The Phantom Never Dies Podcast Wins Australian Writer’s Guild Awards

PRESS RELEASE by Jane Elliott


NOVA Entertainment’s original podcast ‘The Phantom Never Dies’ has taken out the award for Best Audio – Non-Fiction at the 55th Annual Australian Writer’s Guild Awards (The AWGIEs).

The AWGIE Awards recognise and reward the outstanding achievements of Australian screen and stage writers and their contribution to Australia’s cultural landscape. These prestigious awards are the only industry awards given by writers to writers judged exclusively on the basis of the writer’s vision, the script. ‘The Phantom Never Dies’ is an original Nova podcast presented by pop-culture expert and award-winning author Maria Lewis. The six-part series delves into the fascinating history of a superhero you may never have heard of – The Phantom.

Maria said, “I wrote, researched, presented and produced this show with my producer Elise Cooper through a global pandemic, half a dozen lockdowns, state and international border closures, and a never-ending stream of unexpected chaos. We pushed on because we believed this show was worth it, NOVA believed it was worth it, and the global audience that has responded has proven it was worth it. Since the podcast aired, we’ve been inundated with messages, sent custom Phantom rings from America, received fan art, comics and memorabilia from Phans that prove this character and this world simply cannot die. The Phantom Never Dies winning an AWGIE helps purge diverse fans and women from the margins, because that’s what the show is all about and I couldn’t be more honored to be a part of that.”

‘The Phantom Never Dies’  was launched on 15 February 2022 and has quickly gone on to gain a cult following with Maria’s entertaining and fascinating storytelling of the history of The Phantom. In addition, the podcast was nominated for Podcast Host of the Year in the recent Radio Today Podcast Awards and is a finalist in for Best Arts & Culture Podcast in the upcoming Australian Podcast Awards, with winners to be announced on 21 November.

Over the six half hour episodes, Maria takes the audience on a deep dive into the mysteriously forgotten comic book hero, from his origins as the archetype ‘white saviour’ to a character that came to represent duty, morality and all that was good in humankind.

Known as “The Ghost Who Walks” The Phantom was written by Lee Falk and is largely considered the first costumed, fictional superhero. Unlike Batman, Spider-Man and Wonder Woman this spandex-clad hero has gone largely unnoticed, until now. The original comic first went to print on 17 February 1936, and unlike many others that followed him, Kit Walker AKA The Phantom had no superpowers relying solely on his strength, intelligence, and the myth of his immortality to act against the forces of evil.

This is a superhero who inspired multiple resistance movements, birthed an HIV awareness campaign and was at one point read by more than 100 million people daily and was the inspiration for Batman. ‘The Phantom Never Dies’ features interviews with Hollywood directors, comic book historians, Oscar-nominated Australian actors famous for playing superheroes and super villains, family members of original Phantom creators, legendary comic book artists, Hollywood production and costume designers, and many, many more.

Maria Lewis is a best-selling author, screenwriter and film curator. Getting her start as a police reporter, her work on pop culture has appeared in publications such as The Guardian, Empire Magazine, New York Post, Penthouse, Huffington Post, The Daily and Sunday Telegraph and many more. The author of eight internationally published novels, including the Aurealis award-winning ‘The Witch Who Courted Death’, she was also behind the critically acclaimed audio documentary ‘Josie and the Podcast’ about the 2001 cult film. More recently Maria appeared on ABC’s Hard Quiz with the expert topic The Phantom, securing a perfect score of five out of five for Phantom questions.

The NOVA Entertainment Podcast Network (NEPN) is home to the best Australian and international podcast titles across business & technology, entertainment, investigative journalism, health & wellness, love & dating, news and sport & lifestyle; including the popular podcasts ‘Two Girls One Pod’ with Angie Kent & Yvie Jones, ‘What the Flux’, ‘Fear & Greed’, Daily Telegraph’s ‘The Matty John’s Podcast’, ‘The Space’ with Casey Donovan, ‘Hennessy’s Hotline’ with Tanya Hennessy and ‘Brenda, Call Me!’ with Courtney Act and Vanity.

The 55th AWGIEs were presented on Thursday 17th November at the Seymour Centre in Sydney.

Thank you Jane Elliott – Publicity Director – NOVA Entertainment for sharing this wonderful new!!!

To listen to all 6 Episodes of ‘The Phantom Never Dies‘ Podcast, click HERE