YARNS WORTH TELLING

Ex­tra­or­di­nary tales from ev­ery­day Aussies come to life in a new se­ries hosted by com­edy duo Hamish Blake and Andy Lee

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - PLAY - SEANNA CRONIN

Hamish Blake and Andy Lee have grad­u­ated from pranksters and road trip­pers to sto­ry­tellers in their new se­ries. True Story with Hamish & Andy marks the com­edy duo’s re­turn to our screens af­ter a three-year ab­sence, and it’s a change in di­rec­tion from their pop­u­lar Gap Year travel se­ries.

“On Gap Year we’d just rock up in a lit­tle town in the Ama­zon and go ‘I hope some­thing hap­pens’,” Lee says.

“True Story rep­re­sents an idea we’d been pon­der­ing for a long time. Even though Gap Year was heaps of fun we were run­ning out of con­ti­nents … and this is a lot safer on our bod­ies (laughs).”

In True Story, Hamish and Andy sit down with ev­ery­day Aussies who have funny, strange and awe-in­spir­ing sto­ries to tell.

The hosts were kept in the dark so their re­ac­tions could be cap­tured for the first time on cam­era.

“There were days where we were like ‘We just need to know’,” Hamish says.

“I’m so glad we didn’t know (be­fore­hand) be­cause we get to have that mo­ment of the story dawn­ing (on us) on cam­era.”

The tales were then recre­ated with scripts writ­ten by Blake and Lee and draw­ing on the tal­ents of well­known Aus­tralian ac­tors in­clud­ing Craig McLach­lan and John Woods.

“Th­ese worlds are be­ing brought to life by fun­nier and bet­ter ac­tors than us, which I think is a bless­ing for all of Aus­tralia,” Andy laughs.

“The idea for the reen­act­ments stems from watch­ing true crime and dis­as­ter shows.

“We thought there’s true crime, why can’t we do true com­edy? But those shows tend to have very poor reen­act­ments, so we drew a line there and said we want ours to be re­ally cin­e­matic.

“We want to do th­ese ev­ery­day Aussies who’ve come for­ward to us proud by mak­ing their recre­ations beau­ti­ful.”

The sto­ries that form the ba­sis of the episodes were cho­sen from thou­sands of en­tries.

“When you take out the ones that in­volved drug use and things you can’t show (in a fam­ily times­lot) that took out about 500,” Hamish laughs.

“What struck us was peo­ple of­ten don’t have a great read on their own story.

“The guy from episode two goes ‘I’ve got this story and peo­ple say it’s funny’ but in his mind it was a 40-sec­ond story.

“Once our pro­ducer Ryan (Shel­ton, who also stars in one of the episodes) got chat­ting to him he re­alised there’s a lot more to the story.

“It’s hard for peo­ple to see their own bril­liance some­times.” True Story with Hamish & Andy, Mon­days 7.30pm, Chan­nel 9

True Story with Hamish & Andy marks the Aussie com­edy duo’s re­turn to our screens af­ter a three-year ab­sence.

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