infobox television
show_name = Startalk

caption =
format = talk show
picture_format = 480i SDTV
runtime = 2 hours
creator = GMA Network
starring = Butch Francisco
Joey de Leon
Lorna Tolentino
Lolit Solis
country = Philippines
network = GMA Network
first_aired = November 181995
last_aired = present
num_episodes = 628 episodes (as of February 2, 2008)
preceded_by = Movie Magazine
website =

Startalk is a top-rating showbiz-oriented television talk show in the Philippines aired every Saturday afternoons by GMA Network and simulcast over DZBB Super Radyo.


The show premiered on November 19 1995 as GMA Network's answer to ABS-CBN's top-rating Sunday showbiz talk show "Showbiz Lingo". The original hosts of the show were Boy Abunda, Lolit Solis and Kris Aquino. It first aired on a late Sunday afternoon timeslot, parallel to that of Showbiz Lingo.

"Startalk" fared badly in its initial telecasts but it did not stop the show from continuously innovating and catching other people's attention. The most defining moment of the show came on December 1995 when it became the first showbiz talk show to report about Gabby Concepcion and Jenny Syquia's separation due to Gabby's alleged wife-beating. At that time, the wounds were still fresh between Gabby and his former manager Lolit Solis due to the 1994 Manila Film Festival scam. So when the show came out on its story on the Gabby-Jenny separation, it out-scooped its rival show for the first time.

After the initial exclusive scoop on the Gabby-Jenny separation, "Startalk" continued to churn out one explosive story after the other. Because of these exclusive stories "Startalk" became "The Showbiz Authority".

Some of the exclusive stories that came out on the first year of "Startalk" were the following:

* The Jojo Veloso Scandal
* The Hilda Koronel-Dr. Minguita Padilla Feud
* Rosanna Roces' Revelation on her Marital Status
* Mel Tiangco and Jay Sonza's Sentiments against their Former Network

In October 1996, exactly after a year of airing, "Startalk" won its first award as Best Showbiz Oriented Talk Show from the Philippine Movie Press Club's Star Awards. However, the celebration was only brief as main host Kris Aquino left the show to join rival network ABS-CBN.

Dawn, Osang and the T! Segment Hosts

When Kris left "Startalk" in 1996, award-winning actress Dawn Zulueta came in to fill the vacant slot as host. She brought glamour to the show and complemented the loud duo of Boy and Lolit. During the show's second year, it slowly gained an audience Fact|date=November 2007 and ate a significant portion of its rival show's share of viewers.

But Dawn didn't last long in "Startalk" as she bade goodbye to her single-blessedness and married Davao businessman Anton Lagdameo in 1997. Sexy star Rosanna Roces was named as the new co-host and immediately blended with Boy and Lolit (who became her new manager).

Although Boy Abunda became famous for his "Mahiwagang Salamin" (or the Magic Mirror) when he grills controversial showbiz figures in the show and Lolit Solis for her never-ending greetings, Rosanna was clearly "Startalk"'s crowd-drawer and stole the limelight from her co-hosts. Her tactless remarks and flimsy gowns became the most anticipated moments in the show and earned the ire of the MTRCB. As a result, "Startalk" was able to close the ratings gap with its competitor while continuously dishing out the hottest exclusive showbiz news. Fact|date=November 2007

Aside from Rosanna (or Osang), "Startalk" also gave a big break to a trio of newcomers anonymously known as Steve, Fayatollah and Pepita. The new loud segment hosts handled "Startalk"'s tabloid segment "T! Tigbak Authority" where they criticize the senseless headlines printed on tabloid and the fashion statements of the movie/TV stars during awards night. Fayatollah (Real name: Issa Aguirre) later on became a regular fixture in other GMA shows while Pepita posed for FHM magazine last August 2003.

