Hungry Beast

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Hungry Beast
Created byAndrew Denton
Jon Casimir
Andy Nehl
Directed byAaron Smith
Ali Russell
Presented byHosts
Dan Ilic
Kirsten Drysdale
Nicholas Hayden
Monique Schafter
Current Reporters
Marc Fennell
Veronica Milsom
Kirk Docker
Elmo Keep
Ali Russell
Lewis Hobba
Scott Mitchell
Nicholas McDougall
Season 1-2 Only
Chris Leben
Jessicah Mendes
Kieran Ricketts
Daniel Keogh
Nathan Earl (Director)
Country of originAustralia
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes32
Executive producersAndrew Denton
Anita Jacoby
ProducerZapruder's other films
CinematographyAaron Smith
Ali Russell
Susan Lumsdon
EditorsNicholas Hayden
Nicholas McDougall
Andrew Glover
Original networkABC1
Original release30 September 2009 (2009-09-30) –
2011 (2011)
External links

Hungry Beast (originally Projext NEXT[1]) was an Australian television comedy and current affairs program that was broadcast on ABC Television.


The show was a half-hour program and is structured as a hybrid between a current affairs program and a satire/comedy show. The presenters were initially given a single editorial instruction: "Tell me something I don't know".[2] Rather than conforming to a strict format, the final shape evolved alongside the presentation team that had been assembled.[3] As a result, prior to the show's debut executive producer Andrew Denton described it as "unclassifiable" due to the chaotic nature of the work, likening the show's format to the Internet.[4]

Originally 19 presenters were used, but the second season saw the hosts pared down to just four, Kirsten Drysdale, Nicholas Hayden, Dan Ilic and Monique Schafter, although some of the other presenters continue to report onscreen.[5][6] During the second season of Hungry Beast reporters Ali Russell and Kirk Docker were nominated for a Walkley Award for Coverage of Indigenous Affairs[7] for their story on the "Gang of 49". Hungry Beast also was nominated for an ATOM Award in the Best Multimedia category, and an AFI Award for Best Light Entertainment.[8]

Pre-broadcast marketing[edit]

Prior to the debut of the first series, Hungry Beast's pre-broadcast publicity incorporated perpetrating a hoax upon several Australian news agencies, in which they constructed a media release by the fictitious Levitt Institute.[9] The release discussed a report called "Deception Detection Across Australian Populations", which looked at the comparative gullibility of people in different Australian states, and the release used a website and altered Wikipedia articles to provide support for the document.[10] The hoax was successful, with a number of Australian media groups, including the AAP, running stories based on the material.[11] When revealed, the hoax was criticised by the AAP who stated that they were "... disappointed that an individual, or organisation, would go to such lengths to take advantage of the Australian media and ultimately the Australian public."[12]


Hungry Beast was broadcast on Wednesday nights on ABC1 and repeated on Thursday night on ABC2. It was produced by Andrew Denton's production company, Zapruder's Other Films. Auditions were held in January 2009,[13] with the presenting team announced that September.[14]

The third and final season of Hungry Beast began on ABC1 on Wednesday 23 March 2011 at 9:30pm with a smaller, more streamlined production team. The 12-week season has each episode themed around specific issues (e.g. Secrets, Waste, Captivity, Faking It, Download, Perfection and Wealth). Regular segments include Vox pops, "Follow The Money" and "The Beast File".[15]

On 29 November 2011, executive producer Andrew Denton confirmed that the show had been cancelled.[16]


  1. ^ Knox, David (20 August 2009). "Denton's ABC Project retitled". Retrieved 1 September 2009. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "Hungry Beast (9:00pm Wednesday, 30 Sep 2009)". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 23 November 2009. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ Coleman, Adam (17 September 2009). "Creating a monster". inside film. Retrieved 12 March 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ Kalina, Paul (28 September 2009). "Appetite for a fresh take on the world". The Age. Melbourne, Australia. Retrieved 12 March 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ Vashti, Lorelei (4 March 2010). "Less frantic much improved". The Age. Melbourne, Australia. Retrieved 12 March 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ Molitorisz, Sacha (11 February 2010). "Food for thought". The Age. Melbourne, Australia. p. 13.
  7. ^ "Metro Screen graduate Ali Russell nominated for a Walkley Award". 8 November 2010.
  8. ^ Knox, David (27 October 2010). "2010 AFI Awards: Nominees".
  9. ^ Natasha Robinson (29 September 2009). "Scam within a scam". The Australian. News Limited.
  10. ^ "Deception Detection Deficiency". Media Watch. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 28 September 2009. Retrieved 29 September 2009. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ "Denton show owns up to media hoax". NineMSN. NineMSN. 28 September 2009.
  12. ^ "AAP Response to hoax" (PDF). Media Watch. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 28 September 2009. Retrieved 29 September 2009. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. ^ Knox, David (27 January 2009). "Auditions: Project NEXT". Retrieved 27 January 2009. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  14. ^ Knox, David (10 September 2009). "Hungry Beast team revealed". Retrieved 20 September 2009. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  15. ^ Knox, David (20 February 2011). "Returning: Hungry Beast". Retrieved 16 December 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  16. ^ Knox, David (29 November 2011). "A Walkley win, but ABC axes Hungry Beast". Retrieved 15 January 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

Further reading[edit]