Management for John Farnham did not want Seven to screen a Spotlight episode with archival footage, so soon after the success of the feature documentary John Farnham: Finding the Voice.
Seven, which part-funded the doco drew such big ratings from the doco, it aired a replay in primetime the following week and a Spotlight episode called ‘The Lost Tapes’ earlier this month.
Manager David Wilson, speaking to Mediaweek said he had a discussion with Spotlight executive producer Mark Llewellyn.
“I said, ‘We don’t think it’s necessary’… At the time about 3 million Australians had already seen the movie, on TV on Seven over the two screenings and with all the catch-ups and what have you. We didn’t think there needed to be any more John on TV,” he said.
“He pitched saying, ‘We’ve got such a rich archive here. It’s a waste not to use it, and we really think people will want it , it’s a tribute and we want to celebrate John and everything about him.’
“(It was) well-intended, but it’s not something that we wanted to have happen. Especially so soon. It felt like overkill to me. They did a good job, but it just seemed, unnecessary. I think was it was the special no one asked for.
For their efforts Seven drew 458,000 metro viewers.
More encouragingly David Wilson also discussed Farnham’s current recovery after being given the all-clear on throat cancer.
“He’s home, he’s comfortable. He’s confirmed, I think, about a month ago to be cancer-free.,” said Wilson.
“He’s still in recovery because it was a major procedure. So there’s still a ways to go, but he is strong. He is back to his daggiest version of himself. He is doing the worst, lamest jokes at home, but you roll your eyes and put up with it …there will be some music on TV and he will just break into song.
“He just sings along with stuff as the mood takes him. And that just fills your heart.”
John Farnham: Finding the Voice is out now on DVD.