On Friday, Tom Gleeson abruptly and very out-of-the-blue issued a statement asserting he was quitting the effortlessly popular ABC game show Hard Quiz, and would be shutting down production of the show effective immediately. If that statement felt a little suss, it’s because it was. As it turns out, the entire saga is a stunt being pulled by Gleeson in a bid to score himself an elusive Gold Logie.
The story began unravelling on Friday, when the ABC issued a statement in response to Tom’s, claiming they were just as miffed as anyone else.
Tom’s statement that he has sacked himself from Hard Quiz is news to us, particularly as we have 10 new episodes airing later this year.
Things became much, much clearer yesterday when Gold Logie nominations were revealed, with Gleeson confirming he “sacked himself” and is now holding the show hostage until he wins the Gold Logie, after which the show will be released from his clutches and allowed to go back to air as normal.
I’M UP FOR THE GOLD LOGIE! Last year proved you can only win if you don’t have a show. That’s why I axed myself. When I win Gold, I promise I will un-axe #HardQuiz immediately. Please forgive me HARD! Voting opens June 24. #Gleeson4Gold #tvweeklogies pic.twitter.com/vYj9Z9Sono— Tom Gleeson (@nonstoptom) May 26, 2019
In a further statement published by News.com.au, Gleeson doubled down on his very clear demands, which if fulfilled will result in the safe release of Hard Quiz.
I am holding Hard Quiz hostage. I have the show in my basement with a gun aimed at its head. If you do note vote for me, Hard Quiz is dead.
If you love the show, the only way for it to stay on air is for you to vote for me to get the Gold Logie, otherwise I will deny Australia Hard Quiz.
Gleeson, you might recall, spearheaded the #Denyer4Gold campaign that helped Grant Denyer score last year’s Gold Logie, despite the fact that the show he’d been nominated for – Family Feud – had been axed by Channel Ten and he wasn’t hosting a TV show at the time he got the award.
So therefore, Gleeson “quits” Hard Quiz – wink wink – and tries to emulate Denyer’s jobless path to Australian TV’s ultimate prize. Makes sense to us.
Voting for the Gold Logie opens on June 24th. Other nominees this year include Amanda Keller, Eve Morey, Rodger Corser, Sam Mac, Waleed Aly, and garden guru Costa Georgiadis.
Do the right thing, Australia. Help release Hard Quiz.
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Image: Getty Images / Chris Hyde