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The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TV -

CO­ME­DIAN Shaun Mi­callef ad­mits he’s re­viv­ing a tried and suc­cess­ful for­mat with fresh faces and new ideas for ABC se­ries Mad as Hell.

The Talkin’ ’Bout Your Gen­er­a­tion host re­turns to his old stomp­ing ground at Aunty with a sketch­com­edy show dis­guised as a news re­view pro­gram.

Mad as Hell will have a sim­i­lar theme to SBS’S New­stopia says Mi­callef, who fronted it for three sea­sons. New­stopia was can­celled af­ter its film­ing sched­ule clashed with Net­work Ten’s Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Gen­er­a­tion, which Mi­callef had just joined.

But Mi­callef, 50, says his four years on Gen­er­a­tion is a big ad­van­tage for his new ven­ture. He says view­ers may recog­nise sim­i­lar­i­ties, in style and tempo, be­tween Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Gen­er­a­tion and Mad as Hell – and it won’t be by co­in­ci­dence.

‘‘I al­ways thought New­stopia was un­fin­ished busi­ness. Rather than do New­stopia again, I thought why don’t we rein­vent it again and bring all the lessons I had learned from Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Gen­er­a­tion to this new project,’’ he says.

‘‘Things like the sort of aban­don­ment and lack of dis­ci­pline that Gen­er­a­tion had – I would love to see on this pro­gram.’’

Mi­callef has re­cruited some fa­mil­iar faces and not-so-fa­mil­iar faces for Mad as Hell.

He has again teamed up with Fran­cis Greenslade, who ap­peared on Gen­er­a­tion, and comic Roz Ham­mond, who was a reg­u­lar on New­stopia.

The x-fac­tor, says Mi­callef, is work­ing with Veron­ica Milsom ( Hun­gry Beast, Triple J), Emily Ta­heny ( Com­edy Inc., The Chaser’s War on Ev­ery­thing) and stage ac­tor Tosh Greenslade.

‘‘Veron­ica, Emily and Tosh – I have never worked with be­fore and it’s ex­cit­ing to work with fresh new peo­ple,’’ Mi­callef says.

‘‘Even though it’s billed as a news show, they are not go­ing to be sit­ting there giv­ing me their opin­ion be­cause quite frankly no one wants to hear my opin­ion or the cast’s opin­ion on any­thing.

‘‘ Mad as Hell is a sketch pro­gram pre­sented from the hub of a news­room . . . and the ma­te­rial will be fed by what’s hap­pen­ing that week in the news.’’

It’s prov­ing to be a big year for Mi­callef. Be­sides start­ing Mad as Hell, he was re­cently cast along­side Kat Ste­wart, from Un­der­belly and Off­spring, to star in the Mys­tery Mur­der se­ries Mr and Mrs Mur­der.

Pro­duc­tion for the 13-part se­ries be­gins in Melbourne in Septem­ber.

Fri­days, 8pm, ABC. Kids seek sound knowl­edge on

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