The ABC’s Monday night current affairs panel discussion show Q&A continues to cause headaches for its commercial rivals, again beating their more publicised programs.
Last night’s edition – dominated by PM-in-waiting, Malcolm Turnbull – pulled in 769,000 for Aunty according to Oztam figures. The evening was again dominated by Seven’s seemingly untouchable MKR who, according to Oztam, has now cemented an audience above 1.65 million per episode.
The ABC’s Q&A beat Nine’s The Block (with 755,000 viewers), Nine’s Hot Seat (631,000), Ten’s I’m A Celeb… (601,000) and Nine’s foppish war drama Gallipoli (580,000).
In another bright note for the national broadcaster, its heavily publicised Four Corners program, that investigated live baiting in the greyhound industry, had 709,000 people tune in according to Oztam. Media Watch probably got a free ride too; sandwiched between Four Courners and Q&A it pulled 725,000 viewers last night.
However, it was Turnbull’s performance on Q&A that had everyone talking, with a slick performance that media commentators have called a “job interview” for the prime ministership. Turnbull dominated the panel with his typical erudite observations and charm. When pressed about leadership speculation, Turnbull played a predictable straight bat. “I suspect [the public] have got more important things to worry about,” he said. “Tempting though it is to venture into the minefield you’re luring me into, I think I’ll pass on this one.”
However, it wasn’t a total free ride for the Communications Minister. Fellow guest and Today show host Lisa Wilkinson called him a “Noddy No-Friends” after photos of Turnbull were published walking alone through the corridors of Parliament following last Monday’s spill for the leadership. Arguably, a sly dig at Turnbull’s perceived popularity among his fellow party members.