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No "dream" At Beijing


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I'd still been hoping that Channel 7 might still surprise and delight us in Beijing by bringing back "The Dream" team. But, alas, it's not to be (I suppose the hope was slowly fading lately anyway). Channel 7 has confirmed rampaging Roy and HG won't be back at beijing to carry on where they left off after Sydney, Salt Lake City and Athens.

THE Dream is over for Roy and H.G. as the Seven Network prepares its team for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad in Beijing.

The satirical late-night program that did much to help Seven re-brand itself as a cheeky yet competent network is a victim of time zones and onerous Beijing security.

Beijing will be two hours behind the east coast of Australia, with many event finals stretching into late night, which is when Rampaging Roy Slaven and H.G. Nelson won fans during the 2000 Sydney, 2002 Salt Lake City and 2004 Athens Games.

The two comedians, Greig Pickhaver and John Doyle, are not contracted to Seven although Seven's head of sport, Saul Shtein, said the network had a ready replacement, the morning program Yum Cha, hosted by Kylie Gillies and Andrew Daddo.

"Roy and H.G. are very much suited for the after-show party and we're not going to try (to) whack something together with them to show at two in the morning," Mr Shtein said.

"There's no way we can get an audience into the studios in Beijing, and the show needs an audience. I wouldn't be discounting that Yum Cha will do as well."

Yum Cha will screen from 9.30am to 11am and analyse the previous night's action and preview the coming day's events.

"This is a morning show, a very different program and a very different approach to The Dream," Mr Shtein said.

"It's a panel program (that) will also incorporate news but it won't be a totally serious sports-type program."

It also elevates Daddo in the Seven pantheon of stars, after his effective hosting job on Olympic Sunrise during the Sydney Games. He contributes to Seven's The Great Outdoors and hosts the evening show on radio ABC702 Sydney.

Mr Shtein described Daddo as one of Seven's "unsung heroes".

"Hopefully he'll have a little bit of fun and he can control a panel; he's got the experience to do it and he's got talent to burn as well," he said.

As expected, Sandy Roberts, Johanna Griggs and Matt White will be the main studio hosts for the Olympic programming, with Bruce McAvaney heading the athletics and swimming commentary teams.

Griggs will host the prime-time 4pm-9pm session.

The main additions to Seven's commentary team are British Olympic 800m gold medallist, Steve Ovett next to McAvaney at the athletics, and Duncan Armstrong and Daniel Kowalski replacing coach Don Talbot and Kieren Perkins at the pool.

"Again, we're looking at who's going to be best suited and at the different combinations, and obviously Duncan has been involved in swimming a lot and is one of the world's best swimming commentators, so it'd be remiss of us not to talk to him," said MrShtein.

Respected swimming commentator Dennis Cometti will stay home to anchor Seven's AFL coverage, a fact that became somewhat clearer last week when he said on West Australian radio: "It (the Olympics) doesn't get me all that much. I think there's a lot of hypocrisy in the Olympics; terrible thing to say, but I'd much rather do the footy. I think it's a little more honest."

Mr Shtein said the Olympics would not impinge on the AFL coverage, with the swimming finals - scheduled in the morning in Beijing - to be completed before any AFL telecasts.

The Australian

We'll miss you Roy, HG and Fatso!

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Its a shame Dennis Commetti won't be calling the swimming. Have they announced who will be calling the Cycling (that fantastic British expat commentator i presume, whom I've forgotten the name), Gymnastics, Basketball, Weightlifting, Football, Rowing, Canoe/Kayak and Tennis (I don't really care about the rest- which 7 probably won't give much coverage to anyway)?

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Its a shame Dennis Commetti won't be calling the swimming. Have they announced who will be calling the Cycling (that fantastic British expat commentator i presume, whom I've forgotten the name), Gymnastics, Basketball, Weightlifting, Football, Rowing, Canoe/Kayak and Tennis (I don't really care about the rest- which 7 probably won't give much coverage to anyway)?

Check the TV Update topic there is more detail there

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