at last year’s Logies and found himself up on stage and stole the entire show with his wry and witty asides,” says Seven’s chief content officer (entertainment programming) Angus Ross.
Mr Ross said the network was “thrilled” Pang was going to steer the ship across “the whole night with his genuine affection for the industry, past and present, alongside his trademark humour.”
Who’s in the firing line?
Pang, who co-hosted NOVA’s long-running breakfast show with Chrissie Swan and Jonathan Brown for seven years before pulling the pin last year, has written his opening monologue (with some help from his comedy buddies). It will set the tone on Sunday night.
He’s never short of a subtle dig, or a deadpan, quick-witted self-deprecating comment.
It’s his specialty.
“I started solo and then realised that it needed jokes, so then I brought in a team,” he told news.com.au
“There’s a wonderful team of funny people, much more funny than me … and it’s a meritocracy, the funniest joke wins, so hopefully I don’t stuff them up.”
He admits he ditched about 75 per cent of the material.
We’ve seen him perfect his style on The Front Bar with Mick Molloy and Andy Maher, and as a regular sparring partner with Tom Gleisner on Have You Been Paying Attention.
He’s even been on a national tour with Mick Molloy, Lawrence Mooney and Marty Sheargold in a comedy quartet called The Comedians.
Doing the rounds of pre-Logies promos over the past two weeks, Pang was on the new Seven Sunrise studio set and was asked by co-hosts Matt Shirvington and Natalie Barr how he felt going into the big night.
“Happy to do it. Nervous. Seven have made me feel welcome.”
He was asked was everyone a target: “You two are in the gun,” he jokes.
“No, it’s a night of celebration for our entire industry … Dave Hughes, Tom Gleeson have done the start in the last few years, then they haven’t been able to stick around for the whole night.
“I’ll be there for the whole night,” Pang promised.
He told news.com.au Sunrise‘s former long-time host David Koch, who is attending this year’s ceremony, would get a mention, as would previous Gold Logie winner Hamish Blake.
Where are this year’s Logies?
Sydney will host the Logies for the first time in 37 years at The Star in Pyrmont, the second largest casino in Australia after four years in Queensland, and before that traditionally in Melbourne.
Red carpet duties will belong to Sonia Kruger and recent import from the Ten network, Dr Chris Brown.
Entertainment and guest presenters
Singer songwriter and Logie nominee Amy Shark, and electronic party-starters Peking Duk will perform on the night.
Dancing With the Stars contestants Virginia Gay, Charlie Albone and Christie Whelan Browne and actors Sam Neill and David Wenham will present awards.
Sunrise presenter Edwina Bartholomew, singer and Australian Idol host Ricki-Lee Coulter, Home and Away stars Ray Meagher and Emily Symons, Dancing With the Stars judge Todd McKenney and Better Homes and Gardens stars Johanna Griggs and Adam Dovile will also play a role on stage.
Who’s nominated? Who’s up for Gold?
Nominees were announced on June 19 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, at an event hosted by Seven’s Kylie Gillies, Nine’s Sylvia Jeffreys and Network 10’s Tristan MacManus.
There are 23 categories all up, and you can read through all the nominees here, as well as vote up until 7.30pm on Sunday for all categories – and for the first time up until 10.30pm for the Gold Logie.
Julia Morris (I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!), Leigh Sales (7.30), Hamish Blake (Lego Masters), Osher Gunsberg (The Bachelors Australia), Sonia Kruger (The Voice, Dancing with the Stars), Shaun Micallef (Mad as Hell), and Mark Coles Smith (Mystery Road) are all nominated for the coveted Gold Logie Award.
Brian Walsh, who died this year, was an influential leader in the Australian TV industry, credited for the global success of beloved soap Neighbours and for launching the careers or Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan and Guy Pearce.
He will be honoured on the night, and inducted into the TV WEEK Logies Hall of Fame.
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