Organisers of the TV Week Logie Awards have announced the annual event’s new permanent host.
In a world-first, an animatronic presenter, called Grant Newton (main picture), will take to the stage for the first time at the 2019 Logies to be telecast live from the Gold Coast on 30 June.
Executive producer of the 2019 Awards, Anna Logg, said the new robotic host would also front all Logie Awards for the foreseeable future.
“We can make that commitment because Grant Newton is an animatronic host, a robot if you like, that’s been manufactured at the Disney Studios in the US at great expense,” Ms Logg said.
“It’s based on an amalgam of the physical and vocal characteristics of two of the country’s most popular TV hosts, Grant Denyer and Bert Newton.
“It’s nominally 61 years of age, the average of Grant’s and Bert’s ages, but it will never age so we can use it for years if not decades to come.
“We’ve had a team of writers working on its hosting script for the Logies for the past six months, from the time we secretly took delivery of the Grant Newton.
“In the lead-up to 30 June the robot will be programmed with all jokes and one-liners relevant to the people and programs who’ve been nominated for the 2019 Awards.
“We can even write so-called impromptu quips and jokes while it’s on stage during the live ceremony, just like the ABC does for Wil Anderson during the Gruen Transfer.
“I’m not at liberty to say how much we’ve paid for the new robotic host, but when I say ‘at great expense’ you need to be aware that the relatively high upfront investment in acquiring the new robotic host is offset over time by not having to pay it anything.
“So it will do the hosting duties once a year at the Logies, and if we outsource it to other events like Carols by Candlelight or if we pick up a game show or two for it during the rest of the year, it’ll pay for itself quick smart.
“Unlike other Australian TV celebrities we don’t have to continually massage its ego or find it work. We just flick a switch and shut it down then put it in a cupboard.
“But like all popular Australian TV celebrities it does have artificial intelligence,” Ms Logg said.