Tom Ballard has farewelled Tonightly, in a tongue-in-cheek, emotional goodbye.
Equal parts cynical and grateful, Ballard thanked all who had had a hand in creating Tonightly, included everyone at the ABC.
In his final address, Ballard called the broadcaster “incredible” and admitted the show could not have happened on any other channel.
Ballard said: “I want to say a huge thank you to the ABC, we made a few jokes about them tonight but we have a fundamental love of this place and we’re so lucky to have made this show happen at all.
“ABC, I think you’re incredible.”
He added: “It couldn’t have happened anywhere else, maybe SBS but with half the budget of the shit budget we have here.”
Getting teary, Ballard then praised the broadcaster and warned the broadcaster was “under threat” and encouraged viewers to fight for it.
“We have to value the ABC, this place is incredible and it’s under threat.
“But I’m so thankful for the ABC as a viewer and Australian, this place is vital for our culture and country and if you love the ABC please let people know about it, please defend it and cherish it,” he said.
Though, Ballard then commented: “But, a bit of feedback, please do not stop making things like this, risky and subversive and fun and batshit crazy and boundary pushing stuff.”
“Keep taking risks. It’s not happening anywhere else, please keep making shows like this for young people.”
Ballard added: “The truth is, Tonightly was a good TV show, sometimes it made a lot of shit, I’ll take the blame for that.
“But every once in a while I thought we were extraordinary.”
The ABC announced it would be axing Tonightly in mid-August.
Following the announcement, the ABC said in a statement, the show “deliberately pushed boundaries to inform and entertain”.
It added, “Attracting younger audiences requires bold approaches and we continually experiment with new content and new formats particularly on digital platforms.
“We remain committed to exploring and developing projects that connect with different demographics.
“We are proud of the program and its role in supporting some of Australia’s best emerging comedy talent.”
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