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Rove McManus remembers his school days

Source: iTech – September, 2005

iteach wrote to television presenter and comedian, Rove McManus and asked him to reflect upon his school days. This is what he told us.

What are your earliest memories of school?
---- I will always remember my first day at Orana Primary School in Willetton, WA. I was a little curious why the other kids were so upset about being at school. I had two older sisters and had always looked forward to joining them as a ‘big kid’ in school.

Who was your most inspirational teacher and why?
---- My third grade teacher. He was the first person to realise my creativity and fertile imagination and suggested to my parents that I enrol in drama classes, thereby setting me on the path for my future career.

What was your favourite subject at school?
---- I always enjoyed Art class. From my days in primary school, right through to high school, it was always the one I felt I was most adept at.

What made this subject live for you?
---- It was such a great outlet for my creative streak and the only other subject I got this feeling from was Theatre Arts but I didn’t get to experience that until high school.

How do you think teaching has changed since you were at school?
---- I’m not sure; I haven’t really been back. One thing’s for sure, I can guarantee the computers have been updated from the Microbee’s with the green monitors we used to have.

What contribution do teachers make to society?
---- I often feel teachers don’t get the credit they deserve for moulding a lot of young people at a very critical time in their lives (that goes for both primary and secondary teachers). I know a lot of who I am today comes from what I gained on a personal level from some of my teachers when I was growing up.

 


What the? Dump subsidies? Sweeet

Source: MX – 14th of December, 2005

---- Comedian Rove McManus doesn't mind being dumped on when it's 50kg of sugar. He's joined Oxfam's call for a reassessment of internationaltrade rules, to prevent the dumping of subsidised goods, which squeezes developing countries out of trade.

 


Glittering stars

Source: Gold Coast Bulletin – 10th of January, 2006 (extracts)

---- WHO needs to walk the sunset strip of Hollywood to spot stars when the Gold Coast has its own glitter strip happening? CC was at Pacific Fair in Broadbeach on Thursday when a very relaxed Rove McManus strode past hand in hand with wife, Belinda Emmet. They were in such a good mood that Belinda was going ga-ga about a little toddler at her feet sucking on a dummy looking oh-so-cute, as Rove stayed undercover with dark sunnies on.

 


Roving fans

Source: Gold Coast Bulletin- 11th of January, 2006

---- NICE to see Rove McManus and his wife Belinda enjoying the movies at the Gold Coast Arts Centre. Rove and Belinda came along to see George Clooney's, Good Night and Good Luck.

The McManus couple enjoyed it so much that they lunched at the Arts Cafe and came back again to see Mrs Henderson Presents, starring Judi Dench.

 


Rove's loan-some tonight – Megan Millers

Source: MX – 25th of January, 2006

Triple Gold Logie winner Rove McManus wants to help people track down their missing possessions.

---- I Want My Stuff Back is a new segment on Rove Live, part of a revamp - which also includes a new set, bigger audience capacity and a new website - to get the variety show out of the ratings doldrums.

---- McManus was inspired to help viewers because he's grumpy that a Sesame Street vinyl album he lent to a cousin 15 years ago still hasn't been returned.

---- Submit your stories to stuffback@rove.com.au, with contact details, a description or photo of the stuff you lent and the details of the person you lent it to.

---- The What The...? segment, sidekick Peter Helliar and Ron's Reviews will be back when Rove Live returns to Tuesday nights on Channel 10 next month.

Tickets to be in the audience will soon be available at www.rovelive.com. Tickets to all of last year's shows were booked out in a day.

 


Rove wants his stuff back – Mike Edmonds

Source: Herald Sun – 27th of January, 2006

It might be a long time, but an album that disappeared 15 years ago has inspired Rove McManus's new segment

WINNING multiple gold Logies doesn't mean you can rest on your laurels.

---- Rove McManus, due back on air on February 14, has spent the off period tweaking and fine tuning, including one new segment that could be a winner.

---- I Want My Stuff Back will delve into all those stories from viewers who've lent someone something precious, and haven't seen it since.

---- Rove is still teed about a Sesame Street LP he lent to a distant cousin 15 years ago, and hasn't seen since. "All the classics were on there, including Cookie Monster's hit C is for Cookie, and Bert's Doing the Pigeon.

---- "About a month later, I asked him where my album was and he fed me some cock-and-bull story about moving house and it being in one of the boxes so would turn up soon. It never did."

Aw gee Rove. There, there petal. We'll try to get you another one.

 


Sexy thing

Source: Gold Coast Bulletin – 2nd of February, 2006

WOULDN'T that be something - if a near octagenarian could take home a Silver Logie for Best New Male Talent on TV.

---- Cheeky Channel Ten talkshow host Rove McManus thinks so too. So, he's petitioning to have his Rove Live film reviewer Ron Steward nominated for a Logie in just that category at this year's TV Week Logie Awards.

---- Steward, 78, from Sydney, has been a regular on Rove Live since McManus and his team found him at the 2004 ARIA Awards.

---- The movie buff has worked in the film industry for most of his life, though not on screen.

---- He started in despatch at Paramount in the 1940s where he packed films and put them on trains, retiring in 1991. Some 14 years later, McManus and his team invited him back to work.

---- McManus reckons securing Steward a nomination would be moment in history for Australian TV. He's not a usual suspect - past winners have included Simon Baker, Jason Donovan and Jamie Durie.

---- "When you're filling out your Logies voting form this year and find yourself looking down the long list of young soap stars, spare a thought for up-and-comer Ron Steward," says McManus.

---- "Ron captured the heart of a nation last year with his witty, warm and insightful movie reviews - the ones he stayed awake through, anyway - and we think he deserves to be included in this year's list of nominees. Come on, you'll make an old dude's day."

 


Why Rove is getting a bit fresh – Sarrah Marquand

Source: The Daily Telegraph – 8th of February, 2006

---- There's many a short-lived program or axed drama that could only dream about entering a sixth year on air. But longevity can be both a blessing and a curse if the lifeblood of your show happens to be spontaneity and unpredictability, qualities which have arguably diminished throughout the lifespan of Rove Live.

