Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant the accuracy of closed captions. These are derived automatically from the broadcaster's signal.
Today Tonight -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) The world exclusive - he beat a life-threatening illness original Wiggle Greg Page on how and how he lost his Wiggles fortune. he sets the record straight For the first time, and drops a bombshell - his yellow skivvy. he wants to reclaim The power price surge -

wait till you see what's coming you think it's bad now, and the new technology on the way. you will never be overcharged again The self-monitor that guarantees up to 50% off your bills. and it will save you And the secret TV hit list - you were never meant to see. the leaked document can't get enough of The stars who the public and the ones they want off air - shocks galore. Good evening. And thanks for your company of Today Tonight. as we kick off another week with former Wiggle Greg Page. First our exclusive interview about Greg A lot has been said and written from the children's super group since his shock departure with a mystery illness. and his life-and-death battle Tonight he puts to rest the rumours of his Wiggles fortune he has lost. about how much

to set the record straight He wants to reporter David Eccleston and also talks as the yellow Wiggle. about a possible return at night, knowing the truth. I'm the one who has to sleep I miss the guys. I miss the performances. I miss being on stage dance along to our songs. and seeing the children facing up to reality. The original yellow Wiggle that are just not true Things that were said they have come from. and I don't know where For the first time, about blowing a fortune. Greg Page talks openly on the verge of bankruptcy. The perception is that you were Yeah. in the years out of the spotlight. The personal upheaval no doubt about that. That was the worst part of my life, And the entertainment bombshell - his yellow skivvy. why he wants to reclaim It's quite exciting to think about with the guys. being back on stage again to be a statue! MAN: Greg is pretending might think you know Greg Page. Millions of you where nothing is off limits. Now the real story # Greg is doing the driving... # ALL: (SING) two decades ago. It's a story that begins Fresh out of university, their now-famous coloured skivvies four mates minus

to international fame and fortune would begin the most remarkable rise

this country has ever seen. The cockroaches were out, the Wiggles were in. The Cockroaches were out, (SINGS) # Hot potato, hot potato! # Hot potato, hot potato! # Hot potato, hot potato! they really started to make a noise. In 1996, big, red car # # Toot-toot, chugga-chugga, top 50 entertainers rich list Debuting on the BRW with $900,000 - staggering wealth that was to come. loose change to the # For the queen of the roses. # here and abroad - They played sell-out concerts in New York City. London, Madison Square Garden The boys had hit the big time. The boys had hit the big-time. sold in their millions. DVD and music sales knew the songs, Just about every parent their kids knew every word. exports of all time in 2004, They became our most successful grossing $34.5 million. For the next four years, of the mega rich list, they stayed at the top of Kylie Minogue and AC/DC. beating the likes with a big smile on your face. And you say that You miss it. Yes, I miss it incredibly that I miss a grinding schedule and it's funny to think and a routine or regime kind of brought me to a position that I think, ultimately, where my health was so bad. Losing so much sweat, through performances. losing so much hydration of my body incredible journey of my life But it was the most I feel I was born to do. and it's something to be a children's entertainer. It just felt so natural (SINGS) # Go, Santa, go # Go, go, go... # the group notched up $50 million. In 2006, kings of kids' entertainment They were the undisputed around the globe. Hi. We're the Wiggles! I'm Murray. I'm Greg. I'm Anthony! I'm Geoff. Page suddenly pulled the pin. It was at the height of their power officially handed over his skivvy. Yellow Wiggle Greg Page has called orthostatic intolerance It's a condition when I stand up, which basically means that enough blood around my body. my heart doesn't pump The symptoms would come and go worse and worse, so when they started getting that the physical...ailments it seems now through loss of sweat were brought about predominantly through performing, with the Wiggles losing so much sweat and becoming totally dehydrated. the emotional unrest in my life But I also think that and making it a lot worse. was impacting on that I guess, for me, also, personal time in my life I was going through a very difficult a lot more than I realised and that whole thing played on me I can look back now and certainly for me on that time on my life there was physical illness and realise that some emotional unrest as well. and there was also

