Television presenter and comedian Rove McManus made his mark on the TV landscape nearly 20 years ago with the talk show Rove Live.
The series ran for 10 years from 1999 and won the likeable entertainer three TV WEEK Gold Logie Awards.
As the Logies turn the big 6-0 this year, the 44-year-old reflects on his time in the industry and the moments that have meant the most to him.
By the final episode of Rove Live, everyone in the country knew the cheeky West Australian. In unison, fans around Australia would repeat the host's catchcry, "Say hi to your mum for me", at the end of each episode.
But the TV veteran reveals he didn't always have support for his talk show idea. Although, he knew if he stuck to his guns, the audience would follow.
"When you start, it's not even about whether it's good," he says of getting his break in the industry. "It's just the fact that people can watch."
He explains it also doesn't have anything to do with viewer numbers.
"I was just excited if my 10 mates could see it," he says. "That's a huge success."
Soon it was more than just 10 mates watching.
Rove had the whole country paying attention to Rove Live. It wasn't long before it became the show where all the stars wanted to be seen.
"We had John Travolta and Hugh Jackman on together for the movie Swordfish in 2001," Rove says of cracking the international guests.
"I think we were the only show that got them, and had them live in the studio – that was a very big deal. That was the show that put us on the map."
For the entertainer, it was about capitalising on a gap in the TV industry.
"I loved tonight shows and variety shows," he explains. "But there wasn't anything like that here in Australia."
He adds that when the big names would visit, they'd find there were no shows to appear on.
"It felt a bit like our show – and me in particular – were an ambassador for Australia and the entertainment industry for when people would come Down Under," the star says.
It was the TV icons who came before him that inspired Rove to follow his dreams.
"I grew up watching The Mike Walsh Show," he reveals. "And shows like Blankety Blanks with [host] Graham Kennedy were a real favourite.
"As I got older, discovering people such as Bert Newton and seeing his time on Good Morning Australia, in particular, was just a staple for me."
Besides taking home three of his own Gold Logies, Rove has helped lead the way for more Gold Logie winners, including Waleed Aly and long-time friend Carrie Bickmore.
Both scored their gongs while co-hosting The Project, a show produced by Rove's company, Roving Enterprises.
With the recent addition of TV presenter and journalist Lisa Wilkinson, Rove is excited about the year ahead for The Project.
"The Sunday night edition has a slightly different feel and look," he explains. "And the fact that it's [filmed] out of Sydney, instead of Melbourne, is a good change."
He says it's great the show is able to put different faces out there.
As for having Lisa at the helm of the Sunday edition, Rove says there was no need to give the accomplished journalist direction.
"Lisa is used to doing three hours of live television during what's still the middle of the night," he laughs, referring to her decade as breakfast co-host on Today.
"I think doing one night a week to start with on the Sunday, at a reasonable hour, is a very easy transition for her to make."
Rove says that, at times, his three big Logie wins are still "pinch myself" moments.
But the star recalls the exact moment those wins finally sank in.
It was in the early hours of the morning, after all the glitz and glamour, and as the Logies were winding down. He was elated as he walked back to his hotel room.
"I've got a Logie in my hand, and I'm just seeing my face out the front of everybody's doorstep," Rove says of spotting the Logie edition of TV WEEK waiting for readers to open the following morning.
"It was a really nice validation of, 'I think I've made it. I'm going to be OK.'"
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