THE BEAT GOES ON

The ABC’s mu­sic quiz Spicks and Specks hit a high note this week with its 200th episode, and team cap­tain Alan Brough got a lit­tle bit rock ’ n’ roll with Guy Davis.

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Av­er­ag­ing more than a mil­lion view­ers an episode, the weekly pro­gram Spicks and Specks has been quite the suc­cess story for the ABC. And now the mu­sic quiz show has reached a ma­jor mile­stone, cel­e­brat­ing its 200th episode this week.

To cel­e­brate, the show held a black-tie aff air that brought back a few of its favourite team mem­bers, such as ra­dio star Hamish Blake, co­me­dian Meshel Lau­rie and mu­si­cians Ella Hooper and Paul Grabowsky, to test their knowl­edge of the past two cen­turies of mu­sic.

As al­ways, how­ever, it’s host Adam Hills and team cap­tains Myf Warhurst and Alan Brough who keep Spicks and Specks bub­bling along. And on the eve of the show’s 200th episode, Brough re­vealed the se­crets of its suc­cess.

Con­grat­u­la­tions on your 200th episode, Alan. When you fi rst started do­ing the show Spicks and Specks, did you ever think it would stick around for so long?

I don’t know how many episodes I thought we’d make. I thought it’d be nice to make some episodes but the lit­tle I knew about tele­vi­sion led me to be­lieve that while you can do what­ever you like, it can be very fi ckle. So we trun­dled along and more and more peo­ple started watch­ing it, and then all of a sud­den we’re at the 200-episode mark. In fact, we’ll have more than 200 episodes by the end of the year, which is de­light­ful. Weird but de­light­ful.

Was there a point when you re­alised peo­ple were re­ally get­ting into the show?

The one that re­ally sticks out for me was near the end of the fi rst year. I was at a gig and a guy said to me, ‘ I re­ally love the show. It’s the only time my teenage daugh­ter and I stop yelling at each other all week’. I know that doesn’t refl ect how many peo­ple are watch­ing it, but I thought it was one of the loveli­est things I ever heard about any­thing I’ve been in­volved in. I think one of the keys to the show’s suc­cess is that fam­i­lies do watch it to­gether. I’ve had dis­cus­sions with three gen­er­a­tions of one fam­ily about the bits and pieces of the show they re­ally en­joy, so the fact that we’ve been able to reach such a wide au­di­ence has held us in very good stead.

The show has at­tracted some real mu­sic in­dus­try lu­mi­nar­ies over the years. Are there oc­ca­sions when you get starstruck?

Most re­cently, it was when Tim Finn was on my team. Be­ing a New Zealan­der, he’s ba­si­cally a mem­ber of the royal fam­ily to me. He’s the Queen Mum! And what was weird was that I’ve seen him all my life, but all of a sud­den I went, ‘ Wow, I’m sit­ting next to Tim Finn!’ And I ba­si­cally lost my mind for a lit­tle while. I used to worry about things like that but I re­alise now that it’s good for me if I’m starstruck to just get it out. And then we can con­tinue on as nor­mal.

There’s a sense of fun and friend­li­ness to Spicks and Specks that I think serves the show very well. But do you ever feel your­self get­ting com­pet­i­tive to­wards Myf and the op­pos­ing team?

It’s more com­pe­ti­tion with my­self. I don’t like get­ting things wrong, mainly be­cause I don’t like to feel stupid! So I don’t think I’m all that com­pet­i­tive, al­though peo­ple have told me that I do come across that way at times. That’s fi ne, though – every­one has their own in­ter­pre­ta­tion of how things hap­pen on the show. I’m never up­set if Myf’s team wins but there have been times when we’ve snatched de­feat from the jaws of victory and I may have had some­thing to do with it, which makes me a bit un­happy. But I would be a fool to my­self and a bur­den to oth­ers if I got too up­set about the out­come of a half-hour mu­sic quiz on the ABC.

High ro­ta­tion: team cap­tains Alan Brough ( left) and Myf Warhurst and host Adam Hills are em­brac­ing their show’s longevity.

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