(SINGS) # Dorothy, Dorothy... # Page sold his share in the group for the many songs he wrote and retains royalties

as lead singer of the Wiggles. in his 15 years It was time for Greg to get help. In May 2008, well, on the road to recovery and cashed up, well on the road to recovery embarked on a new business venture - Greg Page luxury property developing - exclusive Hills district in Sydney, buying up acreage here in the into elaborate, extravagant estates pouring millions for the super-rich. Greg Page was flying high. Then, overnight, the GFC struck came crashing down. and his financial house of cards But you have blown millions of dollars? I've blown money on investments, unfortunately, in the GFC

that have gone pear-shaped, as you said before, and a lot of people have lost money in the GFC and my story is no different

and no more important than anybody else's. Would it be $10 million? No.

And I'm not going to talk any more about it because, as I said, that's my problem to deal with and I'm dealing with that. So when you see those reports and it makes for a great story - here's the guy that started the Wiggles, they're on the BRW list every year, he gets $55 million as a severance pay, blows it. What a story. It's made up, yeah. I mean... And that's the disappointing thing. But people believe, or like to believe, what they see and what they're told and, unfortunately, that story just isn't true. I want people to understand that amounts of money that, A, that I was making during the time I was with the Wiggles were grossly over-inflated. The amounts that I got paid The amount that I got paid when I left the Wiggles was grossly over-inflated and the amount of money that I supposedly lost on property development was incredibly over-inflated. But where would people get these figures from? We're talking... One commentator said that you would easily put $5 million in the bank at the end of the year. That means you're making $10 million each, right? $5 million in the bank. $55 million severance pay.

And tens of millions lost in property development that went pear-shaped. How could people get the figures so wrong? I don't know. Oh, yeah, I'm not going to speculate. So there's absolutely no truth to any of those figures?

No. For Greg, he's doing his best to move on. After his disastrous dabble into property, he won't be developing in the future. Personally, things are looking up. He's found new love, has a child and second wife Vanessa is expecting another baby in July. At just 39, Greg Page has overcome his crippling condition

and has just penned a new book, 'Now and Then', to be released June 1. What have your doctors told you? Well, the original diagnosis was that I'd become so depleted of salt and fluid over a number of years that it would take three to four years for me to be able to get back on track again. I guess that would explain why I'm feeling as good as I am now because that period of time has sort of been passed and I'm feeling good again. But your condition today is manageable? Yeah. Have you thought about picking up the phone and saying, "I want back in?" I mean, yeah, it's quite exciting to think about being back on stage again with the guys, but there's a reality that needs to be balanced out with that. You must have thought about it, though? Yeah, I have thought about it and, I guess, at the end of the thought process, the thought process is, "You know what? "If I were to go back to it, "I'd probably end up in the same position I was in." I'd probably end up getting run down again and dehydrated. I mean, I'd love to be able to do it but I don't know and I guess that's the thing - I don't know. Big question mark. As you're identifying, yes, I really do miss it and I'm just starting to acknowledge that now within myself that it's had more an affect on me than I thought it would have. (SINGS) # Ooh, it's Captain Feathersword # Obviously, Sam is doing a great job as the yellow Wiggle. Could you come back as a different-coloured Wiggle? I don't know. You'd have to ask them! I don't know if they'd want me back on not. We spoke to the Wiggles and we're told somewhere within their offices there's a green skivvy, an orange skivvy and a black skivvy. So could Greg return in some capacity? This afternoon, the Wiggles said in a statement, although Greg is much loved, there's no current plan for him rejoining the group. He misses it dearly and has fond memories but concedes for the immediate future it just won't happen. Where do you see yourself in the next five years? Ah...I don't know and I think that's part of the thrill of my life at the moment,

that there's still an open horizon before me and, you know, I would like to be able to get to a point

