6 August 1951
Geelong, Victoria, Australia
|Known for||Hey Hey It's Saturday 1971–99, 2009–10
Dancing with the Stars 2004 – 2007
|Awards||3 Gold Logies (1983, 1986, 1989)|
Daryl Paul Somers, OAM (born Daryl Schulz 6 August 1951 in Geelong, Victoria, Australia), is a triple Gold Logie award-winning recipient, who is best known as an Australian television personality and musician. The son of a dairy farmer and a cabaret singer, Somers rose to national fame as the host and executive producer of the long-running comedy-variety program Hey Hey It's Saturday and continued his television celebrity and status as host of the live-performance program Dancing with the Stars. In 2016, Somers returns to television have a lengthy hiatus in the Australian version of the British hypnotist game show You're Back in the Room.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Television career
- 3 List of TV programs
- 4 Logies
- 5 Personal life
- 6 Other work
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Somers, who has an Irish Catholic heritage with a German background, was educated at Christian Brothers College, St. Kilda. A drummer, he joined a group playing music in the style of Herb Alpert which began under the name "Pasquale and his Mexican Rhythm". Under the name "Somerset", the group appeared on GTV-9's talent-quest programme New Faces, winning their way to the finals, only to be beaten by John Williamson.
The Hey Hey It's Saturday era (1971–99)
Somers started professional TV work on 14 July 1971, taking over as the presenter of an afternoon children's program called Cartoon Corner, which was previously Skeeter's Cartoon Corner, hosted by James Kemsley (who went on to draw the famous Ginger Meggs comic strip for 23 years). Daryl's first words were, "Hi, I'm Daryl Somers, Skeeter will no longer be with us and now it's time for a cartoon."
Later that year, on 9 October 1971, Hey Hey It's Saturday started. Somers at first co-hosted with footballer Peter McKenna, but eight weeks later, his co-host became the pink hand-puppet Ossie Ostrich, which was operated by former In Melbourne Tonight staff writer Ernie Carroll. McKenna continued to appear on the show for some time.
Originally created as a Saturday morning children's cartoon show, the program gradually expanded in both size and scope. Soon, additional cast members joined, including booth announcer John Blackman, who also voiced many (unseen) characters, and, later, co-host Jacki MacDonald.
The program's production crew also began to play a prominent role in the series, with sound-effects technician Murray Tregonning adding humorous sound bites and sound effects from a huge bank of recorded eight-track cartridges, and personnel such as long-serving cameraman "Lucky Phil" Lambert making regular appearances.
Props assistant Ian "Krystal" Murray provided props, most famously the "Dicky Knee" character:
|“||"I hit my knee on the desk one morning and said, 'Oh, I've got a dicky knee', and this voice immediately answered 'G'day' [...] A week later Krystal came up with this hairdressing polystyrene head with a wig on and wearing a school cap. It popped up in front of the desk and became a permanent character."||”|
Hey Hey was also notable for breaking the so-called fourth wall, often turning the cameras around to show what was happening in the studio and on many occasions (as portable cameras came into use) roaming at will through and outside the studios.
The series' distinctive brand of irreverent humour soon attracted a sizable adult audience, and in 1984, it had become so popular, Nine made the unprecedented decision to move it to a 9:30 Saturday evening timeslot, and renamed Hey Hey It's Saturday Night. It remained on Saturday night for the rest of its run, but moved to the 6:30 time-slot in 1985 and eventually also reverted to the name Hey Hey It's Saturday. At its height, Hey Hey It's Saturday was one of the most popular and consistently high-rating series in the history of Australian television, winning many awards, including three Gold Logie awards for Somers.
Hey Hey screened for 28 years (1971–99) on the Nine Network across Australia. It had by then become an institution, so considerable shock occurred when the Nine Network announced that the series was to be axed at the end of 1999.
Family Feud and The Daryl Somers Show (1980–83)
In 1980, Daryl replaced Tony Barber on the quiz show Family Feud, and hosted the program for three years and 713 episodes. In June 1982, he was given his own night-time TV variety show – without Ossie – in the style of The Don Lane Show aptly named The Daryl Somers Show, which ran for 18 months. Somers still ran Hey, Hey during this time. All the hard work paid off with Daryl winning his first Gold Logie Award for Most Popular Personality on Australian TV in 1983. Also in 1983, Somers was crowned King of Moomba with Edna Everage as his Court Jester.
During the five years after the show's demise in December 1999, Daryl Somers rarely made public appearances, with the exception of a court appearance in 2001 to answer a drink driving charge (after which Somers admitted he was "...a bloody idiot" – a reference to a famous antidrunk-driving advertising campaign of that time), and an appearance as a guest on the Network Ten program Rove Live.
Dancing with the Stars era (2004–07)
In late 2004, Somers returned to the small screen when he made the move to sign with Nine's arch rival, the Seven Network, hosting Dancing with the Stars, a live program where 10 celebrities compete each week in a dance competition.
