Dr Mumbo

Dr Mumbo at the ASTRA Awards: Speers blows his own trumpet

To Sydney’s State Theatre for pay TV’s big awards night – and a thoroughly classy affair it was.

Mind you, as the pay TV personalities made their way along the ASTRA Awards red carpet, Dr Mumbo overheard one mean character observing: “It’s like watching kids dress up in their parents’ clothes while they’re away at the Logies”.  

But pay TV does have its heroes, and Dr Mumbo was impressed by the loud cheer when Sky News political editor David Speers – host for the night after something of a busy Julia Gillard-driven 24 hours – arrived on stage.

He told the audience he was glad to get away from his journo peers for the night, revealing: “There’s only so many times you can ask what’s the quickest way to Ken’s at Kensington.”

Later in the ceremony, after colleague Kieran Gilbert won the category of Outstanding Performance by a Broadcast Journalist, Speers, a former winner, seemed a tad digruntled not to have been on the shortlist. He said: “Apparently interviewing presidents,  hosting election debates and being on air for 24 hours doesn’t really cut it any more.”

Still, Speers did get the opportunity to blow his own trumpet – literally. He finished the ceremony by playing a few bars, before saying: “I’d like to thank Wikipedia for informing the producers that I played trumpet at school.”

Meanwhile, the person who most deserved to blow his own trumpet was Selling Houses Australia’s Andrew Winter who spent most of his night on the stage collecting trophies. The former real estate agent told the room: “I’d like to thank Foxtel, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to keep up with my mortgage payments.”

As is the norm for these events, the scripted banter between award presenters – made all the more obvious by being on the autocue – was somewhat painful. However, Dr Mumbo did enjoy Chandon Pictures’ Rob Carlton’s marvelously faint praise to Underbelly’s Gyton Grantley: “You’re no Robert De Niro – but he couldn’t play Carl Williams as well as you.”

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