where I can help other people deal with life-changing experiences in their life. Greg denies his financial woes are forcing him to sell his Sydney mansion. It's currently not for sale. Neither is his Elvis collection, the fourth biggest in the world. I think, because I'm not touring so much now, it means that I can spend more time at home, obviously, and that is something that I find extremely rewarding. Being a good dad is something that I strive to do and I believe that I am a good dad and I try - every day I try to better myself in that area. Well, I've really enjoyed speaking to you. Is there anything else that you want to say? I've enjoyed speaking with you too! Thanks for your time. A pleasure. And you can read more about that story in this week's 'New Idea'. Take a look at your latest power bill and brace yourself for another shock. Power industry insiders predict it will double within six years. The surging prices are sparking a whole new industry to track electricity usage and make sure you're not being overcharged. Bryan Seymour has this exclusive look at what's new, including software on the way which promises to slash your bills no matter where you live. I think it's probably the first thing in decades and decades that actually starts to put the power back in consumers' hands. I feel like I'm paying more in electricity than I am in rent. Our electricity bill has gone up about 25%. Very much used to receiving one sort of off-peak rate. All of a sudden, that's changed. How much power is in a kilowatt? What does a kilowatt cost? How do you control where kilowatts go? Finally, you will have real power. This is it. It's a piece of software called Tendril Energize made by the Tendril company in Boulder, Colorado in the United States. This software analyses the smart meter at your home to find out exactly how much power you're really using, which appliances use the most power, how many kilowatts you're consuming and how much you're being charged per kilowatt. The system can then suggest ways for you to cut back and save. Now, the big selling point for this program is that it uses the internet to give you real-time guidance on saving power and money how you're going and it lets you compare how you're doing with all the other users on the grid, which you can do by computer or a wall display or a handheld device. The big question is, then, how much can you save? It also has the capacity of predicting for them in the middle of a 3-month period what their final bill might look like so it gives them a chance to actually change some behaviours before the bill actually gets produced. Phil Craig is the head of Origin Energy Australia. Soon, all of their 4.5 million customers nationwide may be able to compare their bill with their actual usage, thus ending the mystery surrounding seemingly unjustified electricity price hikes. It'll allow you to compare your current usage to last month, to a year ago.

We'll be able to do comparisons against averages across the state or the nation, against neighbourhood groups. Mother-of-one Sarah Donnelly is among the millions of Australians nearly broken by massive hikes in the electricity charges, mostly due to companies forwarding the cost of maintaining the power grid they use to sell us their product. People are starting to struggle, there's a lot of people losing their jobs and, you know, for the electricity companies and some of the other companies are starting to really hike their general, standard prices and it's pretty unfair. In Melbourne, struggling mother-of-one Peta Busbridge

has had to cut down on heating to survive. We can't use the heating because it's gonna put us in more debt. My daughter's freezing, we walk around cold and there's nothing we can do. We just get told we have to suffer and I have to pay this bill. This morning we spoke directly with the manufacturer in Colorado. They have just finished a pilot program of this technology in Massachusetts.

And what we found in that pilot was people saved about 9%

but it really depends on the person and on the situation, everybody's different. No government I think in Australia has done a genuinely effective education campaign on how people can save energy. Choice energy expert Matt Levey

has long lamented the lack of information available about the energy we use and the electricity we pay for. Yeah, exactly, realise it's actually about the customer. There's no point in having an electricity grid if you don't think about the people using it. Origin Energy will conduct a pilot trial of the energize program in 5,000 homes. You can register to be one of those households.

The details are on the Today Tonight website. Soon after, the program may be available across Australia, along with a suite of other energy-saving gadgets and software, including smart appliances, power monitors and connectivity to a smart grid of power sharing and saving homes. This is a first step to what will be a really radical change for the industry, I think. As Bryan mentioned,

you can register your interest in that trial by going to our website, where you'll find more details on all those power saving devices. Coming up - revealing the top-secret survey that rates the TV stars. Which personalities are viewer favourites and which ones are a turn-off? That's still ahead. 'Dancing with the Stars' seems to throw up new controversy every week. This time French favourite Manu Feildel is copping flak for making a sexist comment on last night's show. The studio audience let him know they booed him. It shocked the normally popular celebrity chef into a very quick apology. So how is Manu defending what he said? Lynda Kinkade has more. I'm sure as soon as he said it, he was like, "Ooh!" And the audience reaction was like, "He said what about women?" Maybe he was referring to a woman in the kitchen at home. What did I say? I didn't think it came out the right way. I hope he doesn't have the same problem. I would never say that! Revenge is a dish best served cold. Sexism is a dish best not served at all. I didn't mean it that way at all. This was the moment the audience let out a collective gasp and Twitter went into a frenzy. What did I say? A faux pas? A Freudian slip?

