DIANNE BUT­LER

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Cover Story -

THERE was a time when it looked like Mick Mol­loy might never work in tele­vi­sion again. And he says even now the door is shut for him in some re­spects at the com­mer­cial net­works.

‘‘ In terms of host­ing my own show, I think it is,’’ he says. ‘‘ I do Be­fore The Game (on Chan­nel 10), I do a lot of ap­pear­ances on other peo­ple’s shows, I’m con­stantly be­ing asked to do stuff . . . I still en­joy sitting on the end of a panel or do­ing a cameo on a show and, as for that, I still look for­ward to do­ing the odd bit­piece on com­mer­cial TV.

‘‘ I’m quite re­silient . . . I’ve been on the re­ceiv­ing end of two mas­sive cam­paigns which, quite frankly, were over-the-top. But, I mean, who cares? You pick your­self up, you dust your­self off. What I laugh at is they’re just TV shows. Peo­ple tend to think they’re the end of the world. Most of them fail. You’re al­lowed to have a crack. Peo­ple seem to get up­set that you have a crack at some­thing.’’

He’s cur­rently do­ing some­what more than hav­ing a crack. ‘‘ At the mo­ment, I’m work­ing in ra­dio, TV, stand-up and writ­ing a film, so I’m work­ing in ev­ery pos­si­ble artis­tic medium. I don’t think any­one needs to feel sorry for me.’’

Mol­loy started work­ing in break­fast ra­dio again this year, next to Ed­die McGuire at Triple M in Mel­bourne.

‘‘ I’ve al­ways loved ra­dio,’’ Mol­loy says, ‘‘ be­cause, re­gard­less of ev­ery­thing, no one can re­ally in­ter­fere ’ til you’ve said it . . . All they can do is put you in an of­fice af­ter you’ve said it and say, ‘ Don’t do that again’.’’

How many times has that hap­pened, so far? ‘‘ Quite a lot. Yes.’’

But the prob­lems he’s faced in a com­mer­cial en­vi­ron­ment, where the spon­sor is in charge, don’t ex­ist on sub­scrip­tion tele­vi­sion, where the viewer is a cru­cial part of the equa­tion.

‘‘ I love that,’’ Mol­loy says. ‘‘ It gives me great free­dom. Also the other thing I love about cable, if they film a se­ries, they’re go­ing to play a se­ries. They’re go­ing to roll it out . . . not only roll it out, they’re prob­a­bly go­ing to re­peat it.’’

He burns with pas­sion when he says: ‘‘ I love this show.’’ Mol­loy didn’t write or pro­duce The Jesters, but it has his fa­mil­iar tone.

‘‘ That was ex­actly my feel­ing when I read it for the first time,’’ he says. ‘‘ I haven’t done a lot of stuff for other peo­ple, be­cause I’m not a proper ac­tor, I have fairly lim­ited range. I can play 10 de­grees ei­ther side of Mick Mol­loy. That’s pretty much it. I’m not a chameleon.

‘‘ So when this came across my desk, I loved it. Straight away I felt it’d been writ­ten for me. It hadn’t, but I think they came to me first. They sent me the script and I just laughed my tits off. It was re­ally nat­u­ral for me.’’

In in­ter­views for the first se­ries of The Jesters, Mol­loy said the char­ac­ter he plays, Dave Davies — ‘‘ an age­ing show­biz a-------,’’ — was in­spired by Doug Mulray, among oth­ers. The ‘‘ oth­ers’’ in­clude Andrew Den­ton.

Part of the plea­sure of The Jesters is try­ing to iden­tify the var­i­ous show­biz peo­ple in it.

The Jesters, Movie Ex­tra, Tues­day, 8.30pm Re­silient: co­me­dian Mick Mol­loy. Pic­ture: MANUELA CIFRA

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