EXCLUSIVE: In a stunning move to try and attract younger viewers, TV Week organisers have signed Kyle and Jackie O as host of the 54th Logie Awards.
The controversial pair, fresh from a breach of the Commercial Radio Code of Conduct, are planning to use the night as a ‘mea culpa’ with the industry and demonstrate they can help make TV’s ‘Night of Nights’ a success story.
“Logies nights have always had a way of getting people talking,” a source told TV Tonight, “whether its Bert & Muhammed Ali, Karl getting tipsy or kd lang singing up a storm. We think nabbing Kyle & Jackie O will be a win / win. Everybody will be on the edge of their seats!”
Organisers aren’t fazed by the terrible ratings for Kyle & Jackie O’s Night with the Stars, pointing to the awards’ longevity with the public.
But the move is already attracting criticism with an online campaign due to launch, calling on sponsors to cancel their support for the Logies.
Holden, GIO Insurance, Telstra, Mazda, Toys R Us, Qantas and Mitsubishi were all said to be scrambling to withdraw sponsorship of the Logies, fearing a similar backlash from the one that engulfed radio station 2DAY FM.
Last week the media watchdog The Australian Communications and Media Authority declared unprecedented rules for the radio station in the wake of Sandilands’ “fat slag” comments against journalist Alison Stephenson. But the rules don’t apply to Sandilands’ TV appearances on either Australia’s Got Talent or the Logies.
Asked whether he approved of Sandilands as Logies host, ACMA Chairman Chris Chapman said, “What I think of the Logies host is irrelevant.”
Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said broadcasting rules for choosing Logies hosts would have to be beefed up in the wake of the decision by TV Week.
“Fines would fall into that category. I’d give that serious Logies consideration,” he said.
Magda Szubanski, who was the target of an earlier Sandilands’ barb, tweeted that the choice was “Enough to make me go back in the closet.”
Yumi Stynes tweeted that “Jackie O is the Kiss of Death. They should have asked me and Corporal Roberts-Smith to host!”
George Negus dismissed the idea, before adding that Kyle was “probably a dud root anyway.”
But 2011 Gold Logie winner Karl Stefanovic was in favour of the idea.
“I’ll drink to that!” he joked.
11:58am Update: Happy April Fool’s Day!