Comedian Mark Humphries has announced that he and his team has departed ABC’s 7.30 after fortnightly satirical sketches for the past five years.
He will be leaving along with co-writer Evan Williams and director of photography/editor Chloe Angelo.
Writing on social media, Humphries said “To be part of 7.30 has been a great honour and I’m enormously grateful that the show’s producers allowed Evan and I to sully the show’s good name for so long.
“There is so little scripted comedy produced in this country, that even being able to produce 2-3 minutes of it a fortnight on a news and current affairs show is a tremendous privilege. So, to our bosses Justin Stevens and then Joel Tozer, our deepest thanks.”
He added, “The time has come for us to pursue making content outside of the parameters of 2-3 minute sketches. What might that look like? Four minute sketches? Five? Only time will tell.”
Humphries also thanked the numerous performers who had given their time to appear on the sketch segment over the years, including Virginia Gay, Heather Mitchell, Dan Ilic, Wendy Harmer, Ange Lavoipierre, Charles Firth, Sana Qadar – and even former prime minister Kevin Rudd.
ABC employees including archivist Wendy Pritchard, operations specialist Michael Hartman, and voiceover artist Rupert Degas also got a grateful shout out.
“I’d like to also acknowledge a couple of legends who we had the privilege of working with before their passing: 7.30 floor manager Mick Walter, and entertainer Jono Coleman. Their warmth, humour and kindness will not be forgotten.”
Update: Guardian Australia refers to budget cuts with an an email to staff, from executive producer Joel Tozer saying it was a difficult decision, “but in a tight budgetary environment this change will allow us to expand the range of journalism we can pursue on the program”.
“7.30 has and will continue to ensure comedy has a rich tradition in the program.”