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The REAL reason Hey Hey It’s Saturday could never be shown on TV today

Daryl Somers recently said his variety show Hey Hey It’s Saturday couldn’t be shown on television today because of ‘cancel culture’. 

The 69-year-old entertainer is certainly right about Hey Hey being unsuitable programming in 2021 – but it has nothing to do with political correctness.

Leading TV commentator Andrew Mercado notes in his Mediaweek column that Hey Hey wouldn’t work today for one simple reason: it’s too expensive.

Bad taste: Daryl Somers recently said his variety show Hey Hey It’s Saturday couldn’t be shown on television today because of ‘cancel culture’. While he is certainly right about Hey Hey being unsuitable programming in 2021, it has nothing to do with political correctness

Live television is notoriously costly to produce and the ratings for a show like Hey Hey likely wouldn’t justify the expense, he observed.

‘Let’s be truthful about why shows like Hey Hey aren’t on TV anymore. It’s one reason and one reason only – money,’ Mr Mercado said.

‘Networks have decided that live TV and variety formats are too expensive because it’s cheaper to make pre-recorded reality formats.’

Money matters: Leading TV commentator Andrew Mercado (pictured) notes in his Mediaweek column that Hey Hey wouldn't work today for one simple reason: it's too expensive

Money matters: Leading TV commentator Andrew Mercado (pictured) notes in his Mediaweek column that Hey Hey wouldn’t work today for one simple reason: it’s too expensive

Daryl can whinge about cancel culture all he wants, but the truth is a live variety show like Hey Hey would never rate well enough to justify its budget.

Television networks know live TV isn’t worth the money, so they’ve pretty much stopped doing it altogether, with the exception of news and sport.

Channel Seven smartly ditched the live format for the reboot of Big Brother last year, and the program hasn’t dipped in quality.

Waste of money: Live television is notoriously costly to produce and the ratings for a show like Hey Hey likely wouldn't justify the expense, Mr Mercado observed

Waste of money: Live television is notoriously costly to produce and the ratings for a show like Hey Hey likely wouldn’t justify the expense, Mr Mercado observed 

The show was a modest ratings success and is returning for another season.

But had it been a big-budget live production – like its former iterations on Channel 10 and Nine – the ratings probably wouldn’t have justified a renewal in today’s climate.

In another example, Dancing with the Stars’ two seasons on Channel 10 were slickly produced and rated well, but the show just wasn’t sustainable because of its budget.

Relic: Daryl (pictured in 2006) can whinge about cancel culture all he wants, but the truth is a live variety show like Hey Hey would never rate well enough to justify its budget

Relic: Daryl (pictured in 2006) can whinge about cancel culture all he wants, but the truth is a live variety show like Hey Hey would never rate well enough to justify its budget 

Seven has now picked it up for a pre-recorded, short-run season, which will probably end up being a smarter financial decision.

Another recent example of a live TV show flopping is Saturday Night Rove, hosted by Rove McManus, which was dropped by 10 after just two episodes due to low ratings.

It comes after Daryl claimed last week political correctness had killed TV comedy.

Pre-recorded: Television networks know live TV isn't worth the money, so they've pretty much stopped doing it altogether, with the exception of news and sport. Seven smartly ditched the live format for the reboot of Big Brother last year, and the program hasn't dipped in quality

Pre-recorded: Television networks know live TV isn’t worth the money, so they’ve pretty much stopped doing it altogether, with the exception of news and sport. Seven smartly ditched the live format for the reboot of Big Brother last year, and the program hasn’t dipped in quality 

‘You probably could not get away with half the stuff you could on Hey Hey now because of the political correctness and the cancel culture. It is a shame because showbiz does not get much of a chance,’ he told The Daily Telegraph.

Daryl said he isn’t happy about the shift in public taste, but accepts the world is changing.

‘A lot of comics can’t work much because what would have been just tongue-in-cheek previously now can easily get them into trouble,’ he said.

