Helliar joins Seven

Peter Helliar will host a new weekly AFL footy entertainment program on Channel Seven.

The live one-hour show will feature pre-recorded comedy skits, interviews, match footage, a “heroes and villains” segment and even footy street parties, notes the Herald Sun.

Helliar will be joined by former Richmond player Matthew Richardson. He will not be doing his ‘Strauchanie’ character, instead looking to create new characters.

There will be a ‘significant female presence’, but no footy panel.

In a futher coup, the show has Kath & Kim producer Rick McKenna behind it.

Helliar has been a regular on TEN’s Before the Game, produced by Roving Productions.

Seven’s new show could go to air in a 7.30pm or 8.30pm midweek timeslot, before Nine’s Footy Show (AFL).

Nine has speculated it could shift The Footy Show to 8.30pm Thursdays this year, to combat the threat.

Seven has previously attempted an entertainment AFL shows, notably Live and Kicking, whilst AFL Game Day airs on Sunday mornings.

Source: Herald Sun


  1. ‘John’ said on Jan.17: “Not that AFL has any chance of getting out of a few suburbs in Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide (lol).” Oh dear John, what does the ‘A’ in AFL stand for? Good God man, have you seen your ‘A’ lately?? It’s Huge! Being world famous in our own backyard, that’s just the way we like it.

  2. To second some comments below, Pete Helliar was the driving force behind Before The Game which has been a great show, and has only kicked on (no pun intended) since he left and was replaced by Mick Molloy.

    I do think he was dialling it in on Rove in the last few years as he got overstretched with radio and whatever else he was doing, but with less on his plate I think he’ll be good for this show. He remains hugely popular with kids and footy fans.

    Richo is great talent, funny and self-deprecating. I’m looking forward to this.

  3. You may knock it now but you just wait. This show i think might take off. Seven are in the position to do this and i believe with the right mix this will work. Sure Helliar isnt the most warming person but the fact of the matter is he is good at what he does.

    I think Seven will have a counteract with the NRL one. I cant wait to see how this goes. You know its amazing how many people are knocking this. He is popular and i think you will be surprised. Another thing could this mean Rove could also be heading to the Seven team? I mean his show is over and he will be looking for other projects. He has always had a good association with Seven so maybe Helliar is just the beginning.

  4. Good coup for Seven – whether you like Helliar or not, he is very popular in the demographics that Seven are going for.

    McKenna is a huge win for Seven to have on board.

  5. @ Catherine,

    Have you watched Before the Game in recent years??? Peter Helliar hasn’t been the “host” of it for atleast 2 if not 3 years. Mick Molloy has been hosting with Heilliar making guest appearances.

    As someone commented earlier, if this ends up being the Southern states version of the Matthew Johns show that they’ll show up North I’m looking forward to it. Helliar has always had a football brain, plus despite his critics is generally funny. Plus the coup of Matthew Richardson who despite just coming out of the game has an incredible personality for televsion. Hasn’t channel 7 also contracted Tom Harley (former Geelong Captain) for the 2009 season? Will he also make regular appearances?

  6. I wonder if this will be shown in “nrl states” at the same time as in victoria, or will they be like nine with footy classified and shove it in a late night slot.

  7. @Ruddeger if you knew anything you would now that Pete has actually been a key part of the success of Rove and his other shows. Helliar was the driving force behind Before the Game and basically made it the success it is. He also worked on Skithouse which became one of Australia’s highest rating Sketch Comedy shows. Plus he has been part of Rove Live etc. since inception. So when you say he only got gigs because they were “Rove Made shows”. He has been a writer/performer for Roving Enterprises forever, they are his shows. In terms of longevity and popularity he probably ranks up there as one of the best in Australia in my opinion.

  8. Peter Helliar has not and can not be funny. I wont be watching because I am not interested in AFL, and I dont like Helliar, or the kind of skits and rubbish I sometimes see on The Footy Show when channel flicking.
    Wonder if the non AFL states will get the show at the same time, or better programming???

  9. He was doing fine on the successful Before the Game. But good luck to him, I guess. Certainly wouldn’t write anything off before I see it. C’mon guys, a bit of positivity?

  10. How is Seven getting Helliar a “coup” as the Herald-Sun suggest ?
    He’s unfunny,bombed on radio,out of work in TV gigs and only ever got TV gigs because the shows he popped up on were Rove made shows.
    I doubt Ten will be worried about him going to Seven.If his show lasts a month I’ll be amazed.

  11. @ catherine – what makes you think this will “discuss footy all the time”? in Davids article it comes across as AFL footy show lite with comedic skits etc although likely nowhere near as funny as Sam and co. The only good footy show Seven had which did actually discuss footy all the time was the aptly named “talking footy” with Bruce. Watched it all the time until Seven stupidly pulled the plug on it.

  12. Seven have never got AFL light entertainment right, Live and Kicking, 4 Quarters, I think there’s been at least one more which I can’t recall.

    Not sure what’s got them believing that this time they’ve got the magic formula, maybe it’s just the continual decline of The AFL Footy Show.

    Still best of luck to them, especially if Tim Watson’s involved and required to show “personality”

  13. Tumbleweed Matt

    that’s great news for one of comedy’s (and AFL’s) good guys in Hellier and also for Richo. Hopefully us northern states can watch this show live on 7two… As for all the knockers, what’s up? Do you also go into restaurants, read the menu and say “I think food sucks, so listen up everyone. I will never eat here”??

  14. Sorry to join the harsh throng David, but Helliar has always been the weakest player in the shows he’s been involved in and I’m extremely annoyed that I’m going to have to put up with him in order to enjoy the great Richo. Will just have to hope that McKenna curbs Helliar’s worst excesses of lameness.

    Will have to focus on the happiness of knowing he won’t be dragging down Before the Game any more.

  15. I think its great. Pete knows his football and it will nice to watch something on a thursday night. Its a shocking night to watch tv. There is never anything good on. I will still watch the footy show afterwards but it will be nice to watch a footy show that actually discusses footy the whole time.

    I wonder who will host before the game then. Although personally i think it doesn’t really need a host. The pnael can survive on there own. I can picture the first episode already. It will have sam bagging the 7 show and sending up skits of it.

    Good luck Pete!

  16. Good on ya Pete – it’s time to move on from Straugnie ,TEN and Roving. Seven will at least be a new test bed to grow, independent of the ROVE crew and stereotype.

    Hopefully Seven will have a 1 hour show before the Footy Show, @ whatever time required to accommodate.

    Before The Game can go on without Pete – it’s a good show, and deserves ongoing support from TEN.

  17. Can’t see this working.

    David, do you foresee Helliar hosting this AFL show while Matthew Johns hosts a NRL show for the Sydney and Brisbane markets?

  18. Great, at least Prime and Seven in North NSW will avoid the expected rubbish this should be although repeats of something equally mind numbering will be in it’s place

  19. A terrible version of Before the Game. I’m sure this’ll work great…. No doubt it’ll start several minutes late, not be in HD, and half the show will be lottery results.

  20. Not doing Strauchanie – that is what so many people love him for … and based on the sketches he has done on Rove throughout the years, he may be a one trick pony. Does Ten own the rights to the character? I am surprised his BFF did not just add another seat on Before the Game or on The 7PM Project?

  21. Seven are in need of 10.30 filler; wouldn’t this type of show go much better at 10.30 than in a prime 8.30 slot? Unless it was like a Saturday Night.

    But I’m also in Sydney and the interest in me seeing this is 0.

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