On 30 November 2007, Somers announced that he would leave Dancing with the Stars. Somers was replaced by actor Daniel MacPherson, who was the host from season 8 till season 14.
Return of Hey Hey It's Saturday (2009–10)
Somers had another year off television duties in 2008.
Interest had been considerable in the reformation of Hey Hey It's Saturday in some capacity. ABC Radio Broken Hill interviewed Corrine Lawrence and Daryl Somers on 22 July 2009 in regards to the growing interest. Daryl has revealed the show's return is "not out of the question" and speculated that one or two reunion specials could be made in the near future.
A reunion special aired on 30 September 2009. It rated strongly, attracting 3.9+ million viewers, although the second show generated international controversy because of a "blackface" Jackson 5 parody act (called The Jackson Jive) that appeared on the "Red Faces" segment.
With the success of the Reunion Specials in 2009, the show returned in 2010 as a regular series. The 2010 series had 20 episodes airing, with the first 13 episodes airing from April until July, with the remaining seven episodes airing in October and November, all of which rated well.
Hey Hey It's Saturday did not return in 2011 and the Nine Network made no further comment whether the show would ever return. No new episodes have been produced since 2010.
You're Back in the Room (2016)
In October 2015, it was announced that Somers would return to the Nine Network to host an Australian version of the British hypnotism show, You're Back in the Room in 2016.
List of TV programs
- New Faces, 1968, runner-up contestant
- New Faces, 1970, winning contestant
- Cartoon Corner, 1971–1977 Host
- Hey Hey it's Saturday, 1971–1999, 2009–2010, host and producer
- Bandstand, 1976, Host
- King of Pop Awards, 1976-7, host
- The Graham Kennedy Show, 1970s regular artist
- The Don Lane Show, 1970s regular artist
- The Mike Walsh Show, 1970s regular artist
- Family Feud, 1980–82, host
- Countdown, 1981, guest host
- The Daryl Somers Show, 1982-3, host
- Blankety Blanks, host, 1985
- TV Week Logie Awards, Host, 1988, 1991, 1996–98, 2006
- New Faces, host and producer, 1989
- The Russell Gilbert Show, producer, 1998
- Gonged But Not Forgotten, producer (199?)
- Dancing with the Stars, host, 2004–2007
Somers has been a part of the Logies since his early days of television, either as host, winner, or nominee. He has been host five times (1988, 1991, 1996, 1997, 1998) and co-host in 2006.
- Gold Logie – three times (1983, 1986 and 1989)
- Most Popular Light Entertainment / Comedy Personality – once (1990)
- Most Popular Light Entertainment Personality – four times (1993, 1995, 1996, 1997)
- Most Popular Comedy Personality – once (1995)
- Gold Logie – 12 times (1984-5, 1987–8, 1990–1, 1993–8)
- Most Popular Light Entertainment Personality – once (1994)
- Most Popular Comedy Personality – once (1997)
Somers is a passionate supporter of the Geelong Football Club and is the club's No. 1 ticket holder. He has a star on the Caloundra Walk of Stars.
- Stone, Gerald (2000). Compulsive Viewing. Melbourne: Penguin Books Australia Ltd. ISBN 0-14-029817-7.
- TV Week 19 October 1996. "Hey Hey it's 25" by Darren Devlyn, pages 76–77.
- Stone, Gerald, op. cit., p. 432
- "Hey Hey It's Saturday – Daryl Somers". Channel nine. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
- Craig Bellamy, Gordon Chisholm, Hilary Eriksen (17 February 2006) PDF., www.melbourne.vic.gov.au, pp.17–22. photo p.19
- ABC Radio Broken Hill interview featuring Corrine Lawrence, who started a Facebook page, "Bring Back Hey Hey It's Saturday" and Daryl Somers 
- Hey Hey wins ratings showdown, By Michael Idato, 1 October 2009, theage.com.au
- Bodey, Michael (2015-10-28). "Nine’s 2016 TV shows: Daryl Somers, Alan Bond and hypnotism". Retrieved 2015-11-16.
- "Daryl Somers – Songlines CD". CD Universe.
- "Hey Hey it's Harvest Rain's first professional season". The Sydney Morning Herald. 19 November 2013.
- "Daryl Somers 'does the dash with Seven's Logie'". Retrieved 2008-06-21.
- Daryl Somers at the Internet Movie Database
- Brief bio
- Will Somers never end? – Sydney Morning Herald, 5 May 2006 article describing Somers winning a TV Fugly Award
|Awards and achievements|
for Sons and Daughters
|Gold Logie Award
Most Popular Personality on Australian Television
for Hey Hey It's Saturday and Blankety Blanks
|Gold Logie Award
Most Popular Personality on Australian Television
for Hey Hey It's Saturday