You’d be forgiven for wondering if there’s anything Waleed Aly can’t do.
The academic turned lawyer, turned human rights campaigner, turned journalist, turned social commentator can nail a piece-to-camera like no one else on prime time television.
Last night he took home a Gold Logie, the award for Australia’s most popular television personality, and one he thought he had less chance of winning than an AFL premiership. At least, that’s what he said in his acceptance speech.
You can watch the whole brilliant thing here (post continues after video):
As charming as his humility is, it’s completely unwarranted.
He’s one of the most likeable and talented people on our TV screens, here’s just some of the reasons why we love him.
1. His piece-to-cameras
Australians have come to rely o Aly for his no-BS approach to breaking down big issues on a nightly basis.
Week after week, the headlines read “Aly just nailed” this, watch his “glorious smack-down” of that, watch him “tear [insert political idiocy] to shreds”.
In the past couple of weeks he’s spoken out about our Government’s shameful treatment of asylum seekers and the housing affordability crisis, but in the past he’s also tackled issues related to domestic violence, sexual assault, terrorism, climate change, detention whistleblowers, racism and marriage equality.
His ISIL speech alone was viewed on Facebook more than than 28 million times.
2. His exceptional wife, Susan Carland
Aly paid tribute to his wife Susan Carland in his Logies speech last night and for good reason.
She’s a university lecturer, media personality, speaker, writer and PHD getter, after all.
Susan Carland popped in to talk about all things Logies and Waleed with The Binge. Listen to her here:
“The reality is, and this is just a dirty little secret I’ve carried around for a long time, if she had my job she’d be better at it than me,” he said.
“She is sharper, she is wittier, she is funnier, she is infinitely more charming and likeable… everyone who knows her knows she changes you and she makes you better.
“That don’t give statuettes to people like that sadly, but one day if life’s fair they may just give her a statue.”
We love Susan Carland and we love that he knows just how bloody lucky he is to have her.
Susan, Waleed and their two beautiful kids.
3. His sense of humour
Aly's wife may be funnier than he is, but he certainly knows how to crack a good gag.
Remember that time he straight-up killed the Tooth Fairy? Or when The Age accidentally ran a picture of comedian Nazeem Hussain next to his name and then this happened?
4. His incredibly dorky band
Sure Aly has a knack for unpicking the county's biggest news stories, but he is also a master of the guitar pick.
He certainly won a few hearts when he performed with his band Robot Child at last year's Walkley Awards:
Oh, he's just showing off now. Source: Twitter (@ErinVincent1)
Us too, Annabel. Us too.
5. He represents a much needed change in our TV landscape.
Obviously there are innumerable things to love about Aly, but arguably the most important is that he is a champion of diversity.
The ridiculous, racist furore that surrounded his nomination for Gold Logie, along with SBS newsreader Lee Lin Chin, suggests Australia has a long way to go, but his win shows a change is happening.
Slow progress as it may be, it matters and none have expresse this better than Aly himself when he told the story of a man named Dimitri in last night's speech.
"He came up to me and through gritted teeth commanded me to claim this award tonight. This really, really mattered to him. This really meant something to him," Aly said in his speech.
"It matters to them for a particular reason. That reason was brought home shudderingly not so long ago when someone who is in this room — and I'm not going to use the name they use in this industry — came up to me and said: 'I really hope you win. My name is Mustafa. But I can't use that name because I won't get a job.' And it matters to people like that that I am here.
"To Dimitri and Mustafa and all the other people with unpronounceable names like Waleed, I want to say one thing: that is that I am incredibly humbled you would even think to invest in me that way.
"But I'm also incredibly saddened by it because the truth is you deserve more numerous and more worthy avatars than that.
"I don't know if and when that's going to happen but if tonight means anything … that is the Australian public, our audience, as far as they're concerned there is absolutely no reason that can't change."
If the overwhelming response he received on Twitter last night is anything to go by, Australia is well and truly behind him: