Packed To The Rafters: articles

There's gold in them there Rafters, and crims got a lode, too

cast at 2009 Logie Awards

IT WAS the year family values and television sex and violence went head-to-head for television's highest honour, ending with what amounted to a photo finish.

The sentimental favourite Rebecca Gibney, star of Packed To The Rafters, won the Gold Logie, beating the presenters Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Rove McManus, Adam Hills and Andrew Denton, and the actors Simmone Jade Mackinnon, Kate Ritchie and Ian Smith.

Rafters' rival for Logies glory, Nine's Underbelly, won three of the most coveted gongs at the 2009 TV Week Logie Awards: outstanding drama, and outstanding actor and actress for Gyton Grantley and Kat Stewart, who played Carl and Roberta Williams.

But in a curious legal hiccup, scenes from the critically acclaimed Underbelly were excluded from the nomination packages, a hangover from the Victorian broadcast ban on the first series and matters still before the courts concerning one of the central characters.

Seven's Rafters won two key awards, and three more for its younger cast members - most popular drama, most popular actress for Gibney, and most popular new talents for Jessica Marais and Hugh Sheridan.

Marais also won the Graham Kennedy Award for outstanding new talent.

The telecast opened with a performance by Jessica Mauboy, including a sequence that had been secretly recorded on the roof of the Crown's 39-storey hotel tower on Thursday night. The Logies presentation was held in Crown's casino complex.

The award for most popular actor went to the Home And Away star Todd Lasance, who beat Grantley, the Neighbours stalwart Ian Smith, the Rafters dad Erik Thomson and the All Saints actor Mark Priestley, who died last year. Priestley's parents attended the ceremony last night.

Hundreds of fans packed bleachers on either side of the red carpet from late afternoon, and the celebrity guest list, which included the media heir Lachlan Murdoch and his wife, Sarah, the former model and host of Australia's Next, the Los Angeles-based Brothers & Sisters star Rachel Griffiths and the former multiple-Gold Logie winner Lisa McCune, started arriving from 4.30pm.

The singer Annie Lennox and daytime soap "supercouple" Peter Reckell and Kristian Alfonso, best known as Bo and Hope of Days Of Our Lives, also attended.

By Michael Idato with Sean Nicholls
May 04, 2009
Sydney Morning Herald
Photo: Penny Stephens