---- "Over time - because our staff are very good at what they do and I certainly feel very comfortable hosting the show - maybe the fear of the tightrope walker falling off the high wire has gone a little bit," admits Rove McManus.

---- In the wake of dwindling ratings throughout 2005, it will be a new and improved Rove Live returning to the small screen next week.

---- "Every year we come back and look at the year before and try to improve on it as best we can," he says. "Normally we do it in a subtle way but this year we're not going to make the changes subtle We're very excited about the idea of being able to move our own boundaries and really have some fun with this incredible vehicle we have to play with."

---- Although there will be an influx of new segments and a greater emphasis on stunts, such as broadcasting an entire episode from a viewer's house, McManus says other elements of the show remain unchanged.

---- "It's not like we're going to come back and suddenly be a gardening program or a lifestyle show - not for want of trying," he laughs. "The show is still the same in that we are a live comedy variety program." Which includes celebrity interviews, both the good and the bad. While McManus counts Will Smith, Matt Damon and Billy Connolly among his favourite guests, he won't be inviting a certain ditzy duo back anytime soon.

---- "Nicky Hilton and Kimberly Stewart weren't favourites of mine," he says. "Especially because the two of them were together so they could have quite easily shared the load and they chose instead to giggle incessantly through the whole interview."

---- Another name missing from the Rove Live guest list this year will be McManus's friend and former network stablemate Bert Newton.

---- "Fourteen years is usually more than any one performer could wish to be anywhere but for him it was just a smaller part of his greater story," McManus says of Newton's departure from Ten to take up his new role at Nine."

---- "We would call each other from time to time so I'd like to think that would still be there, but to be honest most of the times we caught up was when we were on each other's programs, so that's definitely not going to happen anymore and is something I'm sure over time I will miss."

---- "But I can understand him wanting to go so I certainly respect that. Unless," McManus adds with a laugh, "he starts up a show 9.30pm on a Tuesday, in which case the knives will be out."


Logies MC wanted – Garry Willaims

Source: The Herald Sun - 19th of February, 2006

HOSTING the Logie Awards is one of the prestigious jobs on television -- it is also a role no one wants.

---- First, the awards' most famous MC, Bert Newton, was quick to announce he did not want the spot, despite his much-publicised move from Channel Ten to Nine, the home of the Logies.
Then Eddie McGuire, who has hosted or co-hosted the show for the past three years, effectively ruled himself out by taking on the CEO mantle at Nine.

---- Now Rove McManus, who has won the past three Gold Logies and co-hosted last year with McGuire and Seven's Deal Or No Deal host Andrew O'Keefe, is out of the running for this year's awards to be held on Sunday, May 7, at Crown.

---- "It's not an easy gig," McManus said. "It's not a job where you get glowing press. I defy anyone to host it and then have everyone tell him he's done a good job."
The star of Ten's Rove Live admits the idea of three hosts is unlikely to happen again.

---- "The three hosts worked as a one-off. When Eddie, Andrew and I did the tsunami telethon, it was a lovefest, with all three networks combining for a great event. The Logies had Seven and Ten lending their talent to Nine."

---- The most likely scenario this year is that the host will come from the Nine stable. The obvious pick is Ray Martin, who hosted the show in 1995. But there is a feeling that Martin is "yesterday's man". Mike Munro is another Nine personality in the running, although he has a similar "straight" hosting style to Martin.
A left-field pick would be James Brayshaw, but the job would be a huge step for the former cricketer.


McManus is roving all over the country

Source: The Advertiser - 1st of March, 2006

ROVE McManus is waiting for his comic books. "I'm finally doing something I've been promising my mum for years," he says in his new Melbourne office.

---- "I've got these three long boxes of comics taking up space in her house, and I'm finally getting them brought here where they'll be out of the way. They'll help finish the place off."

---- The place, as he calls it, is in disarray. Superman and Sesame Street toys battle DVDs and signed photographs for space. It's chaos, but McManus doesn't mind - like reclaiming his comics, it's all part of his "new start" approach to 2006.

---- He's calm because Rove Live 's new set - its first wholesale change in six years - is working well, because he and his team have two shows under their belts, and because a smattering of new segments are drawing laughs and viewers.

---- "This year we said: `let's just change it, start from scratch'," he says. "And one thing we all agree on is this show is nothing like what we've had before."

---- At Roving Enterprises, the first four weeks of every year are spent planning. This year, a lot of time was spent on "significant visual changes". The new set - half 80s' disco, half Saturday Night Live  - was a hit with those attending this year's second show. It allowed for everyone to see and hear everything, even Harrison Ford's low, sarcastic tones.

---- "Normally a new set is just a lick of paint, and I'm one of the first cynics to look at something like that and say `it's nothing new'," McManus says.

---- "But we've added a lot of new elements to make something that creates a great atmosphere for the live audience - and I think that really comes through on camera."

---- He smiles and admits "a new set does not a new show make" - the team's mantra before their 2006 bow. Much more than the layout of the show, therefore, has changed.

---- Series regular Corinne Grant is gone, due to conflicts with her ABC-TV commitments for The Glass House.

---- A different "house band" performs during the show each week, and even plays the theme music live. McManus and the writing team, meanwhile, have turned their comedy engines on full.

---- "We needed to change the show enough that it's not boring if you've been watching for six years, but not so much that, to a fan, it seems like a completely new show," he says.

---- In particular, McManus is looking forward to working with friend and co-conspirator Peter Helliar.

---- Asked if they are the Don Lane and Bert Newton of the 21st Century, McManus is momentarily taken aback. "Even if someone didn't mean that favourably, I'd take it as a compliment," he finally says. "There are worse people to be compared with, so why not?