Or did the great chef dish out a serving of his true colours? It is a little bit French. I used to go to France teaching quite a lot and it is sort of a male culture in a way,

although they're pretty strong women. I think the women let them think they're the boss. Manu Feildel may be one of the best dancers but he wasn't the most popular last night. What did I say?! A visit by dance partner Alana to his workplace to give him some tips on improving his posture took a bit of a toll. Hello! What are you doing here? Maybe you need a higher bench. There, yeah? Floating rib cage. When asked about the workplace invasion, he served up a comment that did not go down well. The staff around me, I usually tell them what to do and suddenly a woman was telling me what to do in front of everyone, as well. Right! Good! Good! So it should be! What do you think, ladies and gentlemen? (AUDIENCE BOOS) What did I say? Ah...Olivia, would you like to tell him what to do? Yes, please! (LAUGHS) No.

It's brilliant, but I'm a woman. What would I know, Dan? When you're the boss in your environment, in your work, you're the one who tells people what to do and suddenly someone walks in and tells you what to do, you go... It doesn't sound right. Do you have a problem with women telling you what to do? No, not at all. Not at all. On the contrary, I like it! He wouldn't have got this far if he had a problem with women telling him what to do 'cause I tell him what to do! And sometimes I'm quite bossy and he never complains. So is it just in the kitchen you don't like being told what to do? No, no... I don't know what I was saying. I think I put my foot in it with no reason!

The fact that Alana was telling me what to do in front of my team was a bit, like, you know... "Who do you think you are?" So it didn't matter whether it was female or male, anyone coming into your workplace?

Telling me what to do, yeah, would have been the same reaction, yes. I do apologise because I didn't mean it that way at all. He's a good dancer so he'll rebound from that for sure. Other dancers last night were rebounding from injuries.

A sprained ankle for Lara Bingle... This really hurts. It's really sore. ..and bruised ribs for Haley Bracken... So I've got padding from my spine that runs all the way to the sternum. ..and Brynne Edelsten. I have eight ribs out of place so I saw the GP, the physio and the osteo last week so they got seven of them back in and now the bottom ones are bruised. But there were tears for golfing great Jan Stephenson...

Leaving 'Dancing with the Stars' tonight... ..who this week exited the show. ..Jan and Mark. I don't even cry when I lose a tournament but this has been amazing, the whole experience. Mark has been so amazing to teach me how to dance and that was my dream. # At the Copa, Copacabana # Music and passion were always the fashion # At the Copa... don't fall in love. # (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) Lynda Kinkade reporting. Here's what's coming up on Today Tonight. Next, running down 'Blind Joey'. Plus, the secret TV hit list you were never meant to see. Shocks galore. TV's biggest names for the chopping block and those who are about to take off. Imagine what you can do with unlimited SMS. Simply recharge with $30 on Optus Prepaid Turbo Cap Plus

and you'll get $300 of value to call mobiles here and overseas. Plus unlimited SMS to family and friends in Australia. Imagine the possibilities. VOICEOVER: During development, we'll thermal test a car to see how every part of it reacts when pushed to its limits. It may seem excessive, but that's how we test for quality. That's what makes it a Toyota. Welcome back. We have some news on the con man who posed as a vision-impaired person to trick people out of tens of thousands of dollars. This is how he wanted people to see him, as a blind but wealthy self-made businessman. This is what happened when we exposed him. Joey, you're supposed to be blind, mate. After being busted, Joseph Slattery promised to repay more than $100,000 he'd conned out of people. Instead, he got another $15,000 off this Melbourne cabbie. That money was supposed to be invested in shares. Of course it wasn't. But it also wasn't long before police caught up with him. Last week he pleaded guilty to deception and is serving a 10-month jail term. Now to the rating system that measures how bankable a television personality is or isn't. They're called Q Scores

