Insiders on the outer

ABC TV is planning a dramatic makeover for its Sunday morning political discussion program Insiders.

A source close to the program said changes would include a scaling back of the traditional three-person commentary panel.

“We’ve looked back at the past few series of the show and come to realise the panelists really don’t add anything to the sum total of viewers’ knowledge,” the source said.

“In fact we discovered that all they do is come on the show and repeat things they’ve written about on particular issues during the week or trot out some theory about what’s likely to happen in the future, but often doesn’t.

“Most of the time they’re really just sitting there flapping their jaws and viewers are hardly getting ‘inside’ knowledge, which is what the show was meant to be but really never was.

“In addition we feel we need to scale back the number of News Corp journalists who appear on the show, given how badly their papers and outlets treat the ABC. We really can’t be rewarding them with a platform for national exposure when for the rest of the week they bag us mercilessly.

“So we’ve made some hard decisions and in the end we decided to throw out all the useless bits of the show and keep what’s original and entertaining.

“So from the start of the 2021 season of Insiders there’ll be no panel (main picture), no in-studio or remote interviews by David Speers, and no ‘Talking Pictures’ segment.

“In fact it will no longer be scheduled every Sunday morning, but will be screened only when there’s something fresh and innovative to present to viewers.

“In reality we believe it will air once every three to four weeks, run for around four minutes, and consistent entirely of those funny satirical send-ups compiled from old movie clips that Hugh Parkinson puts together when he has the time and inspiration,” the source said.