New timeslot for The Showbiz Authority

In June 07 1998, the GMA management decided to move "Startalk" to an early Saturday afternoon slot right after Eat Bulaga. This was a significant move because although "Startalk" created a noise in the Sunday afternoons for the past three years, it never gained headway against its rival show "Showbiz Lingo". Moreover, the move favored Boy, Lolit, Osang and the staff of "Startalk" (led by Floy Quintos) since they can dish out more exclusive showbiz news earlier than its competitor. Prior to the move, the Saturday afternoons belonged to GMA's other showbiz talk show "ETChing;Entertaiment Today with Lyn Ching" hosted by Lyn Ching. When Paolo Bediones joined Lyn on the show, "ETChing" was reformatted and became "S-Files". It occupied "Startalk"'s previous Sunday afternoon time slot.

"Startalk" continued to dish out more exclusive stories on its new timeslot. In fact, this was the time when Boy Abunda's popularity rose to new heights. New portions like "Da Who" and "Startalk True Stories" were introduced. Of course, there's Rosanna's ever-reliable potshots (mostly at the rival network) and outrageous gowns, and Lolit's non-stop greetings that netted her a 60-second portion in the show entitled "Alok Bati" (Offer a Greeting) at the end of the show.

"Startalk" also pioneered the no-nonsense segment, "Walang Takot Sasabihin (WTS)", ("lit." Not Afraid to Tell) where the show speaks out its opinion about the week's biggest showbiz news. The segment became controversial in 2003-2005 at the height of several showbiz issues, particularly in the television industry when GMA Network's talents and shows were heavily criticized on air by ABS-CBN talents, particularly Kris Aquino and Cristy Fermin. Later on, ABS-CBN copied the "WTS" segment of "Startalk" by coming up with their own commentary segment over "The Buzz" entitled "Ang Sa Amin Lang" (In Our Opinion).

Farewell Boy, Hello Butch

"Startalk" reigned in the Saturday afternoon ratings where drama shows from ABS-CBN used to dominate the slot. But in May 1999 the show had to say goodbye to one of its pioneer hosts, Boy Abunda after he got an offer from ABS-CBN to host the new Sunday talk show "The Buzz" and was given several shows. The GMA management hired former "Showbiz Lingo" host Butch Francisco to replace Boy Abunda in the show. Fact|date=November 2007

Boy's farewell from "Startalk" left Lolit Solis as the sole pioneer host from the show. The show's ratings declined after Boy left but like a phoenix rising from the ashes, it regained its share of viewers Fact|date=November 2007 a few months after, thanks to the newfound chemistry of Butch, Lolit and Osang.

Osang's controversies

Rosanna Roces was Startalk's consistent crowd-drawer ever since she started on the show. But with her popularity came several issues raised against her. Some viewers observed Osang as too frank with her comments and occasionally displays her lewd conduct in front of her guests. The MTRCB even issued a warning against Osang for wearing gowns that are too provocative, two of them when she hosted the 1998 Star Awards for Television where she just wore a body paint to cover one of her breasts, and one where she wore an all-black nun costume with a silver cross at the front, with a see through satin at the back, revealing her buttocks. A very emotional Osang later on appeared in the show a week after the awards night wearing a black t-shirt that printed "Down with Hypocrisy" as her response to MTRCB's warning. She stressed that MTRCB should not single her out and instead look after the slew of sex movies that came out in theatres almost weekly.

Another controversy that put Osang in hot water was her statement regarding the stories surrounding the mysterious death of matinee idol Rico Yan in 2002. Fact|date=November 2007 Yan died from acute hemorraghic pancreatitis (or more popularly known in Filipino parlance as "bangungot") but Osang claimed on the air that he died of drug overdose and that Rico's friend Dominic Ochoa is also into it as well. Osang's controversial statement drew irate reactions from Rico's legion of fans and threatened to boycott "Startalk" for as long as she is there. As a result, the GMA management suspended Osang for a month.

The Kapisanan ng mga Broadkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) was also one of the governing bodies that censured Osang in 2003, together with newscaster Mike Enriquez. It triggered GMA's withdrawal of its membership from the said group.

On year 2004, Osang had a widely-publicized feud with close friend and dermatologist Dra. Vicki Belo. The said feud had something to do with Osang allegedly violating the contract she signed with Belo's company, Forever Flawless, where she was the main endorser. As a result, Osang was replaced by Lorna Tolentino and Katya Santos. Osang retaliated the move by not acknowledging Forever Flawless on-air (which she was supposed to do as part of the exchange deal) and instead started to acknowledge Dra. Belo's rivals in the dermatology industry, Drs. Manny and Pie Calayan. She also revealed on air that her liposuction sessions with Dra. Belo was not something she was really proud of and called Dra. Belo just a gym instructor.