---- "Pete injects new life into the show - I used to feel he was sorely under-utilised by us in the past. So it's great to have him with us full-time to be able to play with, and I'm more than happy to devote a greater chunk of the show to him. "And it would be great if it got to a point where we're seen as having that sort of (Lane/Newton) chemistry."

---- It's part of McManus's two-pronged goal for 2006: build the show around more than his own personality, and emphasise how different live TV is from anything else on the box.

---- "Being live is what makes it exciting, and it's really no more difficult than doing things pre-recorded," he says.

---- "Backstage, before a show, is this real sense of excitement and great atmosphere, that sense the guy can fall off the high wire at any time."

---- McManus has no fear of falling - or being pushed off by Helliar's antics.

---- In a segment called "Hang up, Don't Hang Up", McManus prank calls someone outside Melbourne and uses funny voices, sarcasm and personal attacks as directed by Helliar.

---- It's totally unrehearsed, and McManus has no idea what Helliar will ask for next - from speaking in slow-motion to forcing the victim to say "bucket".

---- "I want there to be times on the show when I can be totally thrown - it's something the audience has fun with, and I have fun with," he says. "It's nice to not be across everything, and gives a real element of danger to live TV."

---- Sometimes the danger is real - two minutes before going live last week, an overhead light broke free and dangled over McManus's head.

---- "Another time, all the power went out and we didn't know if it was going to come back before we went to air," he remembers.

---- "The audience is sitting there in pitch darkness, knowing something's going wrong, and it's like a shot of adrenalin for everybody."

---- The thrill of live TV and a love for interviewing are what keep him coming back for more - plus a chance to meet his heroes."Who wouldn't want a job where they get to hang out and chat with people who are more famous than themselves? It's great," he says.

---- He casts his eye around his pop-culture surroundings. "And you'd better believe I had stuff backstage for Harrison Ford to sign," he says.

Rove's Best Interview: - Billy Connolly

---- "The best without a doubt. It was supposed to be seven minutes and ran for 20 - then I did another 10 minutes with him on radio and we didn't repeat a single thing. He's one of my comedy heroes. I guess that's been the main thing for me - meeting a lot of the comedy legends."

Worst Interview: - Nikki Hilton and Kimberly Stewart

---- "Everyone remembers Anna Nicole Smith was a train wreck, but it was good TV. These two were giggly and wouldn't answer questions. I asked them to tell us why they were here and they couldn't even answer that."

Most Difficult Interview: - Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst

---- "He was monosyllabic and she was great, which made it hard. If you have someone who doesn't want to talk you can draw them out - but not if you have to split time with someone being wonderful and helpful and fun. It was tough."

Most Wanted Interview: - Sir David Attenborough

---- "He's my Moby Dick - I've spoken with him over the satellite but not face-to-face. But he's 70, so the chances of him getting on a plane are pretty slim. The fans would probably rather me have Tom Cruise or Julia Roberts, but I would really like to sit and have a chat with him."


Rove happy as changes get laughs

Source: Centralian Advocate - 7th of March, 2006

ROVE McManus has a "new start" approach to 2006.

---- The pint-sized presenter is calm because Rove Live's new set - its first wholesale change in six years is working well, because he and his team have two shows under their belts, and because asmattering of new segments are drawing laughs and viewers.

---- He said: "This year we said: `Let's just change it, start from scratch." And one thing we all agree on is this show is nothing like what we've had before."

---- At Roving Enterprises, the first four weeks of every year are spent planning. This year, a lot of time was spent on visual changes.

---- The new set - half 1980s disco, half Saturday Night Live - was a hit with those attending this year's second show. McManus said: "We've added a lot of new elements to make something that creates a great atmosphere for the live audience and I think that really comes through on camera."

Atmosphere

---- Much more than the layout of the show has changed. Series regular Corinne Grant is gone, due to conflicts with her ABC television commitments for The Glass House. A different in-house band performs each week, playing the theme music live.

---- McManus said: "We needed to change the show enough that it's not boring if you've been watching for six years, but not so much that, to a fan, it seems like a completely new show."

---- The Gold Logie winner was momentarily taken a back when asked if he and friend and co-conspirator Peter Helliar were the Don Lane and Bert Newton of the 21st century.

---- He said: "Even if someone didn't mean that favourably, I'd take it as a compliment."There are worse people to be compared with, so why not?"

---- Pete injects new life into the show. I used to feel he was sorely under-utilised by us in the past. So it's great to have him with us full-time to be able to play with, and I'm more than happy to devote a greater chunk of the show to him."And it would be great if it got to a point where we're seen as having that sort of (Lane and Newton) chemistry."

---- It's part of McManus's two-pronged goal for 2006: build the show around more than his own personality and emphasise how different live television is from anything else on the box. The thrill of live television and a love for interviewing are what keep him coming back for more - plus a chance to meet his heroes.

---- McManus said: "Who wouldn't want a job where they get to hang out and chat with people who are more famous than themselves? It's great."


Prime Time - Gary Williams

Source: Sunday Telegraph - 26th of March, 2006

There's nothing Rove McManus likes talking about more than his show and nothing he likes discussing less than his private life.

---- He's aware of the contradiction, given that he makes his living asking guests questions he wouldn't answer himself, but he shrugs it off. "I wouldn't have me as a guest on my own show - I'm much too boring," he says with a laugh.

---- Of course, that hasn't stopped media fascination with his private life, especially his marriage to former soap star Belinda Emmett, who has faced a number of battles with cancer.

---- McManus doesn't understand the fuss. "Everything about us is very normal," he says. "We go shopping; you'll see us queuing for movie tickets more often than walking down red carpets.

---- "We've a strong family unit. I used to feel like an outsider at school. You know what kids are like - they all say, "My parents don't understand me." But mine did. I got along with my parents. I even get along with my in-laws. How odd is that?"

But that's all he wants to say.

---- "It's not my job to provide fodder for gossip columns and there are things I won't talk about," he says. "I never have."

---- Even as an interviewer, McManus says he's not that interested in digging into people's private lives.

---- "We're light entertainment," he says.

