The NRL Footy Show

The NRL Footy Show

Infobox Television
show_name = The NRL Footy Show

caption =
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genre =
creator =
writer =
director =
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presenter = Paul Vautin Paul Harragon Matthew Johns Laurie Daley
starring =
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country = AUS
language = English
num_seasons = 15
num_episodes = 402 (as of 19 June 2008)
list_episodes =
executive_producer =
co_exec =
producer =
supervising_producer =
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runtime = 90 minutes (including commercials)
network = Nine Network
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first_aired = 1994
last_aired = present
preceded_by =
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imdb_id = 0315668
tv_com_id = 70439

"The NRL Footy Show" is a Logie Award winning Australian sports television program, shown on the Nine Network and its affiliates. Following the success of the "The AFL Footy Show", the Nine Network quickly developed a Footy Show for the rugby league market. "The NRL Footy Show" began in 1994 and was hosted by 'Fatty' aka Paul Vautin, 'Sterlo' (Peter Sterling), 'Blocker' (Steve Roach) and Ray Hadley.

The Thursday night program was, and still is largely entertainment-based, with some football-related content included, such as previews of the weekend's fixtures and interviews with players.

On Air


*Paul Vautin (1994 - present )
*Paul Harragon (2001 - present )
*Matthew Johns (2003 - present )
*Laurie Daley (2008 - present )
*Peter Sterling (1994 - 2006)
*Garry Tse (2008 - present )

Former Presenters

*Rebecca Wilson (2005)
*Steve Roach (1994 - 1998)
*Ray Hadley (1994 - 1997)


The NRL version of the show airs twice each week in the form of a:

* A Thursday night program, shown at 9.30 p.m. AEST, and
* A Sunday morning program, shown at 11:00 a.m. AEST


In New South Wales, Queensland, Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory "The NRL Footy Show" is aired. The "alternate" version (The AFL Footy Show) would then go to air later that Thursday night. The "alternate" show on Sunday is not aired in addition to the regularly scheduled version. The Thursday night version is more based around variety with segments, bands and a serious discussion about current issues in the game and past/future match-ups. Segments include; Their House (with Ryan Girdler), "That's Gold", Lady Luck (with Jade Sutcliffe), "Robbo P.I"(Pest Incorporated), Reg Reagan, Ash and Luttsy, Silent Library plus others...

From 2008 The AFL Footy Show could be seen live into most New South Wales and Queensland TV markets via the Nine HD channel at the same time as "The NRL Footy Show" airs on Nine's analogue and digital channels.

Former segments included; "Anti-Ad", "Daredevil Dudes", "Going, Going... Gone", "Crack-a-Fat" and "One Versus One".


"The NRL Footy Show" on Sunday is followed by "The Sunday Roast".


Late 1990s

Hadley and Roach did not have a good relationship with the rest of the team, and left by the late 1990s for varying reasons. Hadley had become disillusioned as a result of the confirmation that the Super League competition would take place in Australia in 1997 (see Super League War). This meant that the Footy Show would be required to give fair coverage and discussion of both the Super League and ARL competitions during its broadcast. Hadley had been a stout supporter of the more traditional ARL, believing that Super League's agenda was backed by money and greed and was not prepared to lend his support to the rival competition, thus leading to his eventual departure from the show. Roach, on the other hand, had been involved in an altercation, allegedly assaulting a heckler in a Sydney pub. Channel Nine, not wanting to condone such conduct and wishing to preserve its reputation, were quick to terminate Roach's contract as a result of his actions.

For around two or three years, Vautin and Sterling presented the show by themselves, often with guest hosts such as Phil Gould, the Johns brothers (Andrew and Matthew) and Ryan Girdler with his highly popular segment, "Their House", the name a parody of the Australian TV program "Our House" (a lifestyle program).

Early 2000s

In 2001, a contest was held to find a new co-host, via a parody of the hit show "Survivor" (also shown on Nine), and former Knights forward Paul Harragon, also known as 'Chief', was selected. In 2003, fellow former Knights player Matthew Johns joined as the fourth host, following the success of his appearances as alter egos Reg Reagan and Trent The Flight Steward the previous year. A new character, Randy Discotelli, based upon an American fitness instructor, was introduced in 2005.

Paul Harragon's introduction to the show brought popular segments such as 'That's Tops', which involves giving the 'thumbs up' sign with both hands simultaneously. 'That's Tops' ran from 2002 until the end of 2004. Mario Fenech also appears often as a host. In 2005 'That's Gold' was introduced, a hand gesture which involves placing an upright clenched fist on an open palm; both gestures have become popular throughout Australia and New Zealand and are often 'performed' at sports venues across the country.


In May 2005, due to declining ratings, former host Ray Hadley was invited back to the show. However, he declined this offer due to his radio commitments on 2GB. Rebecca Wilson was also invited to be part of the show and she accepted. However, Vautin and Sterling disapproved of this move due to personal reasons, and Wilson appeared for only one episode.

The show has spawned 3 "best of" video/DVDs, a compilation CD, the Reg Reagan "All of Me" DVD and the single "Am I Ever Gonna See The Biff Again?" by Reg Reagan and the Knucklemen (Reagan is a parody of a stereotypical ocker football players from the 1970s).

