A comic force
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.