McDermott keen on a bit of variety
Sunday 25th March 2007
By television editor Richard Clune
Paul McDermott is returning to his old launching pad at the ABC as host of a new Saturday-night variety show.
McDermott, best remembered for his riotous former news review Good News Week, says he's excited about the return of 'real variety TV'.
"Variety is no longer a dirty word," he told the Sunday Telegraph last week.
"On this show, The Sideshow, we showcase comics and singers, but also older-style acts, such as vaudeville performers."
McDermott believes audiences are again ready for a weekend variety series.
"TV, like so many other things, is cyclical, and we haven't had a good variety program for quite some time," he said.
"This is good family fun, with all ages and everyone welcome."
The last truly successful Saturday-night variety show was Channel 9's long-running Hey Hey It's Saturday, which ended in 1999.
After a short stint with the Foxtel movie series Project Greenlight, McDermott is happy about returning to the ABC.
"I have great ties to Aunty; it's like returning to a broken home in many ways," he said.
The Sideshow, which will make its debut in late April, may find itself competing against a new variety series Channel 10 is believed to be working on.
The Sunday Telegraph has learnt the network is keen to have Hamish Blake and Andy Lee front a new Saturday-night series.