A Current Affair host Jana Wednt caused an upset when she was not present to accept her Gold Logie at the 34th annual TV Week Logie Awards, held at Melbourne’s Radisson President Hotel.
The Nine Network host’s absence was explained to be due to her requiring to stay in the Sydney-based studios after the end of A Current Affair for an extended period to be able to cover any late breaking stories for timezones that would normally get ACA on a delay.
TV Week claimed that they knew about a week in advance, two weeks after Wendt had happily posed with her fellow Gold Logie nominees for a TV Week photo shoot (pictured), that she may be missing from the awards presentation. Nine Network executives were said to be able to work around the challenges of ACA’s production schedule if TV Week could assure them that Wendt was going to win the Gold.
TV Week chose not to disclose that information to Nine even in the strictest of confidence.
Even the offer of a specially arranged flight to get Wendt from Sydney to Melbourne after ACA in time to witness the announcement of the Gold Logie winner was not enough to sway Nine’s executives.
Wendt’s Gold Logie was ultimately accepted by Nine’s head of current affairs, Peter Meakin. “I’m sorry she’s not here. She’s sorry she’s not here,” he said when accepting her award. “Jana, as she always does, put the program first. I know she regret’s she’s not here. It’s a shame.”
Did her no-show and Nine’s declining alternative offers have anything to do with the Logies being hosted that year by the Seven Network? That’s just speculation.
TV Week at the time had reported that it was the first time in Logies history that a Gold Logie winner was not present to accept their award. That is not strictly true. In 1962, Gold Logie winner Lorrae Desmond was in Hollywood, and 1963 winner Michael Charlton was on assignment for Four Corners when his Gold Logie was presented at a belated ceremony. In 1967, Graham Kennedy was on the set of In Melbourne Tonight when he was announced as the winner of that year’s Gold Logie, with the awards presented on a Monday night on board a cruise liner stationed in Melbourne. Kennedy was at least able to give his acceptance speech with a live cross to IMT from the Logies stage.
Logies night on Friday, 13 March 1992 had started with a parody of the Michael Jackson song Black Or White, recalling the old days of black and white television, featuring Cathy Godbold (Home And Away), Nick Giannopoulos (Acropolis Now) and Bruno Lucia (All Together Now).
The trio then led to another threesome being introduced to the stage — former Homicide cops George Mallaby, Alwyn Kurts and Leonard Teale.
It was a big night for ABC’s Brides Of Christ. The high-rating mini-series collected five Logies, including Most Popular Telemovie Or Mini-Series, Most Outstanding Telemovie Or Mini-Series and Most Popular New Talent (Kym Wilson). Series star Josephine Byrnes (pictured) won two Logies — Most Popular Actress In A Telemovie Or Mini-Series and the Silver Logie for Most Outstanding Actress. Co-star Sandy Gore was not surprised by the show’s Logies success. “It was an incredible series from the beginning,” she told TV Week. “With such beautiful writing, how could we go wrong?”
As well as its host winning the Gold Logie, A Current Affair also won the award for Most Popular Public Affairs Program. Nine Network boss David Leckie paid tribute to the show and to Wendt: “I know what she’d like to say is that she believes that A Current Affair — the runaway success of A Current Affair — is a team effort. I think she’d be very embarrassed to win this Gold Logie, because she is totally committed to the team effort. I thought she should have won it a year or two ago, but we’re pleased she has now.”
Network Ten soapie E Street collected two awards — Most Popular Series and Bruce Samazan winning the Silver Logie for Most Popular Actor.
Fellow soap Home And Away won Most Popular Program In New South Wales and Neighbours won Most Popular Program In Victoria. A Country Practice star Georgie Parker won the Silver Logie for Most Popular Actress for the second time. For Parker the win came just weeks before her final scenes with A Country Practice were to go to air.
The Seven Network’s Fast Forward won Most Popular Light Entertainment/Comedy Program, with individual awards for Steve Vizard (pictured with colleague, newsreader Jennifer Keyte) and Magda Szubanski. “I’d really like to thank the people who have put up with my stupid sense of humour,” she told TV Week.
