The 62nd annual TV Week Logie Awards were meant to happen this Sunday 28 November. While the awards will not be taking place — for a second year in a row — we continue the annual rundown of past Logies presentations to coincide with what would have been this year’s Logies weekend. Today it’s back to 1996 — 25 years ago.
A Current Affair host Ray Martin made TV history by winning the Gold Logie for Most Popular Personality On Australian Television for an unprecedented fourth year in a row at the 38th annual TV Week Logie Awards.
The awards, hosted by Daryl Somers, were held at the Melbourne Park Function Centre for the first time and, after the previous year’s presentation being held at the Melbourne Concert Hall, the 1996 awards marked a return to the less rigid dinner setting. The 1996 presentation also marked the end of the Logies’ tradition of alternating between the three commercial networks, with the Nine Network hosting the awards telecast ever since.
Martin’s Gold Logie win gave him an overall tally of five Gold Logies — equalling the record of Gold Logie wins set by Graham Kennedy. Martin hoped that his Gold and ACA‘s win for Most Popular Public Affairs Program might silence criticism of ACA over its reporting of the Paxton family teenagers in Melbourne. The unemployed teens were seen to be turning down jobs found for them by ACA and consequently lost their dole payments. The coverage became a target for scrutiny from media commentator Philip Adams and ABC‘s Media Watch program.
Martin also defended his award in the face of its critics. “There is an ongoing criticism of shows that rate or people or programs who get these awards,” he said. “I thought TV was about being a popular medium. That doesn’t mean we don’t do an interview with the Prime Minister, but, nevertheless, we’ve got to do something that people like. Programs such as Blue Heelers, Burke’s Backyard and 60 Minutes are world-class programs and I don’t think we should apologise for them.”
The Seven Network‘s Home And Away collected three awards — Most Popular Series, and individual awards for Dieter Brummer (Silver Logie for Most Popular Actor) and Nic Testoni (Most Popular New Talent). Brummer, winning the award for the second year in a row, paid special tribute to his ex-girlfriend, even though he had since been linked to another woman. “We had a lot of great times together and she’s been a major influence in my career,” he told TV Week. “I figured why not thank her, because without her support, who knows what may have happened?”
Following the previous year’s win for Most Popular New Talent, Lisa McCune from Blue Heelers won the Silver Logie for Most Popular Actress.
Other publicly-voted wins for Seven included Full Frontal for Most Popular Comedy Program, Better Homes And Gardens for Most Popular Lifestyle/Information Program, Agro’s Cartoon Connection for Most Popular Children’s Program, and Magda Szubanski (pictured) of Big Girl’s Blouse for Most Popular Comedy Personality
For Nine, Logies and Hey Hey It’s Saturday host Daryl Somers won Most Popular Light Entertainment Personality, Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush won Most Popular Light Entertainment Program, and Melbourne’s The Footy Show won Most Popular Sports Program.
ABC’s only publicly-voted win was Police Rescue for Most Popular Drama. There were no popularity wins for Network Ten or SBS.
Leading the industry-voted categories is the Gold Logie for the TV Week Logie Awards Hall Of Fame — awarded to the late Maurie Fields, who died four months earlier. It was only the second time in Logies history that the award was made posthumously. His award was accepted by his wife Val Jellay, who received a standing ovation before giving an emotional tribute. The couple had been married for 35 years and often worked together as a double act in the days of vaudeville and came across to television, working on variety shows like Sunnyside Up and years later played husband and wife (pictured below) in The Flying Doctors.
ABC collected a number of the industry-panel voted awards. Mini-series Blue Murder won for Most Outstanding Achievement In Drama Production, and actor Richard Roxburgh, who played corrupt Detective Roger Rogerson, won the Silver Logie for Most Outstanding Actor. Four Corners won Most Outstanding Achievement In Current Affairs for its story “Minor Surgery, Major Risk”, while current affairs satire Frontline won Most Outstanding Achievement In Comedy for its episode which depicted the fictional current affairs show’s attention towards ethnic tensions within a community.
The SBS documentary Untold Desires won the Logie for Most Outstanding Documentary for its insight on the sexuality of Australians with a variety of disabilities.
The Nine Network won Most Outstanding Achievement In News for its coverage of the Mururoa Protests, and Halifax fp star Jacqueline McKenzie won the Silver Logie for Most Outstanding Actress for her portrayal of a woman battling with multiple personalities.
Regional television network Prime won Most Outstanding Achievement By A Regional Network for its documentary No Time For Frailty, which gave an insight into the life of rural families, innovative businesses and creative individuals.
Performers on the night included Kate Ceberano singing a cover of The Jacksons’ 1981 hit Can You Feel It, and John Farnham performing his latest single, Have A Little Faith. Viewers were also treated to a comic skit opening with Blue Heelers star John Wood claiming, “Ray Martin act… I’d like to see that!” And with that introduction, viewers saw Martin playing a policeman alongside Blue Heelers‘ Lisa McCune. Viewers also got to see some other unusual pairings — including Gladiators‘ Vulcan hosting current affairs program Sunday, and Humphrey B Bear joining The Movie Show‘s David Stratton and Margaret Pomeranz.
International guests at the awards included Hollywood actress Holly Hunter and ER star Gloria Reuben.
TV Week Logie Award Winners 1996: Public Voting Categories:
Gold Logie — Most Popular Personality: Ray Martin
Silver Logie — Most Popular Actor: Dieter Brummer (Home And Away)
Silver Logie — Most Popular Actress: Lisa McCune (Blue Heelers)
Most Popular Series: Home And Away
Most Popular Drama: Police Rescue
Most Popular Light Entertainment Program: Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush
Most Popular Light Entertainment Personality: Daryl Somers (Hey Hey It’s Saturday)
Most Popular Comedy Program: Full Frontal
Most Popular Comedy Personality: Magda Szubanski (Big Girls Blouse)
Most Popular Public Affairs Program: A Current Affair
Most Popular Lifestyle/Information Program: Better Homes And Gardens
Most Popular Sports Program: The Footy Show (AFL)
Most Popular Children’s Program: Agro’s Cartoon Connection
Most Popular New Talent: Nic Testoni (Home And Away)
TV Week Logie Award Winners 1996; Industry Voted Categories:
Gold Logie — Hall Of Fame: Maurie Fields (posthumously)
Silver Logie — Most Outstanding Actor: Richard Roxburgh (Blue Murder)
Silver Logie — Most Outstanding Actress: Jacqueline McKenzie (Halifax fp)
Most Outstanding Achievement In Drama Production: Blue Murder
Most Outstanding Documentary: Untold Desires
Most Outstanding Achievement In News: “Mururoa Protests”, Nine Network
Most Outstanding Achievement In Public Affairs: “Minor Surgery, Major Risk”, Four Corners
Most Outstanding Achievement In Comedy: Frontline, Episode 7: “Divide The Community, Multiply The Ratings”
Most Outstanding Achievement By A Regional Network: No Time For Frailty (Prime)
Source: TV Week, 20 April 1996, 27 April 1996.