Hard Quiz host Tom Gleeson’s tongue-in-cheek guerrilla campaign saw him pull off a shock victory and walk away with the Gold Logie for Most Popular Personality on Australian TV on Sunday night.
“I’m in a tricky spot because I like it and I hate it at the same time,” Gleeson – the first ABC Gold winner since Norman Gunston in 1976 – said in his eight-minute acceptance speech between gulps of red wine.
“Turns out I’m just really good at manipulating the media to get people to do things for me, which if you think about it, is why we’re all here.
“So maybe I do deserve this award.”
The comedian’s Gold rival, Amanda Keller, seemed not so sure about that.
She kept up a Mona Lisa smile at Gleeson’ rambling car crash piece of TV which saw the Twitterverse divided over the controversial win:
Gleeson’s acceptance speech was a contrast to his laser-sharp and self-effacing opening monologue: “Welcome to the last ever TV Week Logies Awards. I’ve wrecked it and I’m so, so sorry.”
He skewered almost every big name and network, zeroing in on Karl Stefanovic, who played a cheered-for cameo returning to the spotlight after six months in exile.
“I think I got asked to do the opening because Channel Nine has run out of stars,” he said as the camera panned to Richard Wilkins.
“New rule on breakfast TV: If you’re too entertaining, they fire you. Am I right Karl? What I’m trying to say is safe Kochie, your job is safe.”
As the crowd recovered (and Sunrise’s David Koch subtly flipped him the finger), Gleeson went further, addressing the “bogans in the back” at the Married at First Sight table.
“Channel Nine were happy to cash in on your ratings by showing off your tacky weddings and then they fired Karl Stefanovic for having one!”
Gleeson also beat out Gardening Australia’s Most Popular Presenter winner Costa Georgiadis, Doctor Doctor’s Rodger Corser, Neighbours’ Eve Morey and The Project’s Waleed Aly.
The rest of the evening’s proceedings ran more according to script, with highlights including performances by Guy Sebastian, Jessica Mauboy and a medley of Delta Goodrem hits.
Being inducted into the Hall of Fame induction, The 7.30 Report’s Kerry O’Brien made an instant classic speech, touching on everything from the imperative protection of the ABC, climate change and indigenous reconciliation.
In yet another swipe at Stefanovic, O’Brien said his wife Sue Javes “warned me tonight not to say how much she had helped me in my career as Karl Stefanovic had said here at the Logies a few years ago, because it had probably cost him a couple of million.”
Accepting the Graham Kennedy Award for Best New Talent, The Invictus Games Tonight and The Set’s Dylan Alcott said he had to access the stage via the back because there was no ramp for his wheelchair at The Star on the Gold Coast.
“I wanted to get a job on TV ‘cos I love sharing stories but also to show that people with disabilities can be funny, talented, humorous, just normal people enjoying their lives,” Alcott said.
— Channel 9 (@Channel9) June 30, 2019
Although Gleeson got the last laugh, he insisted his extraordinary campaign wasn’t a pure prank.
“There’s been a lot of concern that I’m turning this award into a joke, but what you’re forgetting is, I’m a comedian. I love jokes,” he said.
“This award has meant so many things to so many people and that doesn’t cease to exist… I would like to take this as a win for comedy and taking the piss and not giving a sh-t.”
AND THE 2019 LOGIES WENT TO …
GOLD LOGIE FOR MOST POPULAR PERSONALITY: Tom Gleeson (Hard Quiz)
MOST POPULAR ACTOR: Luke McGregor (Rosehaven)
MOST POPULAR ACTRESS: Deborah Mailman (Bite Club/Mystery Road)
MOST POPULAR PRESENTER: Costa Georgiadis (Gardening Australia)
GRAHAM KENNEDY AWARD FOR MOST POPULAR NEW TALENT:
Dylan Alcott (Invictus Games Tonight/The Set)
MOST POPULAR DRAMA PROGRAM: Mystery Road
MOST POPULAR ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAM: Gogglebox Australia
MOST POPULAR COMEDY PROGRAM: Have You Been Paying Attention?
MOST POPULAR REALITY PROGRAM: MasterChef Australia
MOST POPULAR LIFESTYLE PROGRAM: Gardening Australia
MOST POPULAR PANEL OR CURRENT AFFAIRS PROGRAM: The Project
MOST OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES: Wentworth
MOST OUTSTANDING MINISERIES OR TELEMOVIE: Bloom
MOST OUTSTANDING ACTOR: Scott Ryan (Mr Inbetween)
MOST OUTSTANDING ACTRESS: Jenna Coleman (The Cry)
MOST OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR: Frankie J Holden (A Place to Call Home)
MOST OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Jacki Weaver (Bloom)
MOST OUTSTANDING ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAM: Have You Been Paying Attention?
MOST OUTSTANDING SPORTS COVERAGE: The 2018 FIFA World Cup
MOST OUTSTANDING NEWS COVERAGE OR PUBLIC AFFAIRS REPORT: Coverage Of The Thai Cave Rescue – Four Corners – Out of the Dark
MOST OUTSTANDING FACTUAL OR DOCUMENTARY PROGRAM:
Ron Iddles: The Good Cop
MOST OUTSTANDING REALITY PROGRAM: Australian Survivor: Champions Vs Contenders