Former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott is set to start a new career as host of a Sky News panel show being rushed into production to cover developments in the Ukraine war.
Sources within Sky News tell me that the new show called You Bet You Are, You Bet I Am, will form part of the so-called “after dark” line-up on Sky News and is aimed initially at providing an alternative to the more serious coverage of the Ukraine war.
“Sky News ‘after dark’ has never really done comedy, well at least not intentionally,” the source said.
“We thought that the Ukraine war was an ideal topic to build a comedic political panel show around and Tony Abbott was a natural as a host given his natural talent for humorous patter. (main picture)
“YBYAYBIA will no doubt bring back memories of topical panel shows like Good News Week that was very popular a few decades ago as well as give current programs like Have You Been Paying Attention? a run for their money.”
The Sky News source told me the pay-TV network hoped that once the Ukraine conflict was resolved the new show would continue with the aim of giving the ABC’s own Q&A panel discussion program a run for its money.
“Our research shows viewers are turning off Q&A because it takes itself too seriously and its panel is always full of lefty, greenie, woke wankers,” the Sky source told me.
“By way of contrast we’re making sure that YBYAYBIA will have a panel made up of guests who offer a wide range of views by leveraging Sky’s existing stars.
“We’ll be able to wheel in people like Peta Credlin, Andrew Bolt, Paul Murray, Chris Kenny and many others to offer viewers a variety of views from right-wing to far-right wing. That’s something to ABC never does.”
My source told me that Would I Lie To You? had originally been floated as the name of the new Abbott-hosted show but, besides the fact Network 10 had already snapped up the Australian rights to the UK show and its name, Sky decision-makers realised viewers would already know the answer.