Fun re­union as the gang re­turns

Shaun Mi­callef and the Your Gen crew re­vive all the fun of an un­pre­ten­tious fam­ily show in a new eight-part se­ries, writes Seanna Cronin

The Coffs Coast Advocate - - GUIDE -

SHAUN Mi­callef never ex­pected to find him­self back be­hind the Talkin’ ’Bout Your Gen­er­a­tion desk.

The so­lic­i­tor turned satirist and TV funny man says he and his orig­i­nal co-stars Amanda Keller, Char­lie Pick­er­ing and Josh Thomas toyed with re­con­ven­ing for a re­union spe­cial.

“We had our last sea­son in 2012 and it kind of ended be­cause we all wanted to go off and do dif­fer­ent things,” he says. “I had a cou­ple of irons in the fire: Mrs and Mrs Mur­der and Mad As Hell. Both got up, which was nice.

“Six years down the track we re­main in cor­re­spon­dence with each other and we said ‘Wouldn’t it be fun to do a re­union show?’

“Un­for­tu­nately (orig­i­nal broad­caster) Ten couldn’t ac­com­mo­date it in their sched­ule and it didn’t work out. We said ‘Well, it was a nice idea. Why don’t we just catch up for lunch? It will be a lot cheaper’.”

But when Nine ex­pressed in­ter­est in re­boot­ing the in­ter-gen­er­a­tional quiz show, Mi­callef agreed to help out with the au­di­tion process as­sum­ing new team cap­tains would also need a new host.

“I’ve known Robyn (But­ler) for 20 years. She came just for a laugh re­ally,” he says. “Andy (Lee) I know. Young Lau­rence (Box­hall) I didn’t know, but he was very good in the au­di­tions. He was very quick and smart and funny, and I said ‘It won’t look like you’re try­ing to re­place Josh’.

“They said ‘Would you do it if we got those three?’ I said ‘Sure’. I thought maybe they’d get one or two, not all three. They got them all so I said ‘What the hell? It’s a month’s worth of shoot­ing’.

“I asked the kids be­cause they’re the rea­son I did the show in the first time around. They said ‘Yeah it’s the only thing we liked you in’. If I can get my 15-year-old in­ter­ested in any­thing at all then I’m go­ing to seize it with both hands.”

The re­sult is a new, eight-episode se­ries that is equal parts old and new. Mi­callef and much of the orig­i­nal crew re­turn, with But­ler, Lee and Box­hall rep­re­sent­ing the X, Y and Z gen­er­a­tions (Baby Boomers have been given the flick). Some of the quiz seg­ments will be fa­mil­iar, while oth­ers like “lip read­ing” are hi­lar­i­ous new ad­di­tions.

“I’m not re­ally a re­spon­si­ble, proper TV pre­sen­ter. I can’t and won’t do it in a con­ven­tional way,” Mi­callef says.

“There’s quite an odd rhythm to it. In parts it’s quite sham­bolic; it’s not slick or cool and it’s not a for­mat from overseas.

“I hope there’s a joy­ous aban­don to it. It’s a lovely al­ter­na­tive for a fam­ily to sit down at 7.30pm and not watch a bunch of peo­ple ar­gue over food or pre­tend to be in love with each other. It’s an un­pre­ten­tious fam­ily show,” Mi­callef says.


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