AskDefine | Define panelist

Dictionary Definition

panelist n : a member of a panel [syn: panellist]

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  1. A person who is a member of a panel.


member of a panel

Extensive Definition

This page concerns the Australian show. For the Irish version, see The Panel (Ireland).
The Panel was an Australian television talk show broadcast by Network Ten and its affiliates; it was also simulcast on the Triple M radio network. The show was produced by Working Dog Productions and included several members of the former D-Generation and The Late Show casts.
The show featured a panel of five (originally six) people who discuss and joke about items in the news, current affairs, and pop culture. Episodes of The Panel screened at 9.30pm on Wednesday nights. Episodes were scheduled to run one hour but would often finish late, delaying the live news broadcast scheduled for 10.30pm immediately afterwards.
The series premiered in 1998 and was very popular in its first few years. The show is currently considered to be on hiatus; since 2005 the only form of the show broadcast has been the annual Christmas special.


The regular hosts are Glenn Robbins, Rob Sitch, Tom Gleisner, Kate Langbroek and Santo Cilauro (usually sitting in this order from screen left to right at the desk). The series also frequently featured guest panelists, with other Australian comedians, actors, and international guests (such as American actor Harry Shearer) regularly taking a spot at the desk. Jo Stanley replaced Langbroek, who was on maternity leave, as a regular panelist for several shows in 2004.
Brian Nankervis performed warm-up for the audience. The floor manager was Annie Maver, wife of comedian Tony Martin.


Guests include music and movie stars, sports heroes and political figures, but also many lower profile individuals who have interesting stories to tell, such as round-the-world sailor Jesse Martin, or sexual health physician Dr. Cindy Pan. A number of regular guests also appear to help present segments. These include sports reporter Stephen Quartermain, film reviewer Laurie Zion and Hollywood correspondent Jeff Stilson.
One of the most "excruciating" interviews, as Tom Gleisner described it, was in 2002 when Tommy Lee Jones was in the studio with Will Smith to promote their film Men in Black II. Jones did not respond positively to any of the good humour of the interviewers and provided very brief answers.
All Aussie Adventures host, Russell Coight (played by Glenn Robbins) appeared in character on one episode. Robbins did not appear as a panelist that week. Robbins also appeared as both himself and his Kath & Kim character Kel Knight during the 2007 Christmas special.

Christmas specials

Starting from 2003 a special Christmas episode of the show has aired on Christmas night, outside the regular broadcast season of the series. It has been promoted under varying titles including The Panel Christmas and The Panel Christmas Wrap.
The extended length episode (usually two to three hours long) combines regular segments of the show including live music performances and celebrity guests with retrospectives on the past year. Live advertorials for the show's sponsors are also performed by the cast, with the proceeds going to charity. The specials always finish with a pantomime play of dubious quality revolving around the birth of Jesus.
The Christmas special has continued to be aired in the years when the regular series has not.


The success of the show has resulted in successful spin off shows in Ireland (hosted by Dara Ó Briain) and New Zealand (hosted by Cal Wilson). Another spin-off, supposedly the Afghanistan version, was introduced on the 2005 Christmas special.
It has also led to the release of several albums in the Music - Live from the Panel series, consisting of songs performed on the show by local and international artists. Performances on The Panel are unique in that they are performed acoustically or with minimal instrumental backing, as opposed to a full band.


Network Ten and The Panel have been parties to a number of media law cases. They are in a long running dispute with the Nine Network in the Federal Court of Australia regarding an episode of The Panel and its broadcast of footage from Nine shows. Several appeals and related decisions have been made in the Federal Court (FCA), the Full Court of the Federal Court (FCAFC) and the High Court of Australia (HCA):
  • 1st [2001] FCA 108
  • 2nd [2001] FCA 841
  • 3rd [2002] FCAFC 146
  • 4th [2004] HCA 14
  • 5th [2005] FCAFC 53
  • 6th [2005] FCAFC 194
In its first year, the show gained some notice when Rob Sitch uttered the word "fuck" live on air when inquiring about television presenter Donna Gubbay.


Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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