30 September 2008

ABC News: Will the Village Idiot Return?

| jimbruce
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Its been a long time, but for the last few weeks we’ve seen a return to professionalism on the ABC television news.

Can you believe it: news being about news, weather being about weather, without patronising attempts at humour, self obsession, vegetable obsession, whatever.

You know what I’m talking about: Mark Carmody, Mr Fosts and Frogs, presently at the moment at risk of percipitiation. He of the flower fetish and the demeaning, patronising putdowns of everyone’s favourite female newsreader (though I liked her better with a foot in the door at A Current Affair).

No more running for the remote at 7.26 each week night, no more squirming with embarrassment at the vegetable of the day (and his flowery corsage), no more (worst of all) nervous titter from Virginia as she valiantly tries to salvage self-respect from the nightly shambles.

What a relief it has been to have news and weather being about news and weather once again. How much professionalism has the entire half regained now that it is free of unscripted inanity. How much sense it makes to have the news reader read the news.

But presently, at the moment, a risk of percipitation threatens this new found respectability. What if they let him back in the country? WHAT IF THEY LET HIM BACK ON THE AIR!

Pray, tell me it isn’t so. And let us remember, gimmickery is no substitute for competence.

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Holden Caulfield9:08 am 03 Nov 08

ABC News: Will the Village Idiot Return?

According to the Canberra Times: Yes!

I saw the headline and thought something must have happened to Ross Solly. No such luck.

tom-tom said :


Agreed. None better.

Holden Caulfield3:25 pm 13 Oct 08

So, in Carmody, we have the spin, but no image?

To his credit, that helicopter traffic report guy did drag Anthony Callea out of the closet live on air to millions of people.

I don’t think Mark Carmody will ever achieve something to rival that one.

Because even the weather these days has to have a gimmick if it is not an eccentric flower wearer it is an overly bronzed blonded male shouting at us through the TV or [the traffic guy] shouting at us from a helicopter.

In our modern times image and spin take precedence over knowledge even the meteorological variety.

I’m with nicolae – watching Carmody is like knowing you are about to see a nasty car accident – you know you don’t want to watch it but you just can’t turn your head away. JBs comment about Carmody one day wearing a flower bigger then his head just added to the ‘must tune in tonight to check’ factor’.

In any event, good or bad he’s more entertaining than the other presenters. Also, is it just me or in days gone past weren’t the weathermen on TV actual meteorologists and not just ‘pretty faces’?

Mark Carmody would be awful for longer than five minutes – but he’s nice for just the duration of the weather. What’s painful is Virginia’s inability to relax and engage in a little repartee. In any case, Carmody had clearly had intensive coaching as he improved a heap. I hope he comes back.

Tim Bailey is a very grumpy face when the camera is not on him. When he dies, his skin can be used to bind books. Lots of them.

It has actually been pretty funny watching Virginia read the weather this week. They run the visuals really slowly, I guess to allow time for Mark to chat about flowers or something, so she has ended up having to read the temperatures really really slooooowly.

Bring back Mark!

(and yes – someone needs to do something about Tim Bailley)

If he could read an autocue correctly, and maintained it for 40 years, apparently we’d be lowering flags for him. :p

Interesting set of responses to my rant.

No one seems willing to defend Carmody’s competence, social skills, or ability to read an autocue.

No one has objected to the basic premise: that his unprofessionalism – whether you like him, hate him or merely shudder and ignore him – casts a pall over the entire half hour news broadcast.

No one has disagreed that the news readers do a perfectly fine job of reading the weather.

Those who enjoy his presence seem to do so largely because he IS a blithering train wreck, not in spite of it. Carmody is ‘uniquely Canberran’ in the same way as sheep dip ads on prime time tv or the public service ‘off-the-rack suit and backpack’ fashion sense is ‘uniquely Canberran’.

I can understand those who see the entire routine as some kind of existential comedy routine, a sort of Chance the gardener returned to his pumpkin patch, or who draw entertainment from Haussinger’s nervous tittering as Carmody embarrasses her yet again on air. (I notice the male newsreaders tend to give him short shrift.)

Dammit, Aunty, if you’re stuck with Carmody for a five year contract, why not dump him him from the news (you know you want to) and exile him a gardening spot on Stateline? No one watches that anyway. The seventeen people who watch Carmody for his botanic buffoonery can follow him there, and the rest of us can relax and start taking the ABC news and weather seriously again, with only occassional nervous twitches as 7.26 comes around.

Back to the fosts and frogs…


Spitfire’s right.
Anyone who complains about Mark Carmody should be tied to a chair and made to watch endless weather reports from Tim Bailey. That guy’s gotta realise some time soon he’s not 14 and still a grommit down the surf club.

Watching Mark Carmody is like watching Fawlty Towers – excrutiatingly hilarious. He can’t get back soon enough for me. Looking forward to seeing the spring floral arrangements.

Tim Bailey – *shudder* There are only two people’s voices that make me manically reach for the remote while yelling LA LA LA NOT LISTENING NOT LISTENING. Tim Bailey is one of them. The other is Vince Sorrenti *triple-shudder*.

