My HUGE apologies for not updating Aussiewood in recent months. I’ve been changing things up a little on the blog and giving it a bit of a make-over but it will be up and running again very soon!
Hey guys! Sorry there’s been no action on the blog recently, having major internet problems and been getting busy with life and all that! Will definitely be doing a big catch-up soon.
Queensland won the first State of Origin last night with an 18-10 score, delivering an exciting first game for the series. There was outstanding action from the likes of Billy Slater and Brent Tate and of course there was an all-in brawl (a fan favourite) that saw Michael Jennings sin-binned for 10 minutes. And while I thoroughly enjoyed the game (I’m an NRL fan) I very quickly tired of Channel 9’s shameless advertising and promoting through the game. They crammed in ad breaks everywhere they could, at one point even leading viewers to miss a few seconds of the action. The entire country (and most likely the world) now knows that Channel 9 is the obviously very proud owner of The Block, The Voice and Tricky Business. We get it. We got it five minutes into the coverage. Ray Warren and the gang had to repeatedly talk about the shows and didn’t sound at all impressed about it. I have respected Channel 9 for a long time because they have a mature approach to their work, but the suffocating promotion for these shows is over-bearing and exhausting. There is such a thing as over exposure and it can lead to audience figures dropping. Also on the subject of Origin, Delta Goodrem’s performance was not good. She sang her new hit Sitting on Top of the World which she premiered at the Logie Awards. That performance was also shaky, which I assumed were just nerves as it’s been awhile since Delta was back on the home turf. But last night’s performance proved there’s no point writing a song with high notes you can reach in a recording studio, but not on stage. I hope for her sake she had a cold last night, but I really don’t think that was the case. On the upside, I was glad to see an opening act with a little bit of credibility. Although I do think one of these years that it really has to be a group like AC/DC or Cold Chisel rather than pop stars.
State of Origin II is on the 13th June at 8pm
Tickets are still available for ANZ Stadium
Any Charlie and Brax fans out there may be disappointed with the following news because it appears Brax is getting a ‘potential love interest’ heading his way. Brax’s alter ego Steve Peacocke is currently in the South Australian outback filming a highly confidential, top secret storyline with actress Catherine Mack who plays the role of a school counsellor. Steve, Catherine and Lincoln Younes, who plays Brax’s younger brother Casey, are over in the Flinders Ranges on a family property filming the scenes that will air in September.
Catherine Mack is originally from Melbourne but has recently been based in LA. She has appeared in Blue Heelers, Neighbours, Winners & Losers and a 1988 episode of Home & Away. Acting is not her only talent, with the 28 year old also qualified in criminology and philosophy.
Ruby and Romeo may be treading a rocky road in Summer Bay, but their real-life alter egos couldn’t be happier- so much so that they’re getting married! Rebecca Breeds and Luke Mitchell have become engaged after a relationship that began about three years ago. Luke, 27 proposed to 24 year old Rebecca while holidaying in Hayman Island, Queensland and Luke calls it the ‘most difficult thing’ he has ever done his life. Adding that he had the element of surprise, he reveals he didn’t tell anyone what he was planning- not even his parents! While there’s no date set yet, the pair aren’t planning a long engagement. Congratulations!
Former Packed to the Rafters stars Jessica Marais and James Stewart have become first time parents, welcoming their baby daughter Scout Edie Stewart into the world. James and Jess are currently engaged and are planning to move to America next month where Jess is making a name for herself in drama series Magic City. James recently quit Channel 7’s Packed to the Rafters to help care for baby Scout.
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It’s been a long wait but Channel 9 finally premieres its new family drama Tricky Business on Monday. The series centres on the Christie family- a group of debt workers trying to balance their complex job with their personal lives. With a cast including Shane Bourne (City Homicide), Gigi Edgley (Rescue: Special Ops) and Lincoln Lewis (Home & Away). Jim and Claire Christie (Bourne and Deborah Byrne) have retired and passed on the family business to their daughter Kate (Edgley) who has a crumbling marriage with Rick (Kip Gamblin) as well as a teenage daughter Emma (Odessa Young).
The promotional ads have shown similiarities to Packed to the Rafters on Channel 7 but Tricky Business castmembers say that’s where the similarities end.
"I think people are saying that because of the success of Rafters - they think we’re trying to do a version." Kip Gamblin says. But you can’t deny the ads of perfectly trimmed hedges and sunny skies show a fair resemblance to Rafters. Channel 7 didn’t invent the concept of family dramas, but Tricky Business would have done well to make themselves stand out against their rival and set a different standard.
Tricky Business also features Antony Starr, who is best known for playing twins Jethro and Van in the kiwi favourite Outrageous Fortune and who was last seen as Charlie in RUSH. Starr plays Matt, the ‘bad boy’ of the series who comes between Rick and Kate. Also making a name for herself is Sophie Hensser, who played Freya in Home and Away a few years ago. Hensser was last seen in the stage production Silent Disco and is now hitting the screen to play free spirited Lily Christie, the youngest family member.
Critics are labelling the drama ‘cute’ while Gamblin says it has a ‘darker side’. Channel 9 is hoping they have a winner on their hands after searching for a family drama series for some time.
Tricky Business starts on Monday, 9.30 Channel 9
James Stewart, AKA hunky tradie Jake is the latest to leave the shiny 7 drama. James is expecting his first baby with his fiancee Jessica Marais after they originally met on the set of Rafters and he’s now handing in his resignation and moving to America where Jessica has been making waves in Hollywood filming drama series Magic City. James is the sixth actor to leave Packed to the Rafters in just five seasons- an overwhelming number for a show that has been one of the most popular dramas to come out of Australia. Jessica McNamee (Sammy), Zoe Ventoura (Mel), Jessica Marais (Rachel) Hugh Sheridan (Ben) and now James have all departed the series in recent years. So, what does the future hold for Packed to the Rafters? A 7 spokeswoman has remained optimistic and maintains the show is doing ‘superbly’ and confirmed it would return in 2013 with some sparkly new castmembers. She also said as long as matriarchs Rebecca Gibney and Erik Thomson remain in the show.
James Stewart is leaving Packed to the Rafters in preparation for his baby with Jessica Marais
For anyone wondering what the song is used in promo ads for The Voice Australia and Home and Away (for the 9th May 2012), it’s called Different Worlds by Jes Hudak. Absolutely beautiful song!