SBS commissions long-form interview series to be hosted by Ellen Fanning

06 May, 2013 by IF

Australian journalist Ellen Fanning will host a new interview series, The Observer Effect, which has been commissioned by the SBS, it was announced today.

The 20×60-minute series, produced by Shine Australia, will be broadcast from June 2, 2013 and will invite high-profile Australians to offer their personal opinions on the news and current affairs of that week.


In a statement released by the SBS, the broadcaster stated, “By viewing news and events through the eyes of ‘the observer’, the audience will get to know who they are beyond the 24 hour news headlines – whether politician, author, journalist, business leader, academic or philosopher.”

SBS Managing Director Michael Ebeid said, “Through The Observer Effect, we wanted to create a show that would continue to build on SBS's reputation for content which provokes debate by bringing audiences a fresh and edgy take on the issues Australians are talking about, and gives them a new insight into the real personalities and perspectives of our prominent Australians.”

Shine Australia CEO Mark Fennessy said, “This is an exciting project for Shine. We’re looking forward to bringing to life the long-form interview through meaningful discussion and analysis that genuinely resonates. In this election year it’s essential to go beyond the spin, and by having a stellar team of writers and researchers plus extraordinary guests who influence our national conversation, we have every ambition to make this an appointment to view television each week.”

Ellen Fanning said, “A show like this is so critical in an age dominated by 140 character messages and a dizzying 24 hour news cycle. We will give leading Australians time to reflect on the state of the nation and to vigorously debate the critical issues in this election year. It's a raretreat for an interviewer to have the best part of an hour on prime time TV. I'm honoured that SBS has given me the role."