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“The Neighbours theme song is iconically Australian and recognised around the world”: Barry Crocker.Who will have a Barry Crocker?
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His was the first voice to sing what is arguably the best-known TV theme song in the country, so it seems only fitting Barry Crocker should join the search for a new vocalist for the Neighbours anthem. Ten is auditioning singers for the job in an ”Ashes-style competition”, with contenders from Australia and Britain taking part. Locals in the running include former The Voice contestants Ben Bennett and Chris Ninni. ”The Neighbours theme song is iconically Australian and recognised around the world,” Crocker says. ”Having sung the original theme song 28 years ago, I am delighted to be involved in finding the next voice of Neighbours.” Crocker’s version was heard from 1985 to 1992. The new incarnation will air from next month.

Just what the Doctor ordered

Calling all Doctor Who buffs. That’s you, Adam Richard and John Richards, best known for their ABC1 comedy Outland. To mark the Doctor’s 50th anniversary, they, along with comedian Ben McKenzie, actor-musician Petra Elliott and ”a fantastic UK comedian they’re not allowed to name”, are presenting a live show and podcast at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. It’s part of the year-long Splendid Chaps performance and podcast project in honour of the good Doctor, which combines analysis, enthusiasm and irreverence in a format described as part intellectual panel discussion and part nerdy Tonight Show. The performances take place in Melbourne on April 6 and 13, and the podcast will be available on iTunes from April 23. Also, look out for new episodes of the I Love Green Guide Letters podcast. Live performances take place at the comedy festival on April 6, 13 and 20.

Korean prisoner exchange

Given the Korean peninsula’s sad and bitter history of conquest, political division and neighbourly distrust, it’s easy to imagine the currency that a local version of the spy-vs-spy drama Prisoners of War might have (the Israeli drama was also the basis of the riveting Homeland). Indeed, Keshet International, the distribution arm of the acclaimed drama, whose first season recently aired on SBS, has a popular Korean actor in mind for an Asian adaptation that it is peddling at the forthcoming MIPTV market. Among the slate of formats and shows that Keshet is developing is Tyrant, about an unassuming American family drawn into the troubles of a turbulent Middle Eastern nation. The pilot will be directed by Oscar winner Ang Lee.

Csortan’s splash landing

The first week of Celebrity Splash! wasn’t even complete before the stars discovered it wasn’t all the fun and games they’d imagined. Model-turned-television presenter Laura Csortan became the first casualty of the show, which asks assorted personalities to throw themselves off (among other things) a 10-metre-high diving board. She announced on Twitter she had injured herself and resorted to ”some strong ass pain killers”. ”Day 2 training and I can’t move my neck! I literally went in head first yesterday,” she tweeted. A Channel Seven spokesperson said Csortan is seeing a physio who would decide if she could continue in the series.

The Cooper-Griffin show must go on

It’s one of the most popular seasonal treats on screen and now, it seems, the CNN New Year’s Eve combination of Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin might get a longer run. The pair filmed a pilot for a new show at CNN last week, a ”humour-filled” project shot in front of a live audience. Griffin, a two-time Emmy winner for her series My Life on the D-List, may seem an unusual partner for news icon Cooper, but the pairing has proved popular each year and the show, if it goes ahead, could be part of a move towards more entertainment-based programming for the ratings-challenged CNN.

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