When Rodger Corser wanted to know how to play a TV pre­sen­ter turned pub­lic fig­ure, he just had to put Ed­die McGuire in the hot seat

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TV - DAR­REN CARTWRIGHT

Quiz master Ed­die McGuire was the un­likely go-to man for ac­tor Rodger Corser when he was cast as the op­po­si­tion leader in the po­lit­i­cal drama Party Tricks.

Corser plays me­dia per­son­al­ity David McLeod who is parachuted in as op­po­si­tion leader to take on Vic­to­rian State Premier Kate Bal­lard, played by Asher Ked­die, at an up­com­ing elec­tion.

McLeod’s pro­mo­tion to op­po­si­tion leader from out­side of par­lia­ment has par­al­lels to Camp­bell New­man’s run for Premier at the 2012 Queens­land state elec­tion against the ALP’s Anna Bligh. New­man was Bris­bane mayor when he re­signed to lead the LNP even though he was not a sit­ting mem­ber and could not be in­volved in any par­lia­men­tary de­bate.

The dif­fer­ence is that McLeod is a for­mer break­fast show host, and not a mayor, and McGuire’s ex­pe­ri­ence in front and be­hind the cam­era and as pres­i­dent of Colling­wood ticked a lot of boxes. Corser spent a cou­ple of hours quizzing McGuire, who had an ill-fated reign as the boss of the Nine Net­work, about how the TV per­son­al­ity mixes it with the top end of town.

“You look at Ed­die and he’s been on the Mel­bourne Ma­jor Events com­mit­tee, he’s the pres­i­dent of Colling­wood and he’s on boards and his brother is a politi­cian,” says Corser. “It kind of fit­ted. I asked how he started, how he made the jump from be­ing an on air sports re­porter to be­ing in board rooms and con­vers­ing with lawyers and peo­ple with business de­grees.”

Corser’s mo­dus operandi was to back­ground his character for the six-part se­ries, which launches on Mon­day night, and to get an un­der­stand­ing of the way McLeod thinks and op­er­ates.

McGuire seemed the most log­i­cal choice and he was also very ac­ces­si­ble. Corser sat down with the me­dia megas­tar when Colling­wood played Hawthorn at the MCG ear­lier this year.

“I needed to make sense, in my mind, about the character and that he is rooted in some kind of truth,” says Corser.

Corser is at pains to say that just be­cause he sought out McGuire over the role, it does not mean McLeod is the

Hot Seat host in dis­guise. “By no means is it Ed­die McGuire,” he says. “It’s more a cross be­tween Ed­die, Karl Ste­fanovic, a lit­tle bit of Jeff Ken­nett and Ray Martin.”

Party Tricks, Chan­nel 10, 8.30pm, Mon­day.

Pic­ture: CHAN­NEL 10

Party Tricks stars Rodger Corser and Asher Ked­die.

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