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Top Ten Significant Moments in Australian Entertainment

Nikki Tranter

The words "Australia" and "entertainment," for me, go hand in hand. It's like Rob Sitch said: "I reckon if you can't have fun in Australia, you're a tool." And so, from the funnest place on Earth, here's a look back at some entertaining Aussie moments from the year that was.

10. The return of Ray Martin
The interviewing maestro returns with The Ray Martin Show, an hour-long Oprah-style show featuring only the most famous guests. Ray has been off-air for far too long. And while he is both annoying, unfunny, a little bit tabloid, and a lot full of himself, he seems to be the only guy out there who can get Russell Crowe to ponder a Royal romance, Tom Cruise to discuss intimate details of his love for Penelope, or Billy Connolly to confess that he wishes his dick was bigger.

9. The Secret Life Of Us
Is Australia the only place in the world where a scorned wife can shout, "Fuck you!" at her cheating husband on primetime, free-to-air television? After years of being spoon-fed trash like Neighbours, Home and Away, and third rate rip-offs of NYPD Blue and ER, Aussie TV triumphs with an hour-long drama about the struggles and successes of Melbourne 20-somethings.

8. One Wild Night: Bon Jovi's one night only stop over in Oz to raise money for Australian State Emergency Service workers
Headlining a mini-festival event (including Australian acts such as Primary and Zed) with Aussie rock legend Jimmy Barnes was something to remember. It was my 8th time seeing a Bon Jovi-related concert (Jon and Richie's solo tours included) and trust me, the guys only get better.

7. Elmo on Rove Live
This masterful interview has become the most requested for repeat in Rove history (all of three years). Never has Rove been more in awe of a guest, and never has a piece of red fluff with eyes glued to it been cuter.

6. Channel Ten's news report on the capture of the Green River Killer, aired between a story about a cat stuck up a tree and sports
Oh, it's me, is it? One of the most significant moments in both criminal and behavioural science history -- a man who went from being one of the most feared and hunted serial killers in history apparently stops his murderous rampage to live out his days as a respectable family man, only to be captured 14 years after he gave a sample of his saliva to investigators -- is shoved in between unimportant stories and ad-breaks. The story only made page 27 of the nation-wide Herald-Sun newspaper and has disappeared since. The only news bigger would have been the discovery of the identity of Jack The Ripper. Oh, wait, that was James Maybrick.

5. REM on The Panel
The show came back from commercial and I wondered, "What the hell is Michael Stipe doing on The Panel?" After revealing the correct lyrics to "The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite" and relating a near-death experience, Stipe went on to perform two songs -- "I've Been High" from their latest record, Reveal, and a gorgeous acoustic version of "Losing My Religion".

4. Blair's Big Brother
Seeing two macho dudes (Ben and Blair) come so very close to falling in love with the out-and-proud Johnny on Big Brother was a revelation. Seeing Blair burst into uncontrollable tears at Johnny's eviction was even more so.

3. Kerry Armstrong winning the Best Actress Australian Film Industry award for Lantana
She beat out the disgustingly overrated Nicole Kidman for Australian film's top female honour, proving once again that talent is what matters, not a hyped-up public image.

2. The supposed November 15 release of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back
Significant moment in entertainment, my ass. Arriving at the city theatre after a three hour journey to get there only to find Jay and "Silly" Bob's latest opus pulled would not have been pretty. Luckily, I discovered minutes before purchasing my train ticket that, for no good reason (then or since), I was to miss out. And miss out until February 28, 2002, when it will come to Australian theaters, after the DVD release in January.

1. Bradley Whitford winning an Emmy for his role as Josh on The West Wing
Okay, so technically not a significant moment in Australian entertainment. But, seeing Mike Todwell from Adventures In Babysitting win his most deserved award was a significant moment in this Australian living room.

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