Last week, an announcement was made that shocked youthful cohorts of television-subscribing music fanatics. Defeated headlines painted the titles of news reports and our bitter hearts with the revelation that the infamous Channel V was saying adios. With its 20 year legacy, not to mention an integral part of the Australian music landscape, a wave of nostalgia swept over generations with reminiscences of youthful appreciation and cultural resonance. In the light of such an exposé, it’s time to pay homage to the legends that delivered us countless laughs and interviews, and in true Aussie fashion – benevolently encouraged a level of honesty from some groundbreaking musical acts.
In wake of the demise of Channel V, we all put our arms around each other and remember 7 presenters that, the once upon a time, made it one of the best music resources in the country.
One of the original V crew since the formation of the channel in 1994 when it was then know as ‘Red’, Jabba was a key Australian TV personality of the era. Also known as Davo Dinkum from his stint in the Fat Pizza series, where he played an archetypal Aussie stoner who wears thongs as training footwear, Jabba established a long legacy for the presenters to come at V. Most notably, the 2004 social experiment ‘Band in a Bubble’, where Jabba documented Regurgitator as they spent time under 24-hour Big Brother-esque surveillance, during which they were locked in a giant bubble while the band produced an album. The exercise proved to be emotionally damaging as one can imagine, however attested a true stroke of genius at a time when reality TV was trendy with the masses.
Who can forget the seedy hair transformations of the notorious Andrew G. From his dank ponytail days to his luscious blond streaked surfer locks, to the majority G is better know for his role as Australian Idol presenter alongside V colleague James Mathison, however G-man’s long standing affiliations with V established him as a pretty cool dude unbeknownst to the general masses. Before his reformed personality as host of The Bachelor – Osher Gunsburg as we know him now – G hosted the channel’s flagship shows By Demand and The Joint. G was involved with Channel V’s Bus tours – a show broadcast from the back of a truck that toured across Australia every summer. Acts such as Jack Johnson and Ben Harper performed to thousands of people, from major cities to the middle of Woop Woop, witnessing the V crew bring live music to the outback like a traveling circus.
Partner in crime with Andrew G, also widely recognized for his hosting on Australian Idol, Mathison started at V in 2001 after winning Channel V’s presenter search. Known for his ability to think on his feet and quick wit, the attractively gangly music geek entered a live platform where his skills as a conversationalist produced some quality banter with some of the world’s biggest music acts still to this day. Alongside his talent for talking, Mathison played in Sydney-based band The Punisherz from 2006-2008, who scored gigs at both Big Day Out and Falls Festival despite their incredibly insulting reviews.
All-round legend and a prime role model to women in television, Stynes verified that women had a real place in music discussion and that we were a force to be reckoned with in a male-dominated industry. On her first day at V back in 2001, the tickled pink presenter received a quality-sized pash from Robbie Williams – a kiss that was envied by teenage girls across the country. Another winning memory by far was when she interviewed the Foo Fighters in 2005 in a segment ‘What the Foo’s Want’ and her daughter keenly sat on Dave Grohl’s lap throughout the show. All the female viewers were thankful for catching a glimpse of Grohl’s fatherly instincts, so thank you Yumi.
Coming into his 14th year as a presenter at V, despite his respectable list of predecessors, Clayton takes the cake for being the truest devotee to the Channel V cause. Starting at V when he was just a teen, Clayton has featured in some pretty outlandish moments at V. From getting kissed by Katy Perry mid-interview, to interviewing David Hasselhoff naked, to dancing in a strawberry suit on stage with PNAU at Perth Big Day Out in 2008, Clayton’s hilarious banter combined with a no fear approach to interviewing encouraged some stellar conversations. One cannot forget recently when Clayton absolutely roasted Californian pro surfer Kolohe Andino in a post heat interview for allegedly sending creepy text messages to his model girlfriend Zoe Cross – you could cut the awkward tension with a knife.
A successful winner of the Channel V Presenter Search competition in 2009, this dude was passionate as hell about music. This presenter search received a lot more attention than previous ones when Russell was standing neck to neck in the competition with the awful ex-Australia’s Next Top Model reject and full-time bogan Jordan Loukas – needless to say we were thankful that the best man won. Russell liked to push the boundaries, and brought a lot of creativity to the crew at Channel V. Most notably, the starting of The Riff, which for a while there was one of Australia’s favourite Saturday morning music shows that saw the legendary V presenter’s enlighten viewers with brutally honest opinions about what music was getting released and how wonderful or completely bogus it was in their trustworthy eyes.
The dude went on to form Step Panther. Nuff’ said.