Today Tonight presenter Helen Kapalos suffered through a TV presenter’s nightmare in June. Picture: Supplied
HAS Channel Seven presenter Helen Kapalos stuffed up again?
After she was let go by Channel Ten last year, Ms Kapalos agreed to appear as a “reporter” in a mock current affairs show called Tomorrow Whenever.
Ironically, both the short film and its title are blatant parodies of Today Tonight, where Ms Kapalos now works.
In the film, Ms Kapalos pretends to report on Senate legislation subsidising caravans in Australians’ back yards to house asylum seekers.
She interviews a human rights advocate, a bogan couple, a group of refugees and a parody of former Greens leader Bob Brown.
Caravans for Refugees
The mockery is merciless. “Bob Green”, the fake Greens Senator, is in love with a tree in his back yard. He tells Ms Kapalos she “should see the size of its trunk”. The human rights activist has crafted an Islamic prayer mat with an in-built compass to find Mecca, and the bogan couple really, really hates Collingwood.
The fake current affairs report was the brainchild of Adrian Cappola, the owner of Aussie caravan brand Elite Caravans. Hence the plot involving subsidised caravans for asylum seekers.
Ms Kapalos wrote a blog post about the film in January. She was impressed by the concept.
“There are some emails that jump through the page and hit you in the solar plexus,” she said. “It was like that when I first heard from Jim Shomos, a film director whose words fired up my synapses and tickled my funny bone at the same time.
“I had never even met the guy so I was impressed he had the balls to connect in such a direct and entertaining manner.”
Obviously, she realised the subject of asylum seekers could be controversial.
“The issue of asylum seekers has become, with good reason, one of Australia’s most pressing social debates, with a frustrating dictum of boundaries and conditions attached,” she said. “I was happy just for a day not to see it treated as a political handball.”
Ms Kapalos experienced every news presenter’s worst nightmare in June when she was caught on air with no script or autocue. She stumbled disastrously over her words in a cringe-worthy 90 seconds of television.
At least she was trying to make people laugh this time.