Waleed Aly's Late Session

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Lawyer, commentator, academic and musician, Waleed Aly seems to be the perfect host for new SBS variety show The Late Session.

The Late Session will see Australian writers, musicians, public figures and business leaders sound off on major contemporary issues from personal identity to modern families as well as "the global search for happiness" in an attempt to revive the network's in-house production of factual entertainment.

In the past, local attempts at imitating US talk shows, such as Micallef Tonight and David Tench Tonight have been short-lived. Nonetheless, it remains to be seen if Waleed Aly will make a more "animated" host than the likes of David Tench.

The first episode looks promising, with actor Jack Thompson, playwright David Williamson, singer/songwriter Dan Kelly, writer and teen-lit activist Randa Abdel-Fattah and investigative journalist Kate McClymont all scheduled to appear.

The hour-long episode will focus on the topic of storytelling, with Aly and his guests discussing why Australians are still so fixated with the outback in the contemporary world, and how effective characters are created, citing examples such as a Muslim teenager, Sydney crim, fantasy eco terrorist or Aussie larrikin.

Aly's reputation as one of Australia's most respected and versatile young media talents should also work in his favour.

Having already forged an impressive career in radio and television, Waleed Aly has interviewed a variety of subjects, from Prime Minister Julia Gillard to The Bangles, provided political analysis on Q & A and BBC World, been a writer and presenter on Salam Café and made guest appearances on Meet The Press, The 7.30 Report, Enough Rope with Andrew Denton and 7pm Project.

The Late Session premieres 10pm Tuesday, January 4 on SBS ONE.

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