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Waleed Aly wins Gold and Best Presenter Logies - dedicates award to Dimitris and Mustafas


Diversity is its own reward.

Logies 2016: Waleed Aly wins top prize, Noni Hazlehurst inducted into Hall of Fame

Updated about 3 hours ago

Waleed Aly
Waleed Aly has taken out the top prize at Australian television's night of nights, dedicating his Gold Logie to "Dimitri, Mustafa, and all other people with unpronounceable names like Waleed".

Big winners at the Logies:

  • Best TV Personality: Waleed Aly (The Project, Network Ten)
  • Best Actress: Jessica Marais (Love Child, Nine Network)
  • Best Actor: Erik Thomson (800 Words, Channel Seven)
  • Most Outstanding Actress: Deborah Mailman (Redfern Now, ABC)
  • Most Outstanding Actor: Alex Dimitriades (The Principal, SBS)
  • Best Presenter: Waleed Aly (The Project, Network Ten)

The presenter of Channel 10's news current affairs program The Project beat five other nominees including two fellow news presenters in the Best Television Personality category.

Those pipped at the post included Aly's co-host Carrie Bickmore, who won the top prize last year, and SBS News veteran Lee Lin Chin, the Logies underdog.

Aly, who also took home Best Presenter, told the audience people from diverse cultural backgrounds deserved greater representation on the small screen, and opened his acceptance speech with a nod to awkward comments made in the lead-up to the awards ceremony.

"Do not adjust your sets … there's nothing wrong with the picture. I'm sure there's an Instagram filter you can use to return things to normal," he joked.

"This is happening, it's true. Finally a male presenter on commercial TV has won the Gold Logie."

Aly told the audience about a fan called Dimitri who urged him to take home the prize.

"He came up to me and through gritted teeth commanded me to claim this award tonight. This really, really mattered to him. This really meant something to him," Aly said.

"It matters to them for a particular reason. That reason was brought home shudderingly not so long ago when someone who is in this room — and I'm not going to use the name they use in this industry — came up to me and said: 'I really hope you win. My name is Mustafa. But I can't use that name because I won't get a job.' And it matters to people like that that I am here.

"To Dimitri and Mustafa and all the other people with unpronounceable names like Waleed, I want to say one thing: that is that I am incredibly humbled you would even think to invest in me that way.

"But I'm also incredibly saddened by it because the truth is you deserve more numerous and more worthy avatars than that. 

"I don't know if and when that's going to happen but if tonight means anything ... that is the Australian public, our audience, as far as they're concerned there is absolutely no reason that can't change."