As for Mahk Cahmdy, I always thought he sounded a bit odd when his voice came through my radio. I haven’t watched his weather segments with enough attentiveness to form any further opinion though.

My house is another that reaches for the remote at 7.26 to avoid the horror that is Mark Carmody and his schtick. Just WHY do TV stations have a seperate, often “wacky”, weather presenter anyway? To break up the seriousness of a otherwise dry (no pun intended) subject? If so, why not replace Alan Kohler in the finance segment with Mark Carmody… or Rodney Rude or some other “funny guy”. Last night Virginia managed to present the weather perfectly well by herself with no other assistance, or the need to gibber on for half a minute about what she’d done in the garden that day. Who would have thought! Seriously, if Mark wants to share his obsessive compulsive flower fanaticism, he should bloody well set himself up a blog like 99% of the other loons in the world…

Only last night I was thinking “I hope Mark Carmody comes back soon”. He’s a hoot. At first I didn’t like him, although my feelings didn’t approach anything like jimbruce’s vitriol, but after a while I came to appreciate his peculiarities and foibles and yes, even his squeaky voice. Not to mention the ‘banter’ between him and Virginia – sure, it can’t approach the Haussegger/Ringwood repartee and sideward glances or raised eyebrows, but does provide the odd spot of amusement.

watching Mark Carmody trying to sound like he’s not reading an autocue when he clearly is, brings new levels of pain & anguish to viewers in my household – not to mention squeals of laughter…however having said that, I watch when I can but then that’s probably more due to ‘car crash’ syndrome (you know you don’t want to watch but you can’t help yourself). Virginia’s facial expressions in response to Mark’s inane questions, it must be said, are priceless!

He’s the best. Bit off the wall yes, but that’s what I like about him. That and the flowers, I hope he’s back soon.

I prefer that young lass the ABC has brought in of late

That young lass would be Siobhan Heanue. Her regular job is news on ABC radio.

I prefer that young lass the ABC has brought in of late, no novelty, just the weather, just as I prefer it.
That being said Mark Carmody is still preferable to that abominable Tim Bailey over on TEN!

barking toad7:50 am 01 Oct 08

Two points

1. You watch the ABC for news reports!
2. You watch the ABC for weather reports!

oh, a third

Mark is an excellent ad for radio

Bring back Mark Carmody – no one else in Australia brought such enthusiasm and animation to weather on the box.

I’m sure many would tune in to the ABC just to watch Mark’s wrap-up of the weather.

As for the interplay between Mark and news presenter Virginia Haussegger, this alone made for entertaining viewing.


I wholeheartedly agree with jimbruce.

If it were possible, bring John Ringwood back!

White sliced bread … puh! … I spit on white sliced bread!!

Mark Carmody is a hoot. Maybe you’d prefer fake TV “talent” like that wrinkled prune on the Sydney Ten news? (Bailey someone, fancies himself as a skiier).

Carmody’s got a bit of character, and I look forward to him and his flowers (and maybe a small tree) returning in a few weeks.

If you prefer white sliced bread, watch the commercial channels. There’s lots of them.

glasscentralcanberra1:13 am 01 Oct 08

He’s not a wanker, he’s just…unbelievably painful. Harmless for sure, and doubtless a terribly nice chappie, but beyond excruciating to watch. Where the hell do they find ’em? And why?
Why can’t the anchor just read the weather report, straight, at the end of the broadcast? Sans any dorky vaudeville act?
I think he’s only on hols, alas.

sexynotsmart12:30 am 01 Oct 08

My goodness we’re becoming a hypercritical mob of late.

Bearing in mind that the local weather report should probably be two powerpoint slides… if someone has to point at a map, long live Mark Carmody!

Consider the competition:

Mike Bailey – I was glad to see him leave the ABC just so I could have a chance to not vote for him. And then he pops up on Nine!

Grant Denyer – after years in a V8, you’d think he’d have a more exciting bingle in a monster truck. (Seriously dude, get well soon. I think you may be the sort of person who googles themself, so you’ll probably read this before the end of physio!)

Steve Jacobs – now I know he’s not the little fat kid from “Hey Dad!”. But that’s exactly the job the son would have in the show were it still running.

Tim Bailey – blackbanned in our house. “Drips and drops across rooftops and crops” is neither witty nor informative. If I want to see a fake blonde yelling loudly, I’ll find some vintage Michelle Timms on Youtube.

Yikes, I’m no fan of Mark Carmody but lighten up a bit. At least he seems to get the weather right, unlike Prime where the ditzy brunette and self absorbed buzz cut give temps that are heaps different from every other channel and the bureau itself. He’s colourful, adding a bit of character to the snooze end of the nightly bulletin.


swamiOFswank10:46 pm 30 Sep 08

Lighten up, mate. I love the ABC, but sometimes it overdoses us on stodge… You’re right, Mark Carmody is a bit of a wanker, but at least he brings a bit of colour to it all.

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