‘I can’t say I am enamoured with it, but it is a changing world in which we live and you just have to work around things.’

Too expensive: Dancing with the Stars' two seasons on Channel 10 were slickly produced and rated well, but the show just wasn't sustainable because of its budget

Too expensive: Dancing with the Stars’ two seasons on Channel 10 were slickly produced and rated well, but the show just wasn’t sustainable because of its budget

Axed: Another recent example of a live TV show flopping is Saturday Night Rove, hosted by Rove McManus, which was dropped by 10 after just two disastrous episodes

Axed: Another recent example of a live TV show flopping is Saturday Night Rove, hosted by Rove McManus, which was dropped by 10 after just two disastrous episodes

Hey Hey It’s Saturday ran for 28 years on the Nine Network from 1971 to 1999, before returning for special episodes in 2009.

A new season of 20 episodes was commissioned in 2010, but the variety program did not return in 2011.

During its run, Hey Hey It’s Saturday had its fair share of controversy and was recently called out for its racially insensitive segments involving Kamahl.

Last year, TV veteran Daryl was called out for performing Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World in blackface on the show in the 1980s.

Hasn't aged well: During its run, Hey Hey It's Saturday had its fair share of controversy and was recently called out for its racially insensitive segments involving Kamahl (left)

Hasn’t aged well: During its run, Hey Hey It’s Saturday had its fair share of controversy and was recently called out for its racially insensitive segments involving Kamahl (left)

Wouldn't fly today: In one scene, Daryl wore blackface as he impersonated Malaysian-born singer Kamahl

Wouldn’t fly today: In one scene, Daryl wore blackface as he impersonated Malaysian-born singer Kamahl

Controversial: During its run, Hey Hey It's Saturday had its fair share of controversy. Last year, TV veteran Daryl was called out for performing Louis Armstrong's What a Wonderful World in blackface back on the show in the 1980s (pictured)

Controversial: During its run, Hey Hey It’s Saturday had its fair share of controversy. Last year, TV veteran Daryl was called out for performing Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World in blackface back on the show in the 1980s (pictured)

Another incident in 2009 involved a comedy troupe dressed up as the Jackson Five in blackface for Hey Hey’s regular Red Faces talent show segment.

American singer Harry Connick Jr. was a guest judge on the program and gave the performance a score of zero, saying he never would have appeared on the show if he had known it would involve blackface.

Daryl apologised to Harry at the end of the live segment, saying: ‘We may have offended you with that act and I deeply apologise on behalf of all of us.

Shocking: Another incident in 2009 involved a comedy troupe dressed up as the Jackson Five in blackface for Hey Hey's regular Red Faces segment (pictured)

Shocking: Another incident in 2009 involved a comedy troupe dressed up as the Jackson Five in blackface for Hey Hey’s regular Red Faces segment (pictured)

Score: Harry Connick Jr. (pictured) was a guest judge and awarded the performance a score of zero, saying he wouldn't have appeared on the show if he'd known blackface would be involved

Score: Harry Connick Jr. (pictured) was a guest judge and awarded the performance a score of zero, saying he wouldn’t have appeared on the show if he’d known blackface would be involved

‘Because I know that to your countrymen, that’s an insult to have a blackface routine like that on the show, so I do apologise to you.’

Harry responded: ‘I know it was done humorously, but we’ve spent so much time trying to not make black people look like buffoons that when we see something like that we take it really to heart.

‘I feel like I am at home here and if I knew that was going to be part of the show, I probably, I definitely, wouldn’t have done it.’

Daryl is now set to host Seven’s reboot of Dancing with the Stars, after hosting the original seven seasons from 2004 to 2007.

Dynamic duo: Daryl is now set to host Seven's reboot of Dancing with the Stars, after hosting the original seven seasons from 2004 to 2007. Pictured with Sonia Kruger

Dynamic duo: Daryl is now set to host Seven’s reboot of Dancing with the Stars, after hosting the original seven seasons from 2004 to 2007. Pictured with Sonia Kruger

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk