In his first year on the job, Waleed Aly has taken home not just the Silver, but the Gold Logie at the 58th TV Week Logie Awards for his presenting role on Channel Ten’s 'The Project'.
Aly was a hot contender for the publicly voted award, and beat out veteran SBS presenter Lee Lin Chin, his own colleague Carrie Bickmore, actress Essie Davis, Grant Denyer and Scott Cam for the prized accolade.
Upon receiving the award, Aly joked: "There's nothing wrong with the picture. If you are in the room I'm sure there's an Instagram filter to return things to normal. It will be fine."
Aly’s popularity soared this year with impassioned speeches like “ISIS is weak” and his eloquent takedown on issues like negative gearing and homelessness.
For both acceptance speeches, Aly thanked his wife, Susan, while reflecting on the significance of this award for him as a Muslim man.
"There have been a lot of people in the past week or two who have made it clear to me that me being here right now really matters to them," Aly said.
"It matters to them for a particular reason. That reason was brought home eerily not so long ago when someone who is in this room -- and I'm not going to use the name they use in the industry -- came up to me, introduced themselves 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.'"
Aly continued: "He's here tonight. And it matters to people like that that I am here. I know it's not because of me. I know that."
"But if tonight means anything, it's that the Australian public, our audience, as far as they're concerned, there is absolutely no reason why that can't change," Aly said.
Channel Ten's 'The Project' also won Best News Panel/Current Affairs Program.
It was a night of quick wit and frankness by all, with Lee Lin Chin schooling Shane Jacobson on how far SBS has really come, after he questioned Chin on why it had taken SBS so long to land a Logie nomination.
“I think it's time to stop the jokes. I'm very proud and very proud for SBS. I'm profoundly sincere when I say that it's about time we are accepted into the whole pantheon of television in this country,” Chin said.
Meanwhile, everyone’s favourite comedian Tim Minchin used his acceptance speech for Most Outstanding Supporting Actor for his role in 'The Secret River' to highlight the importance of revisiting Australia’s true history.
“It's extremely complicated and painful. And it's hard to know how to tell a story respectfully -- and how to make sure we amplify the right voices -- but I do know that ‘let's get over it and move on’ doesn't cut it. And it never has in any culture in the history of the world,” Minchin said.
Noni Hazlehurst was inducted into the Hall of Fame for her dedication to the entertainment industry that’s spanned more than 40 years.
“I think of myself as a storyteller and since forever stories have been crafted and told to help us make sense of the world and to realise that we're not alone.”
Hazlehurst delivered a hard-hitting acceptance speech highlighting the gender and racial inequality that exists within the industry while also reflecting on the need for unity and good news amongst the bad.
“I fear that our hearts are growing cold. The fact that I'm only the second woman to be given this honour is merely a reflection of the prevailing guard,” Hazlehurst said.
“As is the suggestion in some quarters the eligibility of esteemed colleagues Waleed Aly and Lee Lin Chin going for gold is questionable. Things are changing. They're changing slowly,” Hazlehurst said.
All of the 2016 Logies winners below
GOLD LOGIE - BEST PERSONALITY ON AUSTRALIAN TV - Waleed Aly(The Project, Network Ten)
BEST ACTOR - Erik Thomson (800 Words, Channel Seven)
BEST ACTRESS - Jessica Marais (Love Child, Nine Network)
BEST PRESENTER - Waleed Aly (The Project, Network Ten)
BEST NEW TALENT - Adam Dovile (Better Homes and Gardens, Channel Seven)
BEST DRAMA PROGRAM - Home and Away (Channel Seven)
BEST ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAM - Family Feud (Network Ten)
BEST REALITY PROGRAM - The Block (Nine Network)
MOST OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR - Tim Minchin (Smasher Sullivan, The Secret River, ABC)
MOST OUTSTANDING COMEDY PROGRAM - Shaun Micallef's Mad As Hell (ABC)
MOST OUTSTANDING SPORTS COVERAGE - KFC T20 Big Bash League (Network Ten)
BEST LIFESTYLE PROGRAM - The Living Room (Network Ten)
BEST FACTUAL PROGRAM - Gogglebox (Foxtel – The LifeStyle Channel/Network Ten)
MOST OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS - Celia Ireland (Liz Birdsworth, Wentworth, Foxtel – SoHo)
BEST SPORTS PROGRAM - The NRL Footy Show (Nine Network)
MOST OUTSTANDING NEWS COVERAGE - "Parramatta Shooting" (Seven News, Channel Seven)
MOST OUTSTANDING CHILDREN’S PROGRAM - Ready For This (ABC3)
MOST OUTSTANDING ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAM - Gruen (ABC)
MOST OUTSTANDING MINISERIES OR TELEMOVIE - The Secret River (ABC)
BEST NEWS PANEL OR CURRENT AFFAIRS PROGRAM - The Project (Network Ten)
MOST OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES - Glitch (ABC)
MOST OUTSTANDING PUBLIC AFFAIRS REPORT - The Killing Season (The Killing Season, ABC)
MOST OUTSTANDING ACTOR - Alex Dimitriades (Matt Bashir, The Principal, SBS)
MOST OUTSTANDING ACTRESS - Deborah Mailman (Lorraine, Redfern Now: Promise Me, ABC)