Mr Justice Waleed Aly has called for a royal commission into the 2019 Gold Logie selection process.
Speaking from the bench on Network Ten’s The Project last night, a clearly shaken Justice Aly said Australians needed to know that the process for choosing their most popular television personality was beyond reproach.
His call follows a grilling Justice Aly gave to Gold Logie winner, comedian Tom Gleeson, the night after the ABC quiz show host took out the top award.
In his trademark understated yet serious tone, Justice Aly said he was not singling out Mr Gleeson.
His voice wavering, he continued: “Nor am I calling for a royal commission because I, like other overwhelmingly talented and deserving nominees, missed out on the Gold Logie this year.
“No, not at all. I simply believe Australia’s TV viewers must be assured that the nation’s highest honour is always given to the person who most deserves it, or someone else if for some inexplicable reason I am not the viewers’ choice.”
Justice Aly said the first task of a royal commission would be to interview every single person who voted in the Gold Logie ballot and all subscribers of the awards’ sponsor, TV Week magazine.
“I know that undertaking what could be potentially dozens of interviews may prove onerous, but we must protect the integrity of the Logie Awards and the Gold Logie in particular.
“If its credibility is brought into doubt, so too is the standing of the otherwise unremarkable celebrities and personalities who have won it in the past.”
Justice Aly said Australia’s TV viewers needed to be prepared if the royal commission recommended changes to the Logie Awards.
“I hope any recommendations for change do not come as a shock for loyal TV viewers, especially given their advanced age,” he said.
“Certainly if the royal commission, for example, decides the Gold Logie Award should be axed, I sincerely hope it also recommends a replacement award.
“I for one would certainly like to see a Gold Logie for ‘Most Popular Politically Correct Pontificator’.
“But that’s just my own, albeit overwhelmingly reasonable, sensible and correct, view.”
Justice Aly said he had already approached a potential royal commissioner, Channel 9’s A Current Affair host, Tracy Grimshaw.
“Justice Grimshaw has agreed to head the royal commission and she will be ably assisted by two other independent commissioners, Network Ten’s Amanda Keller and the ABC’s Costa Georgiadis,” he said.