Zan Rowe will co-host the ABC's 2018 New Year's Eve broadcast with Charlie Pickering.
Zan Rowe will co-host the ABC's 2018 New Year's Eve broadcast with Charlie Pickering. Supplied

Ring in the New Year with musical firsts

VIEWERS are setting the soundtrack to this year's New Year's Eve celebrations on the ABC. Based on the theme 'the night is yours', the national broadcaster put out the call for the public to vote on a party playlist for its live broadcast from the Sydney Opera House.

The results may surprise some, says returning co-host Zan Rowe.

"We asked everyone to vote on their favourite songs and it was interesting to see how different people voted in different states for their number one," she says.

"In Victoria and Canberra they voted for Eagle Rock (by Daddy Cool), while in the NT it was Pharrell's Happy and Kylie Minogue's Can't Get You Out of My Head was voted number one in Queensland.

"I like that it wasn't just all old classics. In terms of demographics, people in their 60s and 70s voted for The Rolling Stones' (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction while people in their 20s voted for Queen's Don't Stop Me Now. Thanks to (the film) Bohemian Rhapsody there's been a resurgence in Queen's music."This year's star-studded concert will feature Aussie rocker Daryl Braithwaite, pop singer Christine Anu, Daddy Cool co-founder Ross Wilson, American singer/songwriter Ben Folds, Casey Donovan, Isabella Manfredi (of the Preatures), pop duo Client Liaison, Indigenous hip-hop artist Baker Boy, soul singer Kaiit and drummer G Flip.

The broadcast will also serve as the world premiere for a new song by Aussie singer, writer, satirist and actor Tim Minchin.

"I'm really excited about seeing the Aretha franklin tribute by Casey Donovan and Christine Anu," Rowe says.

"Ben Folds will be in the country for a personal Christmas event and he got in contact and said 'Hey I heard the New Years broadcast is pretty fun'. He's a great showman. He'll perform some covers as well as his own songs. He's friends with Tim Minchin, who's going to join Ben for a duet on a classic song. Tim will also be premiering a new song of his own called 15 Seconds.


Tim Minchin, the first artist to perform here at Home of the Arts. Pic: Lyndon Mechielsen.
Tim Minchin will premiere his new song 15 Seconds during the ABC's New Year's Eve broadcast on Monday night.

"I think it's going to be even better this year. I know that's a big statement but it's going to be wall-to-wall hits."

It didn't take much to get Rowe back for another night of work on one of the biggest party nights of the year, which also happens to be right in the middle of her break from hosting her Double J radio show Mornings.

"I had such a great time last year. Charlie (Pickering) and I were dancing while the songs were playing and in the ad breaks. We're working with the same team this year including the same backing band headed by Ash Naylor

"The one thing you can't mess up is that countdown because those fireworks are going off no matter what. This year I'm going to let Charlie handle that so I can try to not look at the clock and enjoy it.

"Unlike last year, where the night ended with the fireworks, this year the fireworks will happen and Charlie and I will come back on stage for something special with a few friends."

New Year's Eve: The Night Is Yours airs on Monday from 9.30pm on ABC-TV.