BIGASK

Herald Sun - Switched On - - On The Couch -

BY COLIN VICK­ERY

CHow­did the op­por­tu­nity to host Young Tal­ent Time come about? I’d been chat­ting to Ten for a cou­ple of years, try­ing to find the right project that suited me. There was the (tal­ent) show they thought of re­leas­ing in 2010 called Don’t Stop Be­liev­ing, a UK for­mat. If it had gone to air, I prob­a­bly would have been the host of that. Why­did you think Australia was ready for a re­booted Young Tal­ent Time in 2012? The whole world is scream­ing out for more pos­i­tiv­ity. The tal­ent on Australia’s Got Tal­ent and The X-fac­tor – Jack Vid­gen and Reese Mastin – shows that we want to see young kids danc­ing and singing again. HAN­NEL 10’s decision to bring back Young Tal­ent Time was al­ways a gam­ble. Get­ting Rob Mills to host the new ver­sion added to the risk.

Mills, a for­mer Aus­tralian Idol fi­nal­ist, has shone on stage in Wicked but his TV work has been patchy.

Late-night quiz show The Mint and game show The Singing Bee are hardly worth brag­ging about.

YTT is try­ing to claw its way out of a rat­ings slump, but Mills has proved him­self a stand­out front man. What are your strengths and weak­nesses as a host? I think my strength is con­nect­ing­with peo­ple from all walks of life and all age groups – to deal with kids from eight to 16 and an au­di­ence that will range from eight to 80. One of my weak­nesses is my lack of ex­pe­ri­ence but I’ve been work­ing re­ally hard with Ten and the crew to get me up to speed. I know I’ve still got lots to learn. Has the depth of the kids’ tal­ent sur­prised you? Ab­so­lutely. I have looked at old footage of the first Young Tal­ent Team back in the 1970s and I reckon our kids are out­shin­ing some of the (orig­i­nal) team mem­bers who had been in the show for years. We’re only six weeks in. Can you imag­ine how good our kids are go­ing to be af­ter a few years on the show? That’s in­cred­i­ble to think about. Howhave the kids dealt with the in­stant fame that comes with be­ing part of the Young Tal­ent Team? We’ve got a psy­chol­o­gist who comes in and speaks to the kids about that sort of stuff. My main con­cern, when you work­with young peo­ple, is mak­ing sure that they’re well looked af­ter — and still al­lowed to be kids. What has it been like work­ing with Tina Arena? Tina’s like a mother hen. Some peo­ple have said to me that she comes across a bit stern on the TV. I think maybe she’s just ner­vous on cam­era a bit. Off-cam­era she couldn’t be more nur­tur­ing and lovely to the kids. What has your fam­ily said? My brother, Chris, is my tough­est critic. He said ‘‘you look much more com­fort­able (now)’’ . . . which is nice to hear. Young Tal­ent Time, Chan­nel 10, Sun­day,

6.30pm

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