ABC also scored well in the industry-voted categories. GP won Most Outstanding Series with actor John McTernan awarded the Silver Logie for Most Outstanding Actor. It was actually McTernan’s third Logie win. “I already have two I won during my Cop Shop days,” he told TV Week, “but I thought the old boy (GP co-star Michael Craig) would win this again.”
Lateline‘s reporting on the Soviet Union earned it a Logie for Most Outstanding Achievement In Public Affairs, and The Time Of Your Life was awarded Most Outstanding Single Documentary Or Series.
Current affairs program Four Corners, which at this stage was in its 31st year, was inducted into the TV Week Logie Awards Hall of Fame. It was the first time that a program, rather than an individual, was to receive the honour.
State-based Logie winners included Ray Martin (New South Wales), Daryl Somers (Victoria), Family Feud host Rob Brough (Queensland), Rick Ardon (Western Australia) and yet another win for Anne Wills (South Australia).
International guests on the night included Dennis Waterman, copping a grilling from Fast Forward‘s Pixie-Anne Wheatley (Szubanski), and Full House star John Stamos. For Waterman it was a return to the Logies stage, having been a guest presenter back in 1983. There were also plans for a live cross to Diana Ross, on tour in Queensland, to present an award. But the performer declined when she felt that she would not be looking her best having just been on stage in concert earlier that night. An offer to pre-record her segment was also declined.
TV Week Logie Winners 1992: Public Voting Categories:
Gold Logie – Most Popular Personality On Australian TV: Jana Wendt
Silver Logie – Most Popular Actor On Australian TV: Bruce Samazan (E Street)
Silver Logie – Most Popular Actress On Australian TV: Georgie Parker (A Country Practice)
Most Popular Series: E Street (Ten)
Most Popular Light Entertainment/Comedy Program: Fast Forward (Seven)
Most Popular Lifestyle Information Program: Burke’s Backyard (Nine)
Most Popular Telemovie Or Mini-Series: Brides Of Christ (ABC)
Most Popular Sports Coverage: Cricket (Nine)
Most Popular Public Affairs Program: A Current Affair (Nine)
Most Popular Children’s Program: Agro’s Cartoon Connection (Seven)
Most Popular Light Entertainment/Comedy Male Performer: Steve Vizard (Tonight Live With Steve Vizard/Fast Forward)
Most Popular Light Entertainment/Comedy Female Performer: Magda Szubanski (pictured) (Fast Forward)
Most Popular Actor In A Telemovie Or Mini-Series: Cameron Daddo (Golden Fiddles)
Most Popular Actress In A Telemovie Or Mini-Series: Josephine Byrnes (Brides Of Christ)
Most Popular New Talent: Kym Wilson (Brides Of Christ)
Most Popular Music Video: When Something Is Wrong With My Baby (Jimmy Barnes/John Farnham)
TV Week Logie Winners 1992: Industry Voting Categories:
Gold Logie – TV Week Logie Awards’ Hall Of Fame: Four Corners (ABC)
Silver Logie – Most Outstanding Actor On Australian TV: John McTernan (pictured) (GP)
Silver Logie – Most Outstanding Actress On Australian TV: Josephine Byrnes (Brides Of Christ)
Most Outstanding Telemovie Or Mini-Series: Brides Of Christ (ABC)
Most Outstanding Series: GP (ABC)
Most Outstanding Achievement In Public Affairs: “Soviet Union” (Lateline, ABC)
Most Outstanding Achievement In News: “Coode Island Fires” (Nine)
Most Outstanding Single Documentary Or Series: The Time Of Your Life (ABC)
Most Outstanding Achievement By Regional Television: The Very Fast Train (WIN)
TV Week Logie Winners 1992: State Awards (Most Popular Personality, Most Popular Program):
NSW: Ray Martin (TCN9), Home And Away (ATN7)
VIC: Daryl Somers (GTV9), Neighbours (ATV10)
QLD: Robert Brough (BTQ7), Family Feud (BTQ7)
SA: Anne Wills (SAS7), Wheel Of Fortune (SAS7)
WA: Rick Ardon (TVW7), Seven Nightly News (TVW7)
TAS: Ron Christie (TVT6), Tasmania Today (TVT6)
Source: TV Week, 7 March 1992, 21 March 1992.
The 59th annual TV Week Logie Awards. Sunday 23 April, 7.30pm (Red Carpet 7pm), Nine Network.