A comic force

Herald Sun - Switched On - - On The Couch -

I don’t need the money. ‘‘ If we’d asked our­selves in the days of The Young Ones and Black­ad­der and (the stage mu­si­cal) We Will Rock You, all my nov­els — ‘ is this what peo­ple ex­pect from me, is this what peo­ple want’, then I’d be dead.

‘‘ At the height of Black­ad­der, (cre­ative part­ner) Richard Cur­tis and I were of­fered to go to Hollywood as two writ­ers and we could have made an ab­so­lute for­tune. ‘‘ First thing off the blocks was a Po­lice Academy movie and we said no. There’s noth­ing wrong with those movies, but it’s not for me, be­cause I don’t write to or­der and nor does Richard.’’ El­ton has been busy writ­ing sketch ma­te­rial for Planet Earth, though he’s not giv­ing much away re­gard­ing the con­tent. He has hinted he might de­liver a skit about the Aussie ob­ses­sion with MasterChef.

On the sub­ject of the mas­sively suc­cess­ful cook­ing show fran­chise, El­ton is an­i­mated. He says his widely pub­li­cised ‘‘ crack’’ at Ju­nior MasterChef (on which his sis­ter-in-law Anna Gare ap­pears), at a Nine func­tion was per­formed in stand-up co­me­dian mode.

‘‘ I should watch it (Ju­nior MasterChef) as my sis­ter-in-law is a pre­sen­ter, but I can’t watch it,’’ he said at the event.

‘‘ They are freaks these kids. They are like Step­ford chil­dren. A nineyear-old shouldn’t know the dif­fer­ence be­tween bal­samic and kom­bucha vine­gar. These kids need a child­hood.’’

HE BRIS­TLES at sug­ges­tions he ‘‘ slammed’’ the show. ‘‘ I stand by the points I made, but I made them comed­i­cally and I do think it’s funny watch­ing those kids when mine — most kids — can’t make a choco­late muf­fin . . . ,’’ he says.

‘‘ The thing I re­gret­ted about the quotes was say­ing the kids were freaks. I did say it, but I said it as a stand-up comic.’’

For the fore­see­able fu­ture, El­ton will be based in Aus­tralia, mostly Perth, with his wife, Aussie mu­si­cian So­phie Gare, and their three chil­dren. Ben El­ton Live From Planet Earth, Chan­nel 9, Tues­day, 9.30pm

No re­grets: Ben El­ton steps on toes with ease.

Fam­ily mat­ters: Tom Sel­leck and Will Estes in Blue Bloods.

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