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.