ED­DIE SET GO

Ed­die Per­fect ig­nites New Year’s Eve on ABC

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - FRONT PAGE - By TIF­FANY DUNK

NEW Year’s Eve really isn’t Ed­die Per­fect’s thing.

The af­fa­ble Off­spring star and Play School pre­sen­ter says usu­ally his fam­ily – wife Lucy and daugh­ters Kitty and Lot­tie – skip town to cel­e­brate with some cham­pagne, sparklers and a home-cooked meal in the back­yard.

But the chance to host ABC’s an­nual live cov­er­age seemed like a no-brainer. “It’s really a glo­ri­fied ex­cuse to get my­self to the Sydney Opera House and see some fire­works,” he laughs.

Some may see the role as a poi­soned chal­ice, given pre­vi­ous hosts in­clud­ing Lawrence Mooney and Ju­lia Zemiro copped crit­i­cism for their ef­forts. But Per­fect says the pres­sure of helm­ing the four-hour long broad­cast is an “ex­cit­ing chal­lenge”. Adding to that chal­lenge will be the fact he’s yet to meet his co-host, Ella Hooper.

“I cer­tainly know who she is – I’ve al­ways really liked her mu­sic and of course I’ve seen her on Spicks and Specks and she’s really smart and funny and in­ter­est­ing,” he says.

“But I don’t know what (host­ing with Hooper) will be like. You get thrown into a sit­u­a­tion where you some­times have to stretch things out, or cover things that don’t work. We’re go­ing to get to know each other in the heat of the bat­tle – it will be fun.”

Still, if the pair don’t hit it off, he’ll have a few other friends nearby. Fel­low Play School pre­sen­ter Justine Clark and Humpty Dumpty (who Per­fect pro­claims is his favourite of the toys) will open the evening at 8.30pm. And the rest of the Play School toys will be tak­ing over the ABC con­trol room along with fel­low kids TV stars Jimmy Gig­gle, Ba­nanas in Py­ja­mas and Hoot and Hoota­belle.

“It’s go­ing to be quite mad­capped,” he says.

Asked who’s most likely to go rogue when left to their own de­vices run­ning the show, Per­fect puts some se­ri­ous thought into the ques­tion. “Jemima’s pretty sen­si­ble, Mor­ris is kind of mis­chievous, Did­dle is one of the strangest of the toys and I think Big Ted can go rogue, it just de­pends,” he muses.

While the toys may go off script, Per­fect says he’ll be keep­ing up his New Year’s Eve tra­di­tion of “putting a book­mark on the year”.

“I use (New Year’s Eve) as an op­por­tu­nity to think about what I’ve done,” he says. “I find it mo­ti­vat­ing. Be­cause the worst thing for me would be to get to the end of a year and look back at the year and feel like I hadn’t ac­tu­ally achieved any­thing.”

This year the Per­fect fam­ily don’t have to worry about not hav­ing achieved some big goals. While he’s been busy with

Play School, writ­ing gigs and lin­ing up some big projects for 2016, wife Lucy has also been flat chat, hav­ing com­pleted a univer­sity de­gree in psy­chol­ogy – which usu­ally takes three years but she’s com­pleted within 12 months.

“She had a really amaz­ing year,” he beams. “We’ve both been work­ing really hard. I don’t know what she’s go­ing to do next year – but I’m hop­ing she does some con­sult­ing so we have more time to spend to­gether.”

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