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Things get very loose as Channel 7 parties in Brisbane

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The stars from Seven turned a media event into a roast as the network talked up its 2024 line-up.

Maybe it was the heat?

Maybe it was being away from Sydney?

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Maybe it was the relaxed attitude of Queenslanders?

Whatever it was, some of Seven’s biggest stars let loose at an event to kick-off the year at Howard Smith Wharves, overlooking Story Bridge.

Flying in from Sydney were Matt Shirvington, Natalie Barr, Dr Chris Brown and Sonia Kruger to join local stars including Brisbane news anchors Sharyn Ghidella and Max Futcher.

Weekender host Chris Parsons set the tone when talking about Matt Shirvington’s stint on Dancing with the Stars. As you might expect that led to jokes about Shirvo running in lycra. Laughter filled the room and the mood was set.

Chief Marketing and Audience Officer Melissa Hopkins was up next selling the Seven brand. A born performer, she was engaging, believable and a little bit naughty! Revealing that she kissed a sailor at Expo ’88 when she was just 15 was just the tip of the iceberg.

After a sizzle reel showcasing the network, but with a strong focus on Brisbane, it was time for a Q&A with the stars.

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Matt Shirvington, Natalie Barr, Chris Brown and Sonia Kruger take centre stage at the 7 Brisbane event (image – 7)

Connecting with local media, Sonia talked about growing up in Beenleigh, remarking:

“People always look really shocked when I say that too. It’s weird. There’s a courthouse there for a reason

Before quickly adding:

“That’s off the record”

Someone (who shall remain nameless) responded:

“Too late!”

I’ll leave you to guess who that was!

The topic returned to Shirvo’s Dancing With The Stars performance, leading him to issue a warning to all future stars to make sure they talk to the wardrobe department before they do anything else, to which Dr. Chris Brown jumped in, saying:

“It wouldn’t have been the first time you turned heads in Lycra though?

Shrivo took the gentle ribbing in great stride.

The topic of conversation then turned to Dr. Chris Brown’s new project Dream Home (first revealed by TV Blackbox last May).

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After revealing he isn’t allowed to wear a tool belt (for insurance purposes apparently), Chris shared some insights about his new show:

“You’re going to see, I think one of the biggest transformations ever seen on Australian tv. We’re pretty much knocking down and rebuilding these shows. I don’t know how we got these through council. Possibly we didn’t. I dunno, the renovations are so significant. I think we’ve just left a brick and said It’s a renovation, but they’re also not. But I think the thing we all love about the show, it has an incredible heart to it because these people, it’s tough out there and these people wouldn’t have ever had their home renovated without this show.”

Natalie Barr from Sunrise was asked about ratings and chemistry:

“We have to make it work. We won last year’s ratings after we had a new person come in after 20 years of Kochie, which I think is amazing.

“At the end of the day, yes, we want to do a good job, but we also want rate. That’s why you want to advertise with us. We are a commercial television station”

What was noticeable was the star power of Sonia Kruger. While I was speaking to her people kept coming up to her for photos, telling her how much they loved her.

For anyone doubting why she won the Gold Logie, the proof was right here. In a room full of media types, she still pulled a crowd.

With Brisbane being such an important swing state in terms of TV viewing habits, it was certainly a smart decision by the network to hold this event. It was hot and muggy, but the drinks were flowing and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves.

That’s always a good sign!

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Know more about this or another Australian media story?

Contact the team anonymously at TV Blackbox

Robert McKnight
Robert McKnighthttps://tvblackbox.com.au/robert-mcknight/
"Leading TV commentator" - The Daily Telegraph | "Known for his impeccable sources in the TV industry" - The Daily Mail | "Always first with the correct info" - Beau Ryan | Robert McKnight is a highly regarded Australian Television Producer having worked at SEVEN, NINE and TEN during his 30 years in the industry. Currently Rob can be seen every fortnight on THE MORNING SHOW (7) and heard on NIGHTS WITH JOHN STANLEY (2GB/4BC). He is also a producer on 7 NEWS SPOTLIGHT.


  1. Giving 5 grand the first 5 people to hit me up with God is Good
    Cus I feel some are going through hard times love y’all…

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