A former executive producer for Studio 10 has revealed why he banned Australian Idol star Anthony Callea, 35, from appearing on the show.
Rob McKnight, who worked on the Network Ten program for four years, said a bad experience with the singer’s management guaranteed he was blacklisted.
Speaking on his podcast TV Blackbox recently, Rob explained the behind-the-scenes drama and politics that influenced his decision.
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Blacklisted: Former executive producer for Studio 10, Rob McKnight (pictured), has revealed why he banned Australian Idol star Anthony Callea from ever appearing on the show
‘We have a guest [Anthony] booked on the show, promoted it even,’ Rob explained.
He then revealed the star’s management called the day before he was scheduled to appear and cancelled so he could go on Channel Nine’s Mornings instead.
(Mornings has since been rebranded as Today Extra, hosted by David Campbell and Sonia Kruger).
‘[His] manager got in contact with us literally the day before and said, “He’s not coming on. He’s going on Mornings.”‘
‘We had to draw a line in the sand’: Rob, who worked on the Network Ten program for four years, said a bad experience with the star’s management guaranteed he was blacklisted
He continued: ‘We were like, “You can’t do that, we’ve got him booked!” They said, “No, we’re doing this.”‘
Rob, who was sacked by Network Ten last year, recalled that the incident happened soon after the launch of Studio 10 in 2013.
‘I made it known to his management that if you guys do this – and you have every right to do it – he will never come on Studio 10,’ he added.
Unprofessional: Soon after the launch of Studio 10 in 2013, Anthony Callea’s management called the day before he was scheduled to appear and cancelled so he could go on Channel Nine’s Mornings instead. Pictured: Studio 10 panellists (left to right): Sarah Harris, Kerri-Anne Kennerley, Joe Hildebrand and Angela Bishop
‘They just laughed at us and said, “You don’t mean that”. I said, “I actually do. We’re not going to be treated like a second-rate show.”
‘This was when we were still trying to find our voice and identity and I believed that it was important to draw a line in the sand.’
Rob added that no-one in showbusiness ‘screwed’ them like that again.
‘Word got out and everybody knew if you make a booking with Studio 10, you honour it. Because if you don’t, you won’t appear on the show,’ he said.