The ABC says it is still working out how to fill around 25 minutes in the half-hour time slot for the first episode of the new fifth series of its popular portraiture program Anh’s Brush With Fame.
The first season of the 30-minute program in which artist and stand-up comedian Anh Do paints the portrait of a well-known Australian while interviewing them about their life premiered in August 2016
A spokesperson for ABC TV, Lee “No Not That One” Sayles, confirmed that the first episode of the latest series due to air on 4 August had been shot and edited but had run to less than five minutes.
“The guest being painted by Anh in the first show of the new series is One Nation leader, Queensland Senator Pauline Hanson,” Mr Sayles said.
“Producers of the show recognised that she was a controversial choice and also realised that Anh’s heart really wasn’t in his work for this episode.
“In fact he spent very little time on the Hanson portrait. It was a very perfunctory painting and involved Anh dropping his pants, squatting on the studio floor, voiding his bowels, and using his large palette knife to spread his own excrement on canvas before using a finger to draw some rudimentary facial features (main picture).
“He then gave the Senator a rude hand gesture and walked off the set without speaking a word to her, leaving producers to wonder how they could fill the remaining 25 minutes of the new series’ premiere episode.
“We’re now trying to work out before the show is due to go to air how we fill the time slot.
“Right now we’re looking at running the five minutes of Anh and his Hanson portrait but then cutting to an edited re-run of the 2006 BBC doco The Queen by Rolf in which noted Aussie entertainer and accomplished artist Rolf Harris paints a portrait of Her Majesty.
“We reckon that’s the simplest and least controversial way out of this problem Anh’s given us.”
The ABC spokesperson said this was not the first time the Anh’s Brush With Fame program had sparked controversy.
An episode in the fourth series last year involving then Senator Fraser Anning was pulled at the last minute because of the foul language and physical violence involved in in exchanges between the artist and the controversial politician (pictured).