---- "I'd rather learn nothing about a guest and have them be entertaining and funny. I'd rather see someone be comfortable and give a good performance than squirming giving monosyllabic answers. That's just boring - it's dead air.

---- "That's not to say I won't ask questions about private lives if I think they're relevant. I talked to Pat Cash about his depression and Kelly Clarkson about her abuse as a child. We have light and shade."

---- McManus is thrilled to be back for Rove Live's sixth year, dismissing media speculation that it will be his last.

---- "I'll keep going until I fall off the twig, if they let me," he says.

 


It's a theme effort - Robert Fidgeon

Source: Herald Sun - 29th of March, 2006

Rove says the show he loves is bigger and brighter, writes Robert Fidgeon

---- HOST of his own TV show, head of a multi-million-dollar TV production company and three gold Logies.

It's an impressive list of credits, yet Rove McManus is still six months short of celebrating only seven years in the business of commercial television.

 

---- This year McManus has landed his biggest coup of all, snaring the formidable musical talents of his wife, Belinda Emmett, for Rove Live.

Emmett, putting the finishing touches to a new album, has co-written the new theme for her husband's show with songwriter/musician Andrew Furze.

"Craig Campbell (Rove Live executive producer) said to me he thought he'd found a new theme for the show," McManus says.

"He was dancing around pitching it to me, then when he played the song, I recognised it."I said, `It's certainly a great sound and we can only but ask', and thankfully the delightful young lady allowed us to use it."

Emmett, however, insists she drove a hard bargain before allowing her husband to use the song. "I thought to myself, `that Rove's a good kid with a bright future', so I cut him a break and let him use the track as the theme," Emmett says. "I absolutely nailed him on the deal."

There's no doubt the kid from Fremantle has come a long way in a short time.

 

---- The then 25-year-old McManus premiered in his own late-night show on Channel 9 on September 22, 1999, three weeks after Mick Molloy had parted ways with the network, citing creative differences.

Nine had seen Molloy as its new Saturday-night hope after discarding Daryl Somers and Hey Hey It's Saturday, but only eight shows into a 20-show deal, Molloy was gone.

So, too, was McManus 10 weeks later, and he thought his blink-and-you-miss-it TV career was over.

But in May 2000, Network Ten threw McManus a lifeline. The rest, as they say, is history.

 

---- Despite three consecutive gold Logies as Australia's Most Popular TV Personality, the 32-year-old Rove Live host saw his figures slip last year.

To freshen up the show this year, Rove Live has a new set, new house band, new segments, new theme and a reinvigorated host.

"Each year, we reassess the show. This year, we wanted to make the changes more obvious but not change the show too much," McManus says.

"You want people to get to know you and feel you're part of the weekly television landscape.

"The key is not to get them too comfortable, so that if something bright, shiny and new comes along, they want to jump aboard."

 

---- Only time will tell whether the changes give Rove Live a boost, but Network 10 programming boss David Mott is confident the show will be around for some time.

"Rove is an extremely talented performer and the show remains extremely strong with our 16-35 demographic," he says.

Last year, McManus successfully toured his stand-up comedy stage show and believes his TV work is better for the experience. "It was something I'd been keen to do for a long time," he says. "I missed stand-up and getting back on stage was really invigorating, something I'm hoping to do more of.

"It reinvigorated me as a performer. With a live stage show, it's just me and the audience. When something works and you improvise and the audience like it, you can have so much fun.

"There have been elements I've tried to bring back on television. "Maybe we had got to the stage with the show where it had become too structured, where there was no room, if something was working, to expand on it."

 

---- McManus believes he is more comfortable within the show now. "I guess when you've done it for some years, it gets easier in that you get to a point where you feel comfortable on set," he says.

"The show is home base for me now and I feel I can play with the show a lot more because I'm not worrying too much about the mechanics of it.

"But that doesn't mean we get complacent. We're pushing ourselves more this year."

Despite stints on radio and a return to stand-up, McManus still sees television as the major component in his future.

"I always hope my future will have Rove Live in it in some capacity," he says.

"Sometimes everything that comes with the industry we're in can get very stressful and weigh heavily on you, but the one thing I look forward to is being in front of that audience at 9.30pm on Tuesday.

"It doesn't matter what the week's been like, doing the show is always fun and invigorating, and all your troubles seem to disappear.

"I just love doing it. The one thing I'll always hope is there will be Rove Live. Workwise, it's my one passion and my one love.

"Everything else that's come along in my life has been great, but his is what I want to do."


You Asked Rove McManus

Source: TV Week - 1st of April, 2006

The Rove Live star answers your questions

Why do you wear a blazer? I think you’d look nice wearing your suit pants and a nice shirt. - Angela
---- It’s very cold in our studio and, not only does a jacket keep me warm, but it also disguises the fact that my nipples are sticking out.

Is your name really Rove? And do people call you Rover? - Janney

---- No, my name isn’t really Rove, and no, people don’t call me Rover (although I do drink out of the toilet a lot).

I’d like to know your thoughts on whether Mr T could ever be popular again, like the Hoff (David Hasselhoff). - Jane
---- I pity the fool who doesn’t think Mr T is already more popular than the Hoff!

What does an average Joe like myself need to do to be a guest on your show? I’m 25, employed, have a nice car and own a suit – and I’m only five feet, five inches (165cm), so you’re taller. - Ben
---- We’ve had plenty of average Joes on the show before. The best way to get your mug on our show is by signing up to our Live List, via our website. And, being shorter than me will always boost your chances.

Do you have your toilet paper folded over the top or under the bottom? - Sammie

---- Absolutely, unequivocally, without question, my toilet paper has to be over the top. Any other way is against God’s plan.

INCOMPLETE ARTICLE


Show and its host reinvigorated - Sean Fewster

Source: Northern Territory News - 3rd of April, 2006

HOST of his own TV show, head of a multi-million-dollar TV production company and three gold Logies.

It's an impressive list of credits, yet Rove McManus is still six months short of celebrating only seven years in the business of commercial television.