For a period of ten weeks in 2005, the show was hosted by Matthew Johns, due to head injuries suffered by Vautin while filming a comedy sketch for the show. Vautin returned in September 2005.

The NRL Footy Show is more a variety show than a typical sports program. This is evident through the many games that the members play such as "Going, Going, GOOONE!" and segments such as "Daredevil Dudes". Only one match is previewed in significant depth, it generally being the Friday Night showcase.


In 2007, Peter Sterling decided not to return to the show so he could concentrate on commentating. The show decided to keep the 3 hosts (Vautin, Harragon and Johns), and have 5 regular panellists (2 at the one time). These panellists are Mark Gasnier, Willie Mason, Andrew Johns, Benji Marshall and Luke Ricketson.

Regular guests on the show include Mario Fenech, Amanda Flynn, 'MG' (Mark Geyer) and Phil Gould.

Brisbane Footy Show

The Brisbane Footy Show was short-lived during the mid-1990s and was generally hosted by Chris Bombolas, Peter Jackson, Mario Fenech, Laurel Edwards and Steve Haddin. Today, the Sydney version is shown in Brisbane and Queensland. In 1999, Channel 9 attempted a failed revival.

unday Footy Show

The Sunday Footy Show is aired on Sundays at 11am. Most of the time, it is hosted by Peter Sterling and a variety of panelists including Ben Ikin, Matthew Johns, Mario Fenech, Phil Gould, Jason Stevens, Paul Harragon and a variety of NRL players. Much like the AFL version, the show discusses the results of the weekend's matches so far and includes interviews with players. There is also a segment called 'Around the Grounds' which is presented by Tim Gilbert and discusses the rest of the weekend's game and injury wrap-up. There is also a 'League of League' segment showcasing previous greats of the NRL. At the end of the program, there is a 'Brut Big Hits' segment showing 3 of the biggest hits in the previous round.

Immediately after the Sunday Footy Show, there is 'The Sunday Roast' where the less serious Footy Show boys go through all of the funniest footy moments of the week, as well as airing self made movies such as an adaptation of Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho".

Also making a large appearance on The Sunday Roast is 'almost football' in which close calls are shown in slo-mo for your viewing pleasure.

The Sunday Footy show is filmed on the same set as the Today Show.

pecial editions

During May of 2006, the town of Beaconsfield, Tasmania was rocked when news of two mine workers were trapped down a mine shaft. Miraculously, 34 year old Todd Russell and 37 year old Brant Webb escaped with aid from emergency workers. To celebrate, both the AFL and the NRL Footy Show had a special program dedicated to the two surivours. This included a cross to Eddie McGuire who held an interview with Brant and Todd.

In 2006, to celebrate the State of Origin decider - which was to be held in Melbourne for the first time in years - the two shows were filmed in adjoining rooms, in Nine Network Melbourne's complex. On the AFL Show, Fatty went over from the NRL Show to join as a guest for a few minutes. Upon his return, a quiz was held between AFL Show regulars Billy Brownless and Sam Newman, with Matthew Johns and Peter Sterling representing the NRL side. Most of the questions were about either the Melbourne Storm for the NRL boys, since it was a celebration of Melbourne Rugby League, and the Geelong Football Club who Newman and Brownless both played for in the AFL. The AFL boys won the quiz. Also during the show, Newman showed the two boys what he thought of their 2006 Logie by destroying a (presumably) fake Logie while Fatty was on their show.

In 2006, the AFL and NRL produced a special broadcast from Germany. This was to coincide with the Socceroos FIFA World Cup campaign. It was co-hosted by Eddie McGuire and James Brayshaw. Unlike the traditional versions, the special was solely based around the Socceroos' World Cup Campaign.


At the 47th Annual Logie Awards held on May 1, 2005, the NRL version of the program won the Most Popular Sporting Program award. The NRL Footy Show successfully retained the award in 2006 and 2007, cementing it as the most popular Australian sports program on television, having long surpassed its AFL rival, despite lower TV ratings compared to the AFL footy show in a larger TV market in Sydney. The AFL version has won several Logies over its existence, but has in recent times failed to match the successes of its NRL contemporary. Paul Vautin has accepted the awards in 2005, 2006 and 2007. In 2008, it lost the award to the AFL footy show.


"The NRL Footy Show" has been criticised for "celebrating" alcohol in sport. The program features alcohol advertisements throughout the program, and alcohol advertising on the set. The show has also received its share of criticism for its lowbrow humour and poor productions values. [The Australian newspaper, March 31, 2007 Story: "The time has come to end glamourising alcohol sponsorship" [,20867,21475237-23289,00.html] ]

International Broadcast

The programme is also shown in the UK and Ireland on Setanta Sports 1 every Thursday night at 10pm. And Sky Sport in New Zealand at 11:30p.m. Thursday Live.

ee also

* List of Australian television series


External links

* [ "The Footy Show" website]
* [;adv=yes;group=;groupequals=;holdingType=;page=0;parentid=;query=280043;querytype=;rec=0;resCount=10 The Footy Show (NRL) at the National Film and Sound Archive]

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