When Osang jointly celebrated her birthday with co-host and manager Lolit Solis during a special episode of "Startalk" during May of 2004, not too many people knew that it would be her last live appearance on the show. A week later after the joint birthday celebration, she was a no-show during "Startalk"'s regular live telecast and instead had a phone patch with co-host Butch Francisco. During the on-air phone patch, she called Lolit "ahas" (snake) and threatened to boycott the show as long as Lolit is there. It was reported that after the said phone interview, GMA management tried to pacify Osang and Lolit's feud by calling the two for a meeting. But the two warring hosts declined. The "Startalk" staff also reportedly sided with Lolit and threatened to boycott the show if GMA decided to side with Osang. On the first week of June 2004, Osang finally bade goodbye to "Startalk", by appearing on GMA's other talk show "S-Files" and declared that she was out of the show. After her farewell with GMA Network, Osang appeared at The Buzz where she revealed her issues with Vicky Belo and Lolit Solis.

10 Years

Year 2005 marked the 10th year of Startalk in the Philippine TV Industry, making it the longest running showbiz-oriented talkshow on Philippine TV. At present, the show is hosted by Lolit Solis, Butch Francisco, Lorna Tolentino and Joey De Leon. It released a commemorative magazine, featuring the present hosts and former hosts of the show (except for Rosanna Roces).

Crisis: Lorna Tolentino

This year 2008, "Startalk" suffered a hosting crisis when one of its hosts, Lorna Tolentino took a leave from the show to take care of her ailing husband, action star Rudy Fernandez. The show had weekly updates on the actor's battle with periampullary cancer until his recent death last June 6, 2008. After Rudy's burial, it was unclear whether Lorna will stay on as host of the show.

More than a month after her husband Rudy's death, Lorna appeared live for the last time on "Startalk" as special guest. In her last guesting appearance, she told stories about her recent trip to Jerusalem which gave her time to heal emotional wounds brought about by Daboy's death. Last Friday, September 19, 2008, she finally bade goodbye to GMA executives after she decided to accept ABS-CBN's offer which included movie appearances on Star Cinema, a recording deal with Star Records and a soap opera which will feature her alongside Gabby Concepcion.

Joey de Leon as "Commentirador"

On August 30, 2008, "Startalk" launches another innovation among Philippine showbiz talk shows. With TV host/comedian Joey De Leon headlining a segment entitled "Diumano" (According), expect loads of laughter and controversy as he dishes out no-nonsense reactions to some of the most controversial showbiz news. However, the segment will have Joey as "Commentirador" (a combination of words from the English words "comment" and "slingshot") dressed in disguise complete with costumes and raincoat . Some people have branded the "Komentirador" segment of "Startalk" as a reaction to Willie Revillame's rumored entry as a regular "Entertainment Live" co-host. "Entertainment Live" is Startalk's direct competition airing over ABS-CBN.

The segment received mixed reviews among televiewers. However after the first episode, "Diumano" was discontinued because of Joey's other commitments.

Present Hosts

* Lolit Solis
* Joey De Leon
* Butch Francisco

Present co-hosts

* StarStruck Alumni (Struck Attack)
* Alyssa Alano
* Ricky Lo
* Pepita, Fayatollah and Steve

Previous hosts

Main hosts

* Kris Aquino
* Boy Abunda
* Dawn Zulueta
* Rosanna Roces
* Lorna Tolentino

Guest hosts

* Ruffa Gutierrez
* Lani Mercado


*Winner, Best Showbiz Oriented Talk Show - PMPC Star Awards for Television (1996, 1999, 2000, 2002 & 2006*)
**Boy Abunda - Best Showbiz Oriented Talk Show Host Winner 1999(*) Tied w/ "The Buzz"

Old Logos

See also

*List of Philippine television shows
*List of programs broadcast by GMA Network

External links

* [ GMA Network Site]

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