This year McManus has landed his biggest coup of all, snaring the formidable musical talents of his wife, Belinda Emmett, for Rove Live.

Emmett, putting the finishing touches to a new album, has co-written the new theme for her husband's show with songwriter-musician Andrew Furze.

There's no doubt the kid from Fremantle has come a long way in a short time.

The then 25-year-old McManus premiered in his own late-night show on Channel 9 on September 22, 1999, three weeks after Mick Molloy had parted ways with the network citing creative differences. Nine had seen Molloy as its new Saturday-night hope but only eight shows into a 20-show deal, Molloy was gone.

So, too, was McManus 10 weeks later - and he thought his blink-and-you-miss-itTV career was over.

But in May 2000, Network Ten threw McManus a lifeline.

Despite three consecutive gold Logies as Australia's Most Popular TV Personality, the 32-year-old Rove Live host saw his figures slip last year.

To freshen up the show this year, Rove Live has a new set, new houseband, new segments, new theme and a reinvigorated host."Each year, we reassess the show. This year, we wanted to make the changes more obvious but not change the show too much," McManus says."You want people to get to know you and feel you're part of the weekly television landscape."The key is not to get them too comfortable so that if something bright and new comes along they want to jump aboard."

Only time will tell whether the changes give Rove Live a boost, but Network 10 programming boss David Mott is confident the show will be around for some time.

McManus said: "It doesn't matter what the week's been like, doing the show is always fun and invigorating and all your troubles seem to disappear."I just love doing it. The one thing I'll always hope is there will be Rove Live." Workwise, it's my one passion and my one love."Everything else that's come along in my life has been great, but this is what I want to do."


Nice One

Source: MX - 19th of April, 2006

---- Not content with one night a week on the box, Rove McManus will make his debut on Neighbours  tomorrow. In a cross-promotion for Channel 10, Ramsay St's Janelle and Bree appear on Rove Live  to plug Janelle's book The Bogan's Tipped Hair when the true author isrevealed. "It was a real pleasure getting to portray myself asI have always maintained it was the role I was born to play," McManus said.


Working the street - Georgina Windsor

Source: The Australian - 22nd of April, 2006

---- NOT content with three Gold Logies and hosting a prime-time talk show, Rove McManus must want to add one more thing to his resume: joining the illustrious list of guest stars playing themselves on Neighbours.

---- Rove obviously wanted to get in before Shane Warne, who makes hisacting debut in a cameo promoting his charity foundation in episodes due to air in July.

---- And who can forget Warwick Capper's star turn when the Sydney Swans visited Ramsay Street? It was 1986 and Kylie mania was just about to go crazy as Kylie Minogue took big hair to new heights as mechanic with a heart of gold Charlene Mitchell.

---- Singer Dave Graney has done some odd things, but not much beats turning up at the local pub to give career advice to the mullet-sporting character Toadfish. Clive James would have rated a mention, but he elected to play a bumbling postman delivering the mail around the famous cul-de-sac rather than himself.

---- But it would be hard to beat the appearance of Chris Lowe, of Pet Shop Boys fame. He was such a fan of the show, in 1995 he wangleda blink-and-you-miss-it role as himself in what was described as a "hilariously crap" moment.

---- He turned up in a car in the street asking for directions to a local recording studio. Annalise (played by blonde bombshell Kimberley Davies) came out and saw the car leaving and was mightily miffed to learn who she'd just missed meeting as she was apparently a huge Pet Shop Boys fan - which was never mentioned again.

---- Rove gets his Neighbours moment tonight when housewife-turned-author Janelle Timmins (Nell Feeney) is asked on to his show to promote her bestseller The Bogan's Tipped Hair. He's a huge fan of the book, and wants to know more about the fictional suburban shenanigansr evealed in the novel.

---- Janelle is understandably thrilled, but justifiably nervous. As regular viewers know, she didn't really write the book - much of it was ghostwritten by her teenage daughter Bree (Sianola Smit-McPhee). (Actually Bree isn't really the Timmins's daughter at all, she was swapped at birth by mistake in the hospital. However, that little bombshell is not yet widely known in Erinsborough.)

---- Once on stage, and happy knowing Bree is in the audience, a starstruck and guilt-ridden Janelle can't help but blurt out the truth on live television: Bree wrote the book.

---- Now writers claiming fiction as fact have made the news lately: just ask author James Frey how he felt after Oprah Winfrey lambasted him following the revelation his bestseller A Million Little Pieceswasn't completely nonfiction.

---- Faced with this gobsmacking piece of information, does Rove harnesshis inner Kerry O'Brien and go journalistic attack dog? Not really, it's not his style. He just calls Bree up on stage and gently quizzes the lost-for-wordsteenager. Now in its 21st year and approaching a remarkable 5000 episodes, hard-hitting storylines are something Neighbours hasn't done for along time. The program began as a drama, but it wasn't long beforeit took the soap opera path to success. And tonight is no different - in fact Rove's two-episode appearance is very tongue-in-cheek. The whole of Ramsay Street is watching the appearance, and wholeheartedly approve of Rove's softly-softly approach with Bree:"No one but Rove can get people to open up like that - apart from Denton of course," says Susan.

It looks as if Warnie may have some real competition in the guest-starstakes.


Rove & Belindas Inside their love story

Source: Woman's Day - 24th of April, 2006

---- More than a year into their marriage and celebrating Belinda's birthday, this loving pair couldn't be happier.

---- They share a unique, enduring intimacy, and a successful marriage built on a rock-solid belief in one another.The love affair between Rove McManus and his wife Belinda Emmett is one of the great romances in Australian show business.

---- And a year on from their fairytale wedding last January, Rove and Belinda are clearly more in love than ever.
She sums it up by saying, "We see the world in the same way. He's my rock."

---- The couple quietly celebrated Belinda's 32nd birthday last week, and Rove insists their down-to-earth attitude keeps them strong.
"Everything about us is very normal," he says. "We go shopping. You'll see us queue for movie tickets more often than [on] red carpets."

