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Good News Week had a successful run a few years ago and then
disappeared for a couple years. In 2008 it came back with a bang! Host
Paul McDermott, one of the Doug Anthony All Stars troupe (DAAS for
those who are familiar) is the perfect, cynical leader over two teams
of comedians, actors and even high-ranking politicians lampooning the
news of the day and personalities that might just be a bit too much
into themselves. Loosely based on the British programme Have I Got News
For You, GNW features several different rounds of questions each week
directed toward either of the 3-person teams. Points are awarded and go
toward absolutely nothing but add to the fun. Mikey Robbins hosts one
team while Clair Hooper hosts the other. Both are very bright people
and often are the only one on their team with an idea about the subject
A favorite segment seen on about one out of each four shows is Tentacles of Death where Paul McDermott holds onto two large sets of severed cables. He asks questions and the first one to "buzz" in sets off a shower of sparks, fireworks and electrical arcing right by the host. Paul has actually been burned before by getting a hand too close to an explosive charge. Usually at least one person buzzes in early just to watch the fireworks and lightning and to see Paul squirm a little.
Practically nothing is out of bounds and nothing/nobody is spared being raked across the comedy coals. GNS is available as podcasts or may be viewed on line at the channel's website.
I highly recommend this to anyone who wants a great laugh.
Good News Week is easily the best news/currant affairs program on
Australian television. Every Monday night, the main journalists, Mikey
Robins, Paul McDermott and Claire Hooper, along with four weekly
guests, report and discuss the week's news items from both home and
abroad. But Good News Week has something that sets it apart from every
other news/currant affairs show on Australian television; it isn't
depressing or upsetting. Quite the opposite, in fact, this show will
actually make you smile and laugh - sometimes to the point of being
blind with tears.
The show reveals sides of news stories that other news shows won't disclose and also explains confusing financial/political situations in an uplifting and optimistic manner. They also often discuss several possible outcomes of issues-of-the-day, and contrary to what you will probably see on any other news show, the picture GNW paints of the future contains many enjoyable incidents and ironies. Vastly different to the forecasts that other news/currant affairs usually offer; which are usually bleak and disturbing.
The GNW managers have a good track record for selecting guest journalists. While guests are mostly Australian, often there will be one or more foreign correspondents in the studio, discussing currant issues. Occasionally then there will be a guest that seems unspectacular, but most guests offer valuable insight into the news headlines, and are well worth watching. While Paul is the anchorman, and usually gets final word on most discussions, GNW has a largely democratic feel to it, and most panelists, whether they are regulars or guests, are free to add input in to discussions whenever they wish to do so.
But what really speaks to you is the integrity of the regular panelists. Every week, they are there on the screens taking the news and presenting it to Australia in a way that will put a smile on their faces. In an industry filled with indifferent truth-mongers, who seem to take the attitude "Don't blame me if what I say makes you miserable; I just report the facts," the GNW crew put the effort in and make the news good to watch. Mikey, Claire and Paul (and in previous years, Julie) are a trio of saints who make this country a better show to watch.
All-in-all, GNW is a fine show and I whole-heartedly recommend it to anyone who is interested in currant affairs (and even if you aren't this show might change your mind!) I never used to watch any news/c.a. shows, but GNW has proved to me that the news can be worth watching, after all. A Currant Affairs, Today Tonight, 60 Minutes, 7.30 Report and all the news shows could learn a lot from Paul, Claire & Mikey's journalistic style. The law says that every TV channel must air a certain amount of news per day, but where does it say that it must be depressing? Take a lead from these pioneers and make your quest not to market the cold, indifferent truth, but to put a smile on Austalians' faces! It might take a little more effort and a lot more heart, but the rewards will be beneficial to all.
Good News Week is based on an English show of a similar title. Casting a cynical and often sarcastic view of the mass media, Paul McDermott, Mikey Robbins and Julie McCrossin and teams of guest stars poke fun at the establishment and major event in current affairs! (Please also note - I write this just after being in the audience for the 1998 New Year's Special!)
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