ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

Popular TV show “Old People’s Home For Media Grads” has been renewed for another season by Sky amid pressure from the network’s executives to take steps to prevent the show’s stars from regularly defaming people.

Former Speaker of the House Bronwyn Bishop is one of the show’s stars who’ve come under scrutiny recently after the 81-year-old was forced to apologise for calling the Member for Mackellar, Dr. Sophie Scamps, an “antisemite” and part of a wider “antisemitic movement.”

The producers of “Old People’s Home For Media Grads” forced Ms. Bishop to apologise but pointed out that given the context of the show, statements such as the ones targeted towards Dr. Scamps should be “taken with a grain of salt.”

In a statement from Dudley Howard, the show’s series producer, there have been a string of similar statements made where no such offence has been caused.

“Many of our stars are going through the first stages of dementia,” explained Mr. Howard.

“Which is an incredibly difficult time for someone and their family. The show was initially created for young journalism and media graduates to meet and interact with once-respected journalists and political figures. It’s important for media graduates to learn from the past, and people such as Bronwyn Bishop have a wealth of professional and life experience that’s invaluable to anyone at the beginning of their media career.”

“However, people need to keep in mind that many of the stars of this show, their brain is blowing more blue smoke than a third-hand Ozito whipper snipper. Taking offence to what they say is silly. Half the time, they don’t know what they’re saying. They often don’t remember how they started a sentence. People should laugh when Bronwyn Bishop says Labor is using the same policies as the Nazi Party. That’s funny. Defamatory, sure, but ultimately, it’s hilarious. It’s great television.”

One of the young media graduates from the show has reiterated what Mr. Howard explained, telling The Advocate that working on the show is rewarding in a lot of different ways.

“They’re so cute,” said Daphne Taylor, one of the show’s stars and a recent graduate of the Overell School of Journalism at South Betoota Polytechnic College.

“It’s such a rewarding job. To see how much they enjoy it, it’s so great. What’s also great is that we don’t have to change them; Sky has orderlies that do that for us now. Paul Murray, who doesn’t have dementia and is actually quite progressive but has a mortgage to pay so yeah, has told us horror stories of him and the Dutchman (Andrew Bolt) having to change Alan Jones before he went home.”

“People have done a lot worse to get a start in media, I’ll tell you what.”

More to come.


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