Bickmore’s game for any challenge
On any normal game show you’d expect the intellectuals from The Project – and Peter Helliar – to comprehensively trounce a bunch of actors from Neighbours.
But Family Feud is no ordinary game show, with points awarded for how common the answers are, not how clever.
“I have a very strong competitive streak and I thought: This’ll be good,” explains Project team captain Carrie Bickmore. “I thought we’d have it in the bag but it was a lot harder than I thought.”
In this week’s All Stars, Bickmore, Steve Price, Waleed Aly and Peter Helliar face off against captain Olympia Valance, Alan Fletcher, Jackie Woodburne and Stefan Dennis.
“Just before doing it Steve Price was like ‘Aw, Waleed’s gonna weigh us down because he’s too smart,” she laughs, noting Aly’s over-thinking it resulted in him suggesting ‘The Beach’ as a place ‘where you’d meet someone and fall in love’. It wasn’t even on the board.
Not that Bickmore had a perfect run: “They asked me ‘what’s something that’s disposable’ and I didn’t say ‘nappy’ — which given I’ve got a one-year-old (Evie) was ridiculously stupid,” she laughs. “I was thinking batteries.”
One of Australia’s best loved presenters, Bickmore began her career on radio, before getting her big break reading the news on Rove Live in 2006. Since 2009 she’s been a regular on The Project, notching up four Gold Logie nominations and she won the top prize last year.
Bickmore says she had plenty of practice in the lead up to All Stars, playing the Family Feud board game against eightyear-old son Oliver.
“We played it over summer relentlessly,” she says. “He’s still at the stage where he just says the first thing that he thinks of and often does better than me.”
Oliver is the son of her late husband Greg Lange, who died after a battle with brain cancer in December 2010. In her Gold Logie acceptance speech last year, Bickmore memorably launched the Beanies for Brain Cancer charity which has already raised almost half a million dollars, through events including last year’s Brain Beats concert with Ed Sheeran and Vance Joy. She’ll soon launch a winter range of Beanies to help the charity get closer to its million dollar target.
The Project team played on its behalf for a maximum $30,000 prize. Bickmore says passions ran high during filming “we were yelling at each other ... then hugging” and it came down to the wire.
“It was neck and neck at the very end and so it’s a good episode,” she says.
“I think both teams brought a very different game to it.”
ALL STAR FAMILY FEUD, CHANNEL 10, MONDAY, 7.30PM
Captains Olympia Valance and Carrie Bickmore with Grant Denyer.