Paul McDermott

Paul McDermott promo, taken from channel ten site
Last Updated
Mar 21st, 2009
Contributed by
Dominica Malcolm
13th May, 1962
Picture Gallery
3 pictures

McDermott started out in comedy when he joined the Doug Anthony Allstars (I think he was 23 years old) so that he could make money to buy the canvases he needed to do his paintings on. Paul's true love was his paintings and he stumbled into the comedy business accidentally.

The Doug Anthony Allstars consisted of Richard Fidler, Tim Ferguson and of course Paul McDermott. The Allstars were a different type of comedy group that Australia rejected until they made it big in Edinburgh and England. The Allstars often took advantage of their audience and made fun of them every chance they got. Paul McDermott joined the Allstars in 1985 (I think - I might be wrong so it would be a good idea to check it somewhere else) and they split in 1994 when Tim wanted to come back to Australia but the other two wanted to stay in Europe (that's the reason I've been told anyway).

Paul was out of a job for over a year (okay so he did the mosh stage show in 1995 and 1996 in Melbourne and Adelaide but he produced the show himself and it wasn't exactly employment) and wasn't sure if he wanted to do comedy again but in 1996 he was offered to do Good News Week.

The GNW team had gotten off to a shaky start because by the end of the year they were threatened by ABC budget cuts.

Thankfully the show was saved by protesting fans. GNW spent 3 years on the ABC where the team saw Flacco and the Sandman join to do Good News Weekend in 1998. Sadly the ABC saw them go in 1999 when the ABC sold the show to channel ten for six million dollars. Of course this was good news for channel ten. GNW started on channel ten on March 21st on a Sunday night. Sadly, in August, they changed from Sunday nights to Monday nights on the 23rd. They had to change the night because they weren't getting enough viewers - everyone was watching Sea Change.

Happily settled on channel ten, instead of filming GNWE, the team filmed GNW Night Lite which also featured Flacco, the Sandman and the musical talents of the Gadflys. Paul often sung on this show as did he on GNWE and in DAAS.

In 2000, the producer of Good News Week decided to combine both of 1999's programmes into one hour and a half length show. This show appeared on Saturday nights but because it wasn't getting the ratings, it was axed. The final GNW ever aired on the 21st of November 2000. Until the writer's strike in the US saw a return of Good News Week to channel ten in 2008, that is! Paul returned to host the show, and it continues to air on channel ten into 2009.

Paul also wrote for the Weekend Australian Newspaper in the magazine every two weeks. He published a book in 2000 with some of these articles called "Forgetting of Wisdom." He later authored a children's book called "The Scree."

Paul used to be on triple J in the mornings with Mikey Robins. He went back on triple J for 15 minutes on the 4th of July 1999 because Mikey Robins and the Sandman were filling in for Roy and H.G. for two weeks. He was also interviewed (well sort of) by Adam Spencer and Wil Anderson in 2000 about 4 times for various different things.

In 1988, Paul was in a movie called Seedlings but I have never seen it anywhere so it might not have been him. I'm told it wasn't because it was an American made movie. I am just going by the research I had at a video shop.

Paul has hosted the Arias since 1996 or 1997 and hosted them again in 1999 with Mark Trevorrow (as Bob Downe). He tried to make a few jokes but the audience wasn't very impressed. They laughed more at Mark. In 2000, he handed (or more was forced to hand) over this job to Rove McManus.

When there was no Good News Week between 2001 and 2007, Paul was part of another comedy group similar to the Doug Anthony Allstars called GUD, before also moving on to hosting "Strictly Dancing" for the ABC and later "The Sideshow," also on ABC, which was the first show he did with Claire Hooper, who replaced Julie McCrossin when Good News Week returned to television in 2008.