A former Bendigo Advertiser journalist was awarded one of Australian television’s top prizes on Sunday night.
Daryl Talbot, who was a crime and court reporter at the paper between 1980 and 1982, now runs production house WTFN, the company responsible for Channel 10 show The Living Room.
The program won its second consecutive silver Logie for Best Lifestyle program at this year’s ceremony.
Asked about his time working at the newspaper, Mr Talbot said it was his colleagues, like editor Mike Greenwood, he remembered most fondly.
The journalist got his first taste of television when he left the Advertiser for the local Channel 8 news bureau.
“I loved the thrill of chasing a story, and telling a story,” he said.
“But very quickly, I felt I could get the creative rush I wanted working behind the scenes without the stress of having to perform in front of the camera.”
He now watches over a stable of 40 family-friendly television programs from his company’s headquarters in Melbourne.
It was The Living Room’s fun-for-all-ages mix of information and entertainment that brought about its success, Mr Talbot said.
“What we tried to do was create a show that people could watch after they come home on a Friday, kick their shoes off, pour themselves a glass of wine or a beer, get themselves some takeaway and just relax,” he said.
The company’s other hits include Bondi Vet, starring Dr Chris Brown, which has been sold to TV stations in more than 100 countries.
The company has also branched into feature films, producing the Shane Jacobson vehicle Oddball.
The story about a guard dog protecting a penguin colony is now the 24th highest-grossing Australian film of all time.
Mr Talbot credited his time in newspapers for his ability to spot stories worth telling.
“You are looking for the things that interest people and asking ‘what is it your reader or viewer is interested in?’” he said.
Mr Talbot is not the only Bendigo connection to The Living Room celebrating its Sunday night success.
WTFN Director of content Steve Oemcke and general manager Wes Crook both completed stints at Channel 8 news bureaus in central Victoria.