Seven Days / Laughs ended when Jana left

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Seven Days columnist MIKE WELSH reflects on another week in the life of the national capital.

ONE half of one of Australia’s most talented satirical duos was in town to speak about the other. 

Mike Welsh.

Bryan Dawe was guest of the ANU’s scholarly study “The Satire of John Morrison Clarke (1948-2017)”. He shared tales from his three-decade association with the late Clarke, including how the pair’s weekly spot on Nine’s “ACA” with Jana Wendt came to an abrupt end. Wendt was often left speechless by a Clarke and Dawe sketch but when Ray Martin replaced her the pair’s uniquely skewed perspective on life was no longer appreciated.

AFL fans witnessed sporting history when they braved Arctic conditions and a spectacular snow shower at Manuka Oval on Friday. Described as “on the cusp of sleet and snow” falling in the game between GWS Giants and Hawthorn, it is believed to be the first time a game of the code’s highest competition has been played in such conditions.

Freezing temperatures and a ban on long-sleeve guernseys had little impact on the scoreline, with Hawthorn running out 56-point winners. While several GWS players donned the long sleeves, Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson held firm to his decade-long directive on players not to wear the long-sleeved version of the famous brown and gold. To prove a point, he ran topless around Manuka Oval Friday afternoon. Ironically, the code’s most famous long-sleeve-wearing player, Michael Tuck, played in seven premierships for the Hawks.

FORMER senator Derryn Hinch is apparently yearning to return to Canberra. Turns out Hinch the “Human Headline”, who admitted to being “hurt” after being turfed out after just one term as a senator for the Victoria Justice Party, has vowed to return in 2022. At 75, he would be the oldest person elected to the Senate.

IF Hinch succeeds he may not have to return to Canberra as often. WA Labor MP Patrick Gorman wants the parliamentary “bubble” to travel around the country. The former Rudd government adviser suggested the parliament should hit the road, sitting in regional centres so “a wider range of people can see and understand its work”.

RAIDERS coach Ricky Stuart is doubling down on haters and negatives. With the Green Machine sitting near the top of the NRL table, the coach has suggested all the bagging he and the club endured over several years has “galvanised” the group. Stuart was full of praise for his players, suggesting “all those losses and criticism we got over the last couple of years would have broken a lot of people and teams”.

FORMER Canberra grade-cricket spin bowler and Manuka Oval groundsman Nathan Lyon went close to living up to an impossible nickname. Lyon, who took 6/67 in the first Ashes test at Edgbaston (joining Dennis Lillee, Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath on the 350 list), was christened GOAT (greatest of all time) by teammates.

NICK Kyrgios’ win at the Washington Open edged him up the ATP rankings and slightly back into tennis fans’ good books. The part-time tennis brat described the win (his sixth tournament title) as “one of the best weeks of my life. I feel like I’ve made major steps”. Kyrgios’s burgeoning showmanship shone through during the match, feeding off the entertaining and supportive crowd.

ACCORDING to the man who headed the Royal Commission into the banks, trust in institutions has been trashed and policy debate replaced by pithy slogans. Speaking at the Melbourne Law School recently Kenneth Hayne was reportedly scathing of contemporary political debate. However, short, snappy political slogans are not necessarily new, as these bumper stickers on a Fyshwick transport depot’s grimy wall would suggest.

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Mike Welsh
Mike Welsh is a serial blogger and former Canberra radio presenter.

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