Blue Heelers: articles

Gold at last for John Wood

AFTER a decade of being nominated, Blue Heelers' John Wood has finally won a gold Logie.

While the Logies telecast was tinged with sadness after yesterday's shock death of 60 Minutes reporter Richard Carleton, the night was a huge personal triumph for Wood.

Wood, considered sentimental favourite after Channel 7's decision to axe his show, brimmed with emotion when he took to the stage at Crown entertainment complex to accept the coveted statuette for Most Popular Personality on Australian TV.

He also won a silver award for Most Popular Actor, and said he was shocked by the support he'd received in public and through the media.

"Now that Heelers is dead and buried, this was my last chance for gold, no doubt about that," Wood said.

"And I've got to be honest and say this is the first time it has really mattered to me I win.

"I've been absolutely knocked out by the support I've had from all over the country, not just Melbourne but radio and newspapers everywhere. I'd just like to thank everyone in Australia for that."

Wood won the gold ahead of a strong field including four-time gold winner Bert Newton, three-time winner Rove McManus and former McLeod's Daughters star Bridie Carter.

His prospects of success seemed strong in the lead-up to last night.

While there was a solid media-driven campaign to support him in his race for gold, Wood also came up trumps in a Herald Sun poll to name the person who should win the award.

Of nearly 4000 votes, Wood attracted an incredible 1693—970 more than the poll's second-place getter, Bridie Carter.

Heelers, languishing in a Saturday timeslot before it disappears in June, has consumed the past 12 years of Wood's working life.

Wood, who has shone in the role of Sen-Sgt Tom Croydon, says he's proud the show recently passed 500 episodes.

"I thought the 500th episode was a terrific script… it was probably the best work I'd done in the history of the series, and it rated absolutely zero."

The 2006 Logies have proved a huge success for Channel 7, a moderate success for Channel 10, and a major disappointment for Channel 9.

Of 11 public-voted awards in the Most Popular categories, Channel 7 won seven.

Apart from Wood's gold and silver, Home and Away took out awards for Most Popular Actress (Kate Ritchie), Most Popular New Female talent (Jodi Gordon), New Male Talent (Paul O'Brien) and Australian Drama.

Dancing with the Stars won Most Popular Light Entertainment Program.

The ABC's Play School was inducted into the Logies Hall of Fame, and We Can Be Heroes won Outstanding Comedy.

Chris Lilley, star of We Can Be Heroes, collected the Graham Kennedy Award for Most Outstanding New talent.

Gold nominee Bert Newton's Logies co-hosts were Ray Martin, Daryl Somers, Lisa McCune and Georgie Parker, all previous gold Logie winners.

The telecast opened with a "50 years of TV" retrospective and included tributes to Richard Carleton, who yesterday died from a heart attack.

Performers at the ceremony included re-formed Aussie rock band Sherbet, Pink, and Cirque du Soleil.

Special guests included CSI star George Eads, Law & Order's Chris Noth, ice skating champions Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, and Joan Rivers.

Rivers shocked the Logies audience when she said "I don't know why the f—— I'm here", before turning to the crowd and saying "John Wood, you were fantastic in bed last night".

By Darren Devlyn and Robert Fidgeon
May 08, 2006
Herald Sun