Spicks and Specks

Geelong Advertiser - TV Guide - - COVER STORY - JOSH EARL

Ella Hooper, Josh Earl and Adam Richard.

Spicks and Specks buzzers are back in work­ing or­der for 2014, with the pop­u­lar ABC mu­sic quiz show re­turn­ing to screens with a new crew of pop­cul­ture afi­ciona­dos at the helm.

Singer Ella Hooper and ra­dio pre­sen­ter Adam Richard are the op­pos­ing team cap­tains, while host­ing the show is now the job of stand- up co­me­dian Josh Earl. How did your role on the new Spicks and Specks came about, Josh? It was an­nounced in 2012 that they would be bring­ing it back, and then I got a call in Jan­uary last year ask­ing if I would be avail­able to come in to help out with the au­di­tion process.

It wasn’t un­til July that I heard from them again. I thought I’d be com­ing in to help out on one of the pan­els but they said they’d be send­ing me a script. Then when I got the script it read, “Wel­come to Spicks and Specks, my name’s Josh Earl ...” and I sort of went, “Wow, this is very real”. I imag­ine you would have au­di­tioned with new team cap­tains Ella and Adam – did you feel an im­me­di­ate chem­istry with them? The first day of au­di­tions, I au­di­tioned with both of them. It just felt re­ally right, and I had the feel­ing that I hoped we could do it again. I had never met Ella be­fore but I’ve known Adam for about eight years from do­ing stand- up and we’ve al­ways got along well. And Ella is so great as a co­me­dian – she’s very giv­ing.

I think the producers were very care­ful to get the right bal­ance of peo­ple. There’s so much pres­sure on the new cast that they wanted a new team that would gel and have the magic of the last cast. Was there any thought to giv­ing the show a to­tal makeover? There are some new games but we are keep­ing most of the old ones. I don’t have any say in that process. I’m writ­ing for the show so it will have some of my flavour to it.

But peo­ple have asked if I’m go­ing to try to be like Adam or like Si­mon An­stell from the UK se­ries Never Mind the Buz­zcocks, and if I try to be them it’ll quickly be seen as a fraud. I can only be me, and hope­fully Aus­tralia will latch on to that. Does it feel like a bit of a game- changer for you? It’s been a mas­sive step up. I’ve been do­ing com­edy for 10 years and never re­ally thought about work­ing on TV but when this came up it seemed like the per­fect fit. Spicks and Specks, Wed­nes­day, ABC1, 8.30pm

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