The Logie Awards, or Australian television’s night of nights, are Australia’s annual TV awards, presenting statuettes to the country’s most popular programs, along with a few better-quality ones that nobody watched. The broadcasts of the awards used to be shared equally around all the networks, and is now shared equally around Channel Nine cost centres.
Created by TV Week magazine, the awards have long been invested with all the credibility and gravitas one would associate with a publication whose primary function is reporting soapie plot twists as though they were happening to real people.
Graham Kennedy, the ‘King of Australian television’, gave the awards their name, which derives from the middle name of an early pioneer of the medium, John Logie Baird. It became the comedy legend’s most enduring joke, played on millions of television viewers for decades. Most insiders agree that it’s now too late for the industry to change the name to something that wasn’t suggested in jest.
The ceremony has taken place in the ballroom of Melbourne’s Crown Casino for the past couple of decades, because Crown is Australia’s largest venue purpose-designed for its patrons losing. In recent years, the winners have been required to stake their statuettes on the roulette table after coming off stage, which has led to considerable savings in the production budget. It has recently been announced that the Logies will move to a place as devoid of irony as the awards themselves—the Gold Coast.
Memorable Logies ceremonies include that time Andrew Denton hosted, the year where Steve Irwin’s snake bit Tim Webster, and that other time Denton hosted.
There are many important Logies traditions, including awards being presented by minor international celebrities who don’t bother to veil their contempt; guests perpetually leaving their tables so they can drink and gossip in the foyer without having to watch the ceremony; and attendees going on to present breakfast television the following morning while obviously intoxicated.
Unlike the Oscars, Logies are not awarded by the members of a broader Academy, but are either judged by a small panel or awarded via popular vote. TV Week has defended its process on the basis that anyone who wants to set up their own television awards can jolly well just go and do so.
In recent years, the competing AACTAs have been launched, in an attempt to create more reputable, industry-based awards, but the public has yet to fully embrace them because their name is highly confusing, as illustrated by the phrase ‘Best Actor AACTA’.
The Logies are frequently criticised for being too long, too dull and largely irrelevant, but nobody can dispute that they would be the most fascinating show on television if the producers would only set up their cameras at the after parties.
- Gold Logie—awarded to the most popular personality on Australian television. This used to be determined by the readers of TV Week, but they’ve now found an even more insubstantial method of casting votes: the internet.
- Silver Logie for Best New Talent—for some briefly buzzy soap star who will never be heard of again.
- Silver Logie for Most Popular Presenter—whoever most recently joined The Project.
- Best Sports Program—the NRL Footy Show or, sometimes, for variation, the AFL Footy Show.
- Best Lifestyle Program—something that allows viewers to fill their sorry lives with images of television personalities enjoying much better lives. Best Reality Program—program from which any semblance of reality has been most skilfully removed.
- Most Outstanding News Coverage—most heart-rending coverage of a natural disaster.
- Most Outstanding Public Affairs Report—something that nobody watched, but everybody thought they should have.
- Most Outstanding Comedy Program—something on the ABC.
- Most Outstanding Factual Program—as this award was recently won by Gogglebox Australia, it’s entirely unclear what this category is for.
The print edition of Strayapedia, available to order here, contains a list of notable Logie winners, most of whom are Lisa McCune.