Your post-budget ABC TV programme guide

Published in Time Out 8 May 2014, art by Robert Polmear

Dear the Internet,

Next week your treasurer Joe Hockey will hand down the Abbott government’s first federal budget, and you can feel the excitement in the air. Will universal health care be destroyed, or merely demolished? Will higher education become the exclusive purview of the super-rich, or will the common-or-garden wealthy still get a look-in? And how generous will the tax concessions to the mining industry be – will they have to make do with free money, or will we finally introduce blood tributes from every Australian family?


One thing that’s certain is that the ABC will be seeing some serious cutbacks, despite that whole no-cuts-to-the-ABC-or-SBS thing that your PM said before the election. To be fair, what he said was deeply ambiguous and opaque:

…so you can see why he’d be annoyed at the way his promise has been misrepresented as being some sort of promise.

In any case, there’s no need to fret about having your national broadcasters taken out behind the bike sheds and given a going over with a tyre iron. We’ve managed to get hold of the ABC board’s top secret post-budget programme line up, and are delighted to see that the broadcasting quality will be deeply efficient.

Enjoy their new Abbott-mandated “commitment to axcellence”!

Social Media Watch
With no budget for newspaper subscriptions, Paul Barry criticises the spelling in his Twitter feed until his phone runs out of battery.

3.6 Corners
The flagship current affairs program gets a 10% cut, and is now filmed in Kerry O’Brien’s garage. The exposé on the appalling storage of old paint cans and Xmas decorations is already tipped to sweep the Walkleys.

Work School
With higher education off the table and pensions only open to those who crack the big seven-zero, it’s important to get children past walking age (of entitlement!) nice and early. Hamble and Big Ted now have casual telemarketing jobs, while Little Ted is a freelance copywriter-slash-barista and Jemima appears on the show for the week per month she’s not rostered on at the Roy Hill iron mine.

Whatever the BBC leave out by the bins
A cavalcade of classic entertainment, lovingly curated by the former housemate of the head of drama, who works near Broadcasting House in London and is happy to check the dumpsters on her way to the bus stop. Just how many series’ of Keeping Up Appearances did they make? Find out after May 13!

With Richard Roxburgh far too expensive, the fifth season now follows the sexy adventures of an actual Bunnings leaf and grass rake. Also filmed in Kerry O’Brien’s garage.

The Test Pattern
This classic ABC favourite makes a long-overdue return to our screens from 7pm to 10am every day of the week. Follow the zany, entirely static adventures on ABC 1, 2, Kids, iView or the new interactive test pattern postcard.

The specks were just too expensive.

Yours ever,


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