Matthew Newton has a new job. He’s going to be hosting the big, glossy new family talent show X Factor on Channel 7. It’s been a tumultuous year for Matthew. You can read about that here. With a nearby spot in the Channel 7 car park is someone else who knows a thing or two about tumultuous years and whose name is also Matthew – Matty Johns. You can read about that here.
The high-profile gig represents a huge second chance for the troubled star. His audition was so good that he beat more established TV hosts including Sonia Kruger and Axle Whitehead. Newton’s break comes just two weeks after he finished a one-month stint in rehab.
In The X-Factor, showbiz hopefuls perform in front of judges Kyle Sandilands, Natalie Imbruglia, Guy Sebastian and Ronan Keating.
In response to this news, TV critic and commentator Andrew Mercado wrote this piece on his Mercado TV blog yesterday that has been republished here with full permission…..
“What is happening to the network that was once described as the “heartland” of Australia. What they now think of their audience is anyone’s guess given that the station is chock a block full of bad boys on big pay packets who are being rewarded for their unsavourity indiscretions with higher profile jobs during the family hour.
Disgraced footballer and group sex funny guy Matthew Johns is hosting a self-titled comedy show that isn’t quite a disgrace but isn’t very funny either. Controversial shock jock Kyle Sandilands, who strapped an underage girl to a lie detector to ask about her sex life, is judging on both Australia’s Got Talent and The X Factor.
Only today I joked about Seven hiring another bad boy for The X Factor and a friend said I was cynical. Who’s cynical now? And who could be more perfect than Matthew Newton fresh from rehab after trashing various hotel rooms and a history of domestic violence with Brooke Satchwell.
It’s such a shame because Seven is one of the nicest networks to watch and work with. But decisions like this make me feel ill at the double standards. I’m not suggesting that Matthew Newton never work in the industry again. He’s admitted to his mistakes and done something about it.
He has proved himself to be a successful actor, director and scriptwriter, particularly with his movie Three Blind Mice. Give him a job on City Homicide (although I’d prefer Seven first hire some of the cast of Hey Dad to prove there’s no hard feelings) . It’s all about timing and is Newton the most suitable choice to host an inspirational talent show for impressionable viewers or the best at getting publicity – good, bad or ugly. “
Right. So what say you? Does everyone deserve a second chance? Are these the guys you want to see hosting shows on commercial TV? Is it different for actors vs hosts because actors play characters and TV hosts play themselves? Are their private lives irrelevant to their hosting gigs? Or are their off-duty shockers great PR for the shows they’re hired to host?