‘Hutchy’ Footy Show failure

Channel Nine’s AFL Footy Show take a look at some of Sam Newman and Hutchy’s funny highlights. Courtesy: The AFL Footy Show/Channel Nine

Craig Hutchison working out in preparation for hosting The Footy Show in 2017.

CRAIG “Hutchy” Hutchison has been met with a negative response in some parts following his debut as AFL Footy Show host.

Some viewers have already called time on the much-loved program, pledging to turn off for the rest of the season because they’re unhappy with the new line-up.

The AFL Footy Show has gone through several changes in recent years, after inaugural host Eddie McGuire left the program.

Garry Lyon and James Brayshaw managed to do a brilliant job continuing the early success of the show, assisted by longstanding members Shane Crawford, Billy Brownless and the controversial Sam Newman.

But, as Lyon left the program amid controversy last season following revelations that he was involved in an affair with the ex-wife of fellow panellist Brownless, the ratings have dived.

Rebecca Maddern became the first female panellist to join the Footy Show team, but the move failed to address the downward trend.

Hutchison was handed the hosting reigns for 2017 after James Brayshaw failed to re-sign with Nine, following a breakdown in contract talks.

On the evidence from Thursday’s opening program, it seems Hutchison may not be the right move.

Sportsbet established a market on whether the new face of the Footy Show franchise would be greeted with boos or cheers.

Boos were the favoured option, however the live audience gave a mixed response.

Social media, however, gave a clear indication of what it thought of the new host — it was mostly negative.

Some said they would not watch the show for the rest of the season, others failed to get through the opening segment.

Others were more complimentary.

The opening few minutes focused on the rocky relationship enjoyed by Hutchison and controversial panellist Sam Newman over the years.

Newman provided his first shock of the season, coming out with a freshly-shaved head.

After a bizarre introduction where Newman was introduced dressed as US President Donald Trump, the Geelong legend went on a lengthy rant where he spoke negatively about Trump, and educated the audience on smegma (yes, you read that correctly).

Newman would then show off the new doo, removing a wig, revealing a freshly shaved head, a show of solidarity to balding host Hutchison.

It wasn’t all bad though as a new segment called “Open Mouth”, a parody of journalist Mike Sheahan’s interview show on Fox Footy “Open Mike” drew some praise from fans.

But even an exclusive interview with underworld identity Mick Gatto wasn’t met favourably. Some viewers criticised Nine for letting Newman conduct the interview instead of a Nine journalist.

Keen AFL fans from other states also had cause to show their anger after the much publicised live stream failed to work at all.

Nine informed fans that they would have the option to watch the AFL Footy Show live on 9 Now, however viewers simply got an error message when they tried to tune in.

At least Hutchy had fun.