Tony Bolton Gets the Views

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Photo by Tim Barnett Story by Simon Barnett

Tony Bolton, well-known Melbourne/St Kilda identity, is about to launch into a new variety show with a difference. The new series ‘Tony Bolton Show’ is planned for this year and will be produced in front of a live studio audience in St Kilda.

Most variety shows come from overseas and Tony wants to bring Australian variety back to the Australian public but in a fun and interesting way. Tony said, “The whole concept of the show has got to be fun, it’s got to be interesting, it’s got to be informative. The pre-requisite to be on our show is not that [you’re] famous … we want to get you there as well.”

Tony and his director Tim Barnett have been planning the show for nearly three years and have produced other show formats such as 24 episodes of Vineyard Sessions which was a music show with live music and interviews with band members. This series originally was distributed through social media and finally aired on community television.

Tony said, “The amount of views we got is quite extraordinary. If I was to add up Vineyard Sessions, we’d definitely have over 100,000 views.” This does not include community television viewing and any re-runs so the total viewing would be over 200,000.

The first stage of the Tony Bolton Show was several stand-alone interviews with celebrities including Father Bob, world boxing champ Barry Michael, AFL legend Ricky Nixon and Rolling Stones backing singer Bernard Fowler which were produced last year and released through social media. “The last show I did with Bernard Fowler [achieved] about 12,000 views. Father Bob had 15,000 people so it’s fair to say over 15 shows … we’ve had over 120,000 views,” said Tony.

By combining both formats into a new informative and entertaining variety show, viewers will be rewarded with in-depth interviews that can only be rivalled by Parkinson. “I’m very interested in people which [will] make it a lot easier. I do research on somebody but I like to talk to the person like I was at the pub and I just met them. I want to know what they’re about. I like to take my artist back to the beginning where it all started and how it evolved.”

Included in the new format, the director will be producing sequences similar to the Letterman show that will involve local businesses in Fitzroy Street. “[Letterman] used to have all these little restaurants around the theatre that they did crosses to … the owners basically became comedy characters within the Letterman show … similar sort of approach [to] get characters from around Fitzroy St involved,” said Tim.

Viewers will also have an opportunity to win a car through a game of chance. They need to answer 10 multiple choice questions in 30 seconds. Tony said, “They have three seconds to answer each one right. If they get ten right [in the thirty seconds] they win the car.”

The producers intend to tap into Australian and international acts coming to St Kilda to perform at venues such as the Alex and Palais Theatres. But the show is not only for well-known celebrities and stars, it’s also about bringing fresh faces and talent and into a new studio.

“What’s exciting now is we’ve moved to the Alex Theatre, one of the most iconic buildings in the heart of St Kilda’s Fitzroy Street. With two magnificent theatres and an open area which is ideal for not only the Tony Bolton Show, but for other people that want to take advantage of this setup,” said Tony.

The Tony Bolton Show will be a fun variety show with guests from the performing arts, sports stars and celebrities with inspirational and motivational stories, prizes and great laughs. and 

see The Tony Bolton Show on Facebook

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