---- It's in the unguarded moments away from the public eye that the incredible love between the Rove Live host and Belinda really shines. Along with tight-knit family, they share a close circle of loyal friends.
They like nothing better than hanging out and enjoying quiet gatherings. And as their friends will tell you, laughter is never far away.

---- On the eve of TV's night of nights, three-time TV Week Gold Logie winner Rove reveals he and Belinda have made a concerted effort to keep joy and laughter at the centre of their union.
"We have a good sense of humour with each other - we always have," he says. "That certainly hasn't changed no matter what the circumstance."

---- Rove fell in love with Belinda six years ago on their first date.
"I turned up and my pants were pulled so incredibly high," he grins. "I was tucked in and pulled so high, and she didn't knock me back. I thought, 'She's a keeper.'"
As all those close to them say, their "amazing love" makes them a great couple to be around.
"Belinda has a beautiful spirit," says good friend Marcia Hines. "We can talk easily. She's so beautiful."

---- Belinda shared the spotlight with Marcia in a duet on Marcia's 2004 album, Hinesight. Marcia couldn't stop raving about Belinda's "pure and angelic voice".
As the pair's love becomes more steadfast every day, they also share exciting times in their careers.

---- Rove, 32, is in the running for his fourth Gold Logie on May 7, and Belinda is preparing to launch her new album, So I Am, due out midyear.
While the former Home And Away star was pouring her heart into completing her latest musical release, she still found time to work on a project with her hubby. Belinda co-wrote the theme music for his relaunched TV variety show.

---- "Craig Campbell [Rove Live executive producer] said to me he thought he'd found a new theme tune for the show," Rove explains. "He was dancing around pitching it to me… then when he played it to me, I recognised it.
"I said, 'It's certainly a great sound and we can only but ask'. Thankfully the delightful young lady allowed us to use it!"
---- A beaming Belinda's face lights up with a cheeky grin.
"I thought to myself, 'That Rove's a good kid with a bright future,'" she laughs. "So I cut him a break and let him use the track as the theme. I absolutely nailed him on the deal!"

---- Belinda adds her new album has been a great creative experience.
"I'm really looking forward to its launch. Having written the songs, it really means something to me."
---- But being together makes this couple happiest of all. Doting Rove whisked his wife off to the Gold Coast for an intimate holiday in January, and the fun-loving pair looked happier than ever as they stepped out to see movies and stroll along the famous beaches.
Warm Belinda "went gaga about a toddler", says an onlooker. Friends say 2006 has seen the pair step out and enjoy the best of life.

---- Indeed, they have managed to live life to the fullest since Belinda was diagnosed with bone cancer in 2002.
---- The blow was made even crueller because only four years earlier at the age of 24, she had fought a battle with breast cancer and was believed to have triumphed over it.

---- However, Rove and Belinda refuse to be beaten by the illness.
"You just have to deal with it. And I guess that's really all," he told Andrew Denton in an interview.
Brave Belinda has the final word.
---- "My parents brought me up to believe in myself and to believe anything is possible," she says.
"I think I've always had a very strong sense of self, and more so over the last few years."


Murmurs...

Source: The Daily Telegraph- 11th of May, 2006

---- WHEN Ben Harper finds himself performing at Sarah Jessica Parker's baby shower, he'll owe John McManus a buck or two in management fees. Law & Order Criminal Intent star Chris Noth signed the muso to perform at his New York lounge bar while backstage at Rove Live this week. Then, like Harper was short of a gig or something, rocker Pink piped up and asked him to sing at her private party.


Roving around for new style of news - Sean Fewster

Source: The Advertiser - 17th of May, 2006

---- MOST journalists will tell you the key to success is preparation. The more time spent getting ready for an interview or to write astory, the better the end result will be.

---- Then there's Carrie Bickmore, the latest addition to the Rove Live team. Every week, the Adelaide-born, Perth-raised presenter takesa look at the lighter side of the news - and a swipe at some of the sacred cows of the media - in the show's satirical "newsbreak".

---- Unlike her reporter peers, Bickmore owes both her career and her latesthigh-profile gig to sheer happenstance.

---- "I really don't know how this job came about," she says. "I went in for the audition on the Friday and they asked me to start onthe Tuesday. There was no warning, which was probably a good thingor I'd have been even more nervous.

---- "But that seems to be the way I get my jobs. I was doing work experience, in my second year of university, at a radio station when the news reader started throwing up everywhere. My boss said tome, `well, you'll be all right to do it'."I did it without falling to pieces and got a job out of it.

---- "In 2001, Bickmore moved from Perth to Melbourne and reported on radio station Nova 100 for the afternoon drive-time news reading detail which, she says, isn't all that different from her TV job.

---- "It's actually quite funny - at Nova we do the news quite seriously, but we can't help but laugh and joke about some of the stories when we're off the air. Then I go into Rove,  and it's usually those same stories they want me to joke about."

---- Coupled with the occasional on-air announcing spot and voice-overwork, Bickmore is also in demand as a television and corporate presenter.And as the current face of SKYBUS TV, she is involved infilming television segments promoting the best of greater Melbourne. She's also remembered for promoting the best bits of herself in a spread for FHM  magazine, pictured. Her ascension to cover-girlstatus - and being named one of Australia's sexiest women - was the result of an on-air joke and her refusal to "shy away froma good wager". Roving Enterprises calls its newest member "the laughing man's newsreader . . . a mild-mannered radio news presenterby day and television news temptress by night". Bickmoreisn't too sure about that.

---- "They're both news - one is serious, the other is a piss take," she says. "The writers would probably like to think of it as beingmore than just piss take, though.

---- "(The TV role) is a nice change not to have to think about and focus on crime and parliament and politicians," she says.

---- "People say they love that kind of stuff, the really hard news, but you still have to be able to find some humour in it. We're not making light of the really serious stuff, of course, but we're finding the fun."

---- Bickmore's toughest critics are, at the end of the day, her own family. Her mother and grandparents watch the show each week and are always ready to call with their opinions.

---- "Mum will ring up sometimes and say, `oh, I'm not too sure aboutthat one," she says. "Given that my grandfather is a priest, sometime she'll ring and say, `Carrie, that one last night was a bitout of line'."But at least he still has a laugh about it."


Mr Funny - Claire Sutherland

Source: The Carins Post - 20th of May, 2006

Stand-up comedian, TV star and loving husband. Claire Sutherland asks who is the man in McManus?

---- A rain-lashed queue outside Melbourne Town Hall during the comedy festival is not the place you might expect to see a celebrity, unless they're making a dash to the free ticket booth inside.

---- But if you're into that kind of thing, keep an eye out for Rove McManus next time you wander past the miserable souls waiting in that notorious and interminable line. Tales of him queuing to collect tickets - for which he has somewhat eccentrically paid - are common at comedy festival time.

---- "Well, I do get freebies for friends' shows," the 32-year-old demurs. "But I get enough free tickets. I think it's the right thing to do. There's saying, 'Oh, I went to see them' and there's properly supporting someone, buying a ticket to help them pay their bills for the lighting crew."

---- And if it's someone like your younger performers, who are still relative newcomers, I would feel bad asking for a free ticket from them. It ain't gonna kill me to buy a ticket."

---- Rove, now host of Rove Live, producer of footy show Before the Game and a Gold Logie winner, but once a struggling stand-up comic, paints a vivid picture of life as a newcomer.

---- "I once was that person," he says."I was that person sitting there in the cloak room at the Town Hall when the front-of-house person walks in and says '15 minutes to show time. What's the least number of people you'll play to?'. And you ask how many people are outside. And they say five. And you say, 'Right, if it gets to 10 the show goes ahead'." Then just before show time you're ready to pack up. And they say,'Well, we've got eight'. And you say 'Right, fair enough, let's go, let's do it'."

---- He couldn't be further from that guy these days. In the absence of The Panel, Rove Live is Australia's only national tonight show, and though its ratings aren't always something to trumpet, it's stil lthe show of choice for visiting movie stars and bands. Tom Cruise requested a Rove spot to promote Mission: Impossible III (an interview subsequently cancelled because of the birth of his daughter).

---- Cynics might suggest that's because Rove isn't likely to bring uptouchy personal matters, but he's quick to list celebrities he has poked with a stick instead of tickled with a feather. "It depends who it is," he says. "We had Kelly Clarkson on last year and she talked about the abuse she suffered as a child in her family because it was relevant to a song she had just released. "We talked to Pat Cash about suicide because he'd written about it in a book." If it's relevant, I'll bring it up. I talked to Delta about breaking up with Mark Philippoussis and Kylie when she had problems with James whoever. "But I don't necessarily go muckraking with guests just for the sake of it, because they are guests. We didn't win Logies for being best drama series."

---- About the only "celebrities" to come under what passes for attack on Rove Live is an occasional Big Brother evictee. Fair game, Rove says. "By the time they get to us two or three days after (eviction), they know how the public perceives them and some go into damage control because they thought they were the quirky one and have discovered they're the annoying one," he says.

---- "It's not the time for people to play the bulls - game with me. You can't suddenly change your tune and go, 'Oh, no, it was all taken out of context' or, 'I didn't really dislike that person' because they forget we've been watching conversations they probably don't remember they even had."

---- Quid pro quo, Rove is willing to expose himself, to a certain extent, as a public figure. He's genial and jokey when interrupted time and again at the comedy festival by fans, some sober, some not so sober.

---- In response to the screeching of, "We love you" from a pair of excitable young women, he replies, "Well, better than hearing you hate me". He and his wife, actor Belinda Emmett, pose obligingly at public events.

---- He's not one to bail up his media critics and doesn't seem too worried by his own assessment that after years of being given a pretty easy ride by the press he felt the tide begin to turn last year.

---- "Maybe it's just me, but I kind of felt people were going, 'OK, you've had good enough for long enough', which is fair enough. The day I would expect everyone to be nice to me is the day I would be expected to be nice to every Big Brother evictee," he says.

---- But one aspect of his life is off-limits. He leans back with a smile and gimmee-your-best-shot expression when it is noted he and Belinda have chosen not to speak widely about her long battle with cancer. "Correct," he says.

---- Have they considered one interview about the topic to dampen interest? "Nope." Rove thinks the interest is purely media-driven anyway. "I understand the media's interest in it, but I don't want the general public coming up off the street wanting to know the ins and outs of what's going on," he says.

---- His innate friendliness doesn't waver throughout this exchange. He just doesn't feel a need to discuss his wife's health with a stranger.

---- The pair started dating in 1999 when Belinda was a Home and Away starand he the host of his first tonight show, Rove, on Channel 9. The pair spend weekends watching movies and having dinner with friends.

---- "Big with board games at the moment. That's our thing," Rove says."You get to an age when you have people over, and then you get pissed, and you don't have to go anywhere. You can drink yourself into oblivion then snuggle straight into bed.

---- "So far, so wholesome. But if his show and persona are squeaky clean, friends speak of a man whose private sense of humour can veer into the deeply sick.

---- Merrick Watts met Rove on the Melbourne comedy circuit in the early 1990s. The pair are part of a close circle of comics that includes Dave Hughes, Peter Helliar and Merrick's comedy partner Tim Ross.

---- Merrick says the jokes Rove tells mates would make Ten viewers blanch. "It's very cutting, and he doesn't always do that in his day-to-daywork. If anything, I'd like to see more of it," Merrick says. "He's really quite well known for doing one style or one persona and that's what he's brilliant at."

---- Which isn't to say Rove appreciated it when US comic Scott Capurro appeared on Rove Live in 2001 and spouted forth the kind of middle Australia-baiting material about religion that triggered hundreds of complaints and a Ten Network ban on having comedians as guests.

---- "We got in massive, big, big-time trouble," Rove says. "He did material about wanting to have sex with various religious icons. Surprisingly, it didn't go down so well."

---- Worse, Rove copped a bucketing for supposedly failing to support a fellow comic in the ensuing flurry of controversy. "We had to turn around - and this was in the middle of the comedy festival - to every other stand-up comedian who was booked and say we have been told, no more stand-up comedians," he says.

---- "And it took us a long time to get them back. That was really hard for me. "The accusation he turned his back on comic camaraderie clearly cuts deep, possibly because one word constantly used to describe him is loyal.

---- Merrick says Rove's group of friends has barely changed since the early days. "There's a strong bond with our group because we all started within a year of each other on the same money, which was none, and a lot of the older comedians were very bitter," he says.

---- About the most controversial fact Merrick can come up with about Rovew ouldn't even shock his granny. "Umm, well his wife is a better driver than him," he says.

---- Merrick admits he has learnt much from Rove's ability to put his ambition where his mouth is. "There are a lot of comedians doing TV but not that many who are as successful and the difference is hard work and dedication, beinga lot smarter and being prepared to be a hard worker."

---- Rove's sense of what's good for television is well tuned. His production company, Roving Enterprises, has grown from a staff of five to a multi-media affair, responsible for Rove Live, skitHOUSE and Before the Game plus the ARIA Awards since 2002, as well as various CDs and DVDs.

---- In April, he came in at No.21 on BRW's annual rich list - between Steve Irwin and INXS - with reported earnings of $4 million. "Grossly overestimated," Rove says.

---- "A lot of people get confused about how much money comes into the company to make our various programs and how much of that actually goes into my own bank account because every cent that comes in, I don't just keep. It needs to be spent on things."

---- The mini-empire is the result of giving himself and others a shot, he says. "I have no business acumen whatsoever. I make all my decisions based on the fact that long before I got into television I was an avid viewer," he says. "I have a business manager and I'm obviously across money coming in and out, as you have to be, but I'm not a businessman. I'm a comedian who hosts his own television program who has the ability to allow other people to create their projects as well."

---- Ratings for Rove Live have fluctuated in the past two years. The showi s regularly beaten by CSI: NY and All Saints and was revampedwith a new set this year."Obviously, you have to look at them because we work in a commercial environment," Rove says of ratings."You also have to be careful not to make knee-jerk reactions. We area show that fluctuates quite a bit, just because of the style of show we are." But it's stood the test of time. We've had seven years on Aussie TV, one year at Nine and six at Ten, so we're doing something right."

---- The show's tenure at Nine was short, 10 episodes to be exact. It served out its contract and, unwilling to be warehoused, he left the network.

With Rove now a three-time Gold Logie winner, it can be assumed Nine executives are kicking themselves.

---- But McManus isn't bitter. "I'm a very glass-half-full kind of guy so I think that kind of helps,"he says. "Naturally, we were a little bit disappointed because we thought there was plenty of fuel left in the tank, but we thought that's allright, we had a great time, making a show we were really proud of, it was well-received and critically acclaimed, so if all we got was 10 weeks, all we got was 10 weeks."That's 10 weeks more than a lot of people get."

---- Rove was born John in Perth (Rove is a nickname from his older sister), where he went to school and lived until he moved to Melbourne to try his luck in his early 20s. He earned extra bucks from one early love, illustration, by drawing logos and the like while trying to eke out a living in comedy. He has no problem placing himself back in those years, when the possibilityof not making it was real and his material was "B-gradeat best".

---- "It's when you would like to have a time machine to go back to when you were struggling to say, 'It'll be OK. I'm from the future, and you'll be all right'."

---- Rove Live's contract with Ten expires at the end of the year, but McManus expects the show will return. But he doesn't see Roving Enterprises as his back-up plan. If the show goes belly-up, expect a Rove McManus stand-up tour, not an Eddie McGuire disappearance into upper management.

---- "I'm a performer and that's really what I'd rather do," he says. "When you have a good gig, it's like a drug and it goes straight into your bloodstream and you just can't shake it."You can have 1000 bad gigs afterwards, but you're just waiting for the high of the next good one. There is no worse feeling than dying on stage. You just cannot begin to imagine. Especially when you're starting out."It's soul-destroying stuff. But when you have a killer gig, there is just no better feeling in the world, none."

The McManus files: A user's guide

1. What's in his car CD player: The Living End's State of Emergency, Sarah McLeod's Beauty was a Tiger, the Kooks, KT Tunstall, End of Fashion and the Arctic Monkeys.

2. What he's reading: "I'm actually rereading Cloudstreet. I haven'tread that since I was a kid."

3. Where he'd go if he had a week off: "Either northwest WA, like Broome, or to the Daintree. I wouldn't necessarily go overseas, as much as I love New York. I think we have enough good places here."

4. Where you'll find him when he heads home to Perth for a visit: "If it's over summer, we'll usually go diving and catch ourselves something to eat - swimmer crabs, rock lobsters, mussels."

5. Church of choice: Catholic, but usually only at Christmas and Easter."I probably don't go to church as much as I should, or as much as my grandmother would like me to."

6. What he'd be if he wasn't a performer: "A zookeeper and I'd workin an amateur-theatre society at night."

7. His favourite causes: Animals as well as the environment.

8. Early TV job: The goofy reporter on the cable TV show In Fashion with Hugh Jackman.

9. He claims responsibility for Mariah Carey's nervous breakdown: "It was just because I was the last person to talk to her before she decided to book herself out of the entertainment industry and said it was all too much. She was a bit erratic during it, but then so was Anna Nicole Smith and I don't think she'll be bowing out of the entertainment industry any time soon."

10. Where you might find some early Rove McManus paintings: Greg Fleet's place. He painted backdrops for one of Fleet's comedy festival shows, including a homophobic ant. "I did two gay ants walking hand in hand and another one walking towards them shaking his head and looking angry."

 

 

 

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