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THE FORWARD PASS | Channel Nine’s Surprise New Commentator

The fake news that’s actually fake.

Channel Nine will employ an Australian comedy legend when the 2020 NRL season resumes.
Originally reluctant to be involved in the shortened 2020 season due to cost, Nine will use ‘The 12th Man’ Billy Birmingham to replace the usual commentary team.

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“We’ll stick Billy in our Sydney studio and get him to do all our commentators’ voices – while watching the game off TV – for our Thursday night, Friday night and Sunday games,’ said Nine CEO Hugh Marks. “We’ll save so much money by only paying one salary.”
“We know Billy can do a brilliant Rabs, so we’ve been conducting Zoom meetings with him to master Gus, Joey, Freddy, Sterlo, Locky, the King, James Bracey etc.”

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Birmingham, who released his last 12th Man album in 2006, is looking forward to the challenge.
“I can’t wait. The Nine footy commentators are like the old cricket boys that I used to parody. One deadset legend followed by a bunch of has-been know-it-alls who keep reminding us how good they used to be. My aim is to take the piss out of that annoying self-indulgence, mixed in with some Rabbits commentary gold, a few ‘no, no, no, no’s’ from Gus, and a few cheeky Fatty head wobbles.”

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Marks is confident that Birmingham’s inclusion will bring massive ratings.

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“Everyone loves Billy, and he’s good enough to keep viewers interested even when the novelty value wears off. I feel he’s really going to rise to the occasion come grand final night. We might even keep him for 2021 if the ratings are good enough.”
Nine’s mid-week panel shows will continue as usual, including a two-hour spinoff of Gus Gould’s Six Tackles with Gus podcast.
“Gus was shitty about not being able to commentate anymore and demanded his own show as compensation; otherwise he would have told the NRL to take the Broncos’ Friday night games away from us,” said Marks. “You’ve got to pick your battles sometimes.”
The Forward Pass is a fictional and deliberately ridiculous look at the NRL. References to real people is for satirical purposes only. Check it out on Twitter @thefwdpass
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