BIGASK

Herald Sun - Switched On - - On The Couch -

BY COLIN VICK­ERY

TJen­nifer Byrne, Chaser’s Chas Lic­cia­rdello and Hamish Blake help out in Santa’s work­shop along­side reg­u­lar team cap­tains Josh Thomas, Char­lie Pick­er­ing and Amanda Keller. Who­have been your favourite guests on Talkin’? This show has an el­e­ment of dan­ger to it — you lit­er­ally don’t know, as a guest, what to ex­pect when you turn up. There is the risk that ALKIN’ ’Bout Your Gen­er­a­tion has ce­mented it­self as a big prime time hit over two se­ries. That’s de­spite Chan­nel 10 mov­ing the com­edy quiz show from Tues­day night to Sun­day and then back again.

In re­cent months Talkin’ has tri­umphed over a swag of big bud­get ri­val pro­grams, from Top Gear Aus­tralia to Iron Chef Aus­tralia and The Na­tional IQ Test.

Now it’s time for host Shaun Mi­callef to cel­e­brate with a Win­ter Won­der­land Christ­mas Spe­cial.

The What are your child­hood mem­o­ries of Christ­mas? We’d visit my mum’s par­ents and have Christ­mas lunch with them and then make the trip to my fa­ther’s par­ents and have what­ever they had for lunch cold for din­ner. It got com­pli­cated when I had a girl­friend and I had her two lots to visit as well. There weren’t enough hours in the day. I spent most of my time trav­el­ling in the car be­tween four fam­i­lies. My Christ­mas was al­ways on the move. some­thing will be dumped on you or you’ll be made to look a fool. Some­body like An­gus Samp­son seems to come in and just take over. Hamish Blake is a bit like that too. Some­body who up­sets it a bit (is best). When the guests are loose can­nons, that makes for good tele­vi­sion. You’ve hosted two se­ries of Talkin’ now. What’s it been like for you do­ing the pro­gram? Grow is a good word. That is how it has felt do­ing the show. The idea ofme­host­ing a celebrity quiz show was un­usual and when we started I was play­ing a host who was forced to do cer­tain games. There was a be­grudg­ing at­ti­tude I was adopt­ing. As time has gone on, more of my ideas are com­ing into it. In a way the show is very dif­fer­ent from when it started. There is quite a strange feel to it. Most of it seems to come from­menow. It’s a lit­tle bit odd and so it would be hard to see any­one else host­ing it. (To me) it feels like a com­fort­able suit. In fact, I would say it is a T-shirt, not a suit. Yournew­book, Prein­car­nate, is out just in time for Christ­mas . . . It’s a very easy present to wrap and I think that’s what peo­ple are look­ing for in a present. I’ve done a few book sign­ings and quite of­ten the peo­ple who buy it say, ‘‘I’m go­ing to read it first and then give it as a present’’. A book is about the only thing you can do that with. With a DVD, clearly it has been opened. With a book it’s the per­fect crime.

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