and normally only the company that compiles them and television executives get to see them. But the latest Q Scores have been made public, revealing the stars who have the X factor and the ones who have outstayed their welcome. James Thomas has more. The guy that does 'Deal or No Deal'. Andrew O'Keefe? Yeah. Kochie. Samantha Armytage. Tony Jones. Josh Thomas. Merrick and Rosso. Hamish and Andy. Eddie McGuire. TV networks pay big money researching what you think of their stars. Top of the morning to you. You don't want to miss this. What's your normal job? The ones you like and the ones you don't are compiled on secret lists called 'Q Scores'.

This list has never been published before. Well, the secrecy is important in television because stars can use them as leverage

to get more money out of their boss. This year, the list has been leaked - the network's secret bible on who's hot and who's not. Q Scores are worked out by 2,000 people representing the public at large scoring various personalities online. A star's recognition is considered alongside what people think of them, good, bad or indifferent. Then the magic number or Q Score is derived. Yeah. Look at this one. There you go. Wait for it. Oh! There he goes! And if your name is Hamish Blake, it's happy days - he is ranked as the number one personality in Australia. Andrew Denton is second and Rebecca Gibney our third most-watchable star. Rebecca Gibney scored very highly because she's such a lovely character on television and she's in such a popular show. TV commentator Di Butler has reservations about Q Scores. For example, how is it the man judged Australia's Gold Logie winner could only muster 135th place on the list? People might be shocked to find Karl Stefanovic came in reasonably lowly on the list but Karl is really popular. Just not as popular as perennial favourites such as Magda Szubanski at 10th, Adam Hills, 9th or Ernie Dingo in 6th place. Hang on - is that guy still on television? Mate, they would have got up

to all sorts of stuff in here, wouldn't they? I don't know whether the list is necessarily that accurate because there were a lot of people who weren't on air and the survey was done last year and a lot of things have changed.

Kyle Sandilands doesn't even make the top 250. His Q Score is a shocking 4%. Compared to 29% for Hamish, it ain't great. But the show he's on now is going gang busters and love him or hate him, he is a key ingredient. With lights and a little razzle-dazzle,

you could make that quite an amazing television experience. If all decisions inside television networks were based upon Q Scores, there would be a lot of people on that list that would be thinking about early retirement or wondering about their next pay packet. Bert Newton and Sam Newman rank as among the least liked of our stars.

For media planners and buyers such as Steve Allen, this information is valuable. We use Q Scores for our clients, placing advertising inventory.

And that's what makes Q Scores matter. If the ad dollars follow them, so will network bosses. So from our perspective,

television executives take notice of these Q Scores. Which means if you're Hamish Blake, you've hit paydirt. In fact, just making the list is a good effort - plenty don't. Your favourite TV personality? Who is it?

You! "You." Smart lady. I'll take that. Coming up, what happened to the lucky country? It's desperate times for our forgotten pensioners. During the war and during the depression, people live in conditions that today we wouldn't tolerate. So why do they have to live like this? I'm a hair stylist. I couldn't be more proud. When you look in the mirror and you can see your clients looking back and they're doing their little mirror face, you can just tell that you have made them feel like a million bucks. My clients love the way their hair looks, the way their hair feels. They know I'll never recommend products that I don't totally believe in. There's a reason why Biolage is iconic. Kiss dry goodbye. Hair that's hydrated is healthy. It's got life. For your free sample of Biolage, go to: Entertaining Sydney with creativity, Vivid Sydney transforms the city with spectacular 3D interactive lighting installations

and art sculptures around Circular Quay, the Rocks and Sydney Opera House.

Vivid LIVE features over 20 international and local music performances. And you can register for inspiring, creative forums. Lights go on at 6pm daily. Visit for details. Tomorrow night, the forgotten pensioners living in squalor and the desperate attempts to make their lives better. It's a battle they shouldn't have to fight. That's tomorrow night. And in the morning on 'Sunrise', Kochie's housing guide. The suburbs doing well solution. We are and the ones where prices are falling. solution. We are all horrified. I

need help.