Dannii Minogue’s ex Kris Smith lands plum international TV presenter role

Brendan Moar (left) and Kris Smith (second from right) at the launch of the Insight channel at the Mipcom market in Cannes. Photo: Michael IdatoNew The X-Files makes a dazzling debutThe five hottest scripted dramas at Mipcom​

With a crowd of almost 14,000 pounding the pavement at the annual television market Mipcom, its tough to stand out. But it seemed this week two Aussie blokes stood head and shoulders above the rest.

n television hosts Brendan Moar and Kris Smith attended the global program sales market in Cannes, France, to spruik a new European-headquartered ultra high-definition TV channel which has hired the pair as its leading presenters.

The channel, named Insight, is broadcast in so-called “4K” ultra high-definition (UHD). It is launching with 200 hours of UHD programming which Moar, Smith and a third presenter, Thom Hunt, will front.

“TV is undergoing enormous change and everybody is always talking about that but this channel is stepping up to that challenge, as immersive, interactive and complete a TV experience as possible,” Moar told Fairfax Media in Cannes.

“It feels like TV of the next generation,” he said.

The Insight channel is delivered in both a linear (scheduled) and non-linear (on-demand) format throughout Europe and Asia via a number of services, including SES Astra, Tricolour and ITV Network.

The planned roll-out of the channel did not initially , but because Moar and Smith both have high media profiles here, it will be launched in as a web-based streaming channel.

Insight’s programming includes Spartan X, which puts 12 contestants through Spartan-style endurance competitions, On The Run, in which a celebrity is pursued by two “hunters” through a city, and Dracula, a horror-themed series in which contestants must solved riddles in order to escape a locked room deep inside a Romanian castle.

The program slate comes from some of Europe’s best production companies, including Strix and Zodiak Media.

Moar and Smith were recruited for the channel earlier this year.

“Shows were pitched, but not in too much detail,” Smith told Fairfax Media. “There was talk about where these shows would be filmed, there was talk of the channel, which hadn’t even launched yet. It was so left of field it was intriguing.”

Moar said his experience was very similar.

“There’s always secrecy around something like this, and no one wants to give anything away,” he said. “It was beautifully made info-tainment, adventure-based, science-based and sports-based, but really wanting to get inside the subject.”

The pair then flew to Amsterdam for meetings with the network’s executives. Neither knew of the other’s involvement until they ran into each other in an airport lounge as both were departing.

“Discovering Kris was part of this was awesome,” Moar said. “Suddenly I felt like I had a partner in crime. And both of us got it, we worked out what it was and I think since then it’s been a fun ride. It’s an amazing opportunity.”

The pair arrived in Cannes last weekend, ahead of the devastating storms which hit the region.

On their first night in Cannes they went to watch the World Cup rugby in a local pub but when the storm escalated the pub was closed and they were forced to return to their hotel, wading through rising floodwaters.

“It didn’t to the naked eye seem to bad, but unfortunately the next day the bad news broke that people had lost their lives,” Smith said. Moar added: “Where we were we had absolutely no sense of what was happening anywhere else, nor could we.”

The four-day Mipcom market wraps having pushed almost 14,000 industry executives past content from approximately 2000 companies representing 100 countries.

“It’s a big circus of TV people, buying and selling,” Moar said of the organised chaos. “You get the sense the whole world of television is here and just how vast it is. It’s a bit of a perspective moment in terms of where you sit in the world of TV. It’s very eye-opening.”

Among Mipcom’s high-profile guests were the newly anointed Top Gear host Chris Evans, Heroes Reborn creator Tim Kring, British screenwriter Andrew Davies and The X-Files creator/producer Chris Carter.

One of the market’s major events was the premiere of the redux of The X-Files, which drew huge crowds and generated enormous buzz.


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