The selection of Magda Szubanski as host of Channel 9’s version of The Weakest Link has been blasted by industry experts as possibly the greatest example in history of miscasting on either the small or large screen.
My contacts at the station are understandably shaking their heads in disbelief and one reckons it’s the worst casting decision since Donald Trump pretended to be a successful businessman on The Apprentice.
Another confided in me: “I haven’t seen a worst example than when the late Sean Connery was selected to be Catherine Zeta Jones’s love interest in Entrapment back in 1999.
Don’t get these criticisms wrong. These people adore Magda but that’s the problem.
She’s accepted industry wide as a generous, kind and lovely person to everybody except Jenny Morrison and they just think she’s going to bomb badly pretending to be a nasty bitch throwing contestants off the program with putdowns and very personal insults.
And I think they have a point.
“In the original long-running UK show, Anne Robinson was the quintessential hard-bitten newspaper exec who looked like she enjoyed chewing up cub reporters and copy kids for morning tea, but only because she wanted to devour more senior editors for lunch!
More than a dozen G and Ts before midday and a few daily packets of uncorked-tip Camels went into her gravelly voiced and largely unpleasant bullying and vindictive persona.
Our Magda is fondly remembered as Mrs Hoggett, the netballer Sharon and the slovenly “I said love, I said pet” Lynnie.
“Magda’s characters have, if anything, been ones to pity if not ridicule.
“Personally, I think they should have copied the UK version and gone with someone like Niki Savva (left below), seeing the Kransky Sisters aren’t touring at the moment.