Lawrence Mooney talks celebrity gossip ahead of Season 3 of Dirty Laundry Live on ABC

dirty laundry live

Dirty Laundry Live is part panel game show, part celebrity tabloid gossip discussion. Lawrence Mooney is the host with his partner in crime Brooke Satchwell and has rotating special guests, to help discuss who did what to whom and test their knowledge of the week’s click-bait news and rumour mill.

Returning for its third season Dirty Laundry Live has been bumped from ABC2 to the main channel ABC and will be diggings its claws into all the juicy celebrity gossip from this Thursday the 28th May at 9:30pm. We had a chat with host Lawrence Mooney about the show and why we’re all so fixated by celebrities and gossip.

“We’re essentially voyeurs, humans, we love to find out about other people’s lives. In any conversation in any circumstances it often turns around to news of what’s going on within your cohort of friends or your village or your community and an extension of that is finding out about how other people live and the focus has always been on the rich and famous, because most of us aren’t rich or famous.”

There’s no denying that generally when we greet our work colleagues or talk to our family the first thing we inquire about is how they’ve been or what they’ve been up to. It seems like a fairly natural progression to then impose those same ideals on being curious about the life of our favourite celebrity. Mooney also suggests that there’s an element of vicariousness that drives that curiosity.

“There’s also the vicarious nature of it too, I’d love to be rich and famous but I’m not so I’m going to live out my life vicariously through what was magazines for a long time but now it’s changed to the internet with TMZ and Buzzfeed. They’re played out as adult fairy tales, it satisfies our need to have stories from around the campfire to around the television. We love tales of royal families and royal babies and princes and princesses. Then there’s the Kardashians but I can’t think of a fairy tale parallel to the Kardashians.”

Speaking of the Kardashians we discuss the recent Bruce Jenner news and the transgender issue and how it has the capacity to normalise and bring these formerly taboo topics into the mainstream.

“The transgender thing is a massive issue for someone in the spotlight to change gender and have to consider all the things that go along with that. And the fact that he is now a woman in what is potentially the most famous family of women in the world. Kim, Khloe, Kourtney and Kylie and Kendall and Kris, they love a K, and he’s going to become Kruce Jenner now. It’s a very brave move to change gender and realise who you are as a person. It absolutely has the ability to normalise the discussion around transgender and gender issues. I think that what was sensational many years ago, is no longer sensationalist.”

On the flipside to the spotlight is the privacy issue and the fact that sometimes celebrities put out pleas for the media to back off despite the fact that they themselves are complicit in the publicity mill and sensationalism.

“I think it’s a bit much for Bruce Jenner to request privacy, if you want to be private disappear. You can do that, there’s umpteen stars who happily disappear off the radar then pop their heads up and get publicity when they want to promote their film or flog their book or their new diet or their new underwear range or fragrance. Brad and Angelina are specialists at it, she can disappear and then all of a sudden she’s on the red carpet or the first time since she’s had a double mastectomy and having a press conference or she’s off to Cambodia to adopt a child. Bruce Jenner is part of a TV show called “Keeping Up With The Kardashians”, and he’s part of that world if he wants to disappear he can. If he wants to disappear, the moment we stop seeing photos of him or images of him we stop talking about him. We live in a visual realm, this whole sensationalist publicity trash mad world is all visual. Stay out of sight, they’re not going to write a 1200 word expose for people to sit down and read, no one wants to read about you, they want to see you in a dress Bruce.”

But one of the strengths of Dirty Laundry Live is not just the click-bait tabloid angle but also the fact that the show is a bit of a celebrity news version of Q&A and is very much filmed live in front of an audience and broadcast live to us at home.

“It absolutely helps to have the tweets coming through live. We had an episode last year where we had Josh Thomas on and we’ve got tweets coming through and he read one as it appeared and somebody was slagging off his hair and he goes “hold on somebody’s having a go at my hair, f**k you” and so it was so immediate that it reminded people at home that it’s live and we are “live live” there’s no delay. It adds to the energy as a panel and inside my head coz all of a sudden you are off and away on a 45 minute journey and there’s no stopping or turning back until it slides to a finish and you go wow where did all that go so really it’s like being in a tumble drier. It keeps you on your toes and there’s no time to vague out. I’m not blessed with the greatest attention span in the world but for that 45 minutes I’m pretty engaged.”

So for season three Mooney gives us a quick breakdown of what we can expect in the first episode particularly since the show has moved from ABC2 over to the big channel.

The previous two seasons we were on ABC2 and this season we’re coming across to the main ABC channel. They found a spot at 9:30pm on Thursday night which is perfect for us. We’re a more adult show, we push the boundaries a little bit and we’re not for everyone’s taste. There’s only one minor change and that is the language won’t be as florid as it was but essentially we’ve been encouraged to be the show we were on ABC2.
The first episode back we’ll start as we finished last year with our most familiar panel with Brooke Satchwell, Marty Sheargold, Zoe Coombs Marr, Angela Bishop and myself. The first episode will give us a chance to recap on what’s happened since last we met which has been a lot. In amongst that we might be discussing Bill Cosby, reality TV in Australia, the Royals, I think we’ll be recapping on a lot of stuff, as well as what’s happened in the last week in celebrity and fame. We want to make a big splash for our first episode on ABC, so we’re pretty excited to get out there and introduce ourselves to a new audience.

Dirty Laundry Live airs on ABC weekly on Thursday nights 9:30pm, from 28th May 2015.


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Carina Nilma

Office lackey day-job. Journalist for The AU Review night-job. Emotionally invested fangirl.