When Rove McManus reflects on winning the TV WEEK Gold Logie Award three years in a row, he can't help but be amazed. The now 44-year-old won the coveted award in 2003, 2004 and 2005 for his Network Ten chat show Rove, which was originally titled Rove Live.
"That was an incredible and wonderful time for us," Rove says.
"We really cemented ourselves as part of the television landscape, and that was reflected in how well we did at the Logies."
Rove aired for a decade between 1999 and 2009. Much to the surprise of the comedian, presenter and producer, there hasn't been a show like it on television since.
"Now, more than ever, I scratch my head that there isn't one on TV," he says. "There are plenty of programs guests can turn up on, but there's no show dedicated just to light entertainment."
Over 10 years, Rove attracted millions of viewers with live performances and interviews with local and international guests.
"In 2001, we had John Travolta and Hugh Jackman on together to promote their movie Swordfish," he recalls. "That was the show that put us on the map."
There's no doubt Rove ranks among the true legends of Logie winners. And when he looks back on his triple Gold success, he can't help but smile.
"Growing up, I always knew about the Logie Awards and what they meant," Rove explains. "You work your whole career to get nominated, so to then walk away with one was all a bit overwhelming. The significance of it isn't lost on me."
However, there's one Logies moment in particular that's forever ingrained in his memory.
"I remember returning from the afterparty and seeing TV WEEK, with photos from the night before, placed in front of everybody's hotel room in Melbourne," Rove says.
"I'd heard about that for years. Now, all of a sudden, here I am – Logie in hand and seeing my face on everybody's doorstep."
Not only was it a testament to his talent and success, but for Rove, it was an affirmation.
"To finally have that win was sweet relief," he declares. "It was a really nice validation of 'I'm going to be OK.'"
Since then, Rove and his production company, Roving Enterprises, have had a huge impact on the Logies. Not only did he win the Silver Logie for Most Popular Presenter for Rove, but also for his work on Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader? in 2008 and 2009.
"I'm very lucky and fortunate," Rove says of his many and varied media accomplishments.
The Project, which is the stalwart of Roving Enterprises, has also been recognised at the Logies. The program's co-presenters, Carrie Bickmore and Waleed Aly, won Gold in the 2015 and 2016 awards respectively. This year, Waleed is nominated for the prestigious award again.
"I'm like the mother bird," Rove jokes of his mentoring role in The Project. "I sat there, settled them in a nest, massaged their little wings and waited for their feathers. Then I kicked them out of the nest and let them fly."
Carrie, 37, got her start as the newsreader on Rove Live. Rove believes that in another era she'd have won many more Gold Logies.
"I can't claim any real responsibility [for Carrie's success at the Logies], but I'll take it," he continues. "I was in New York when I heard she'd won. I was so overjoyed and proud. Carrie's an absolute natural and brings such warmth and heart to what she does."
It's not only Rove's protégés, including comedian Hamish Blake, who have enjoyed Logie success. His wife, Tasma Walton, 44, also has an award under her belt. Tasma won Most Popular New Talent in 1997 for her role as Constable Dash McKinley in Blue Heelers.
"Tasma's got hers – she's very proud of it," Rove says. "She put all our Logies together and said, 'I want everyone to know this one is mine.' It's on the desk in her study. We're both proud to have them in the house."
While the entertainer may own more Logies, he declares Tasma – recently on screen in the ABC dramas Cleverman and Mystery Road – has more talent.
"She's an incredibly diverse actor," Rove enthuses. "I'm biased, but I'm very proud of what she's done. I look forward to when our daughter Ruby can grow up to see how amazing her mummy is."
So does he think four-year-old Ruby will follow in her parents' footsteps?
"I do walk around saying what Tasma and I do for a living," Rove says. "So when she's old enough to be able to see Daddy's work, she's already invested in the catchphrases."
He adds with a laugh: "Oh, and I do tell her to say hi to her mum for me a lot too."
Rove's sign-off at the end of each Rove broadcast was, of course, "I'm Rove McManus – say hi to your mum for me."
The 2019 TV WEEK Logie Awards will air live from The Gold Coast in Queensland, exclusively on the Nine Network and 9Now on Sunday, June 30.