WIN­NING MOVES

Aussie per­former Axle White­head has done plenty of odd jobs while in Hol­ly­wood and now he’s host­ing a game show shot in Poland

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

Axle White­head will front his first Aus­tralian TV se­ries in nearly a decade, swap­ping act­ing for the role of game show host on The Wall.

But strangely, his re­turn to our screens didn’t bring him back home.

LA-based Axle and The Wall con­tes­tants trav­elled all the way to Poland to record the new show, which is based on the pop­u­lar US for­mat pro­duced by bas­ket­baller LeBron James.

“Most of Eu­rope shoot on the Pol­ish set,” Axle says.

“We flew con­tes­tants over and a pro­duc­tion crew over.

“The Poles turned out to be just re­ally awe­some peo­ple to work with and the con­tes­tants had a blast.”

A fan of the US show, Axle was im­pressed the first time he saw the ti­t­u­lar wall – a hitech Plinko board – in per­son.

On The Wall, teams must an­swer trivia ques­tions and then turn their fate over to the four-storey high LED struc­ture with money bins at the bot­tom. How much they can po­ten­tially win or lose – and that fig­ure can go into the mil­lions – de­pends where the balls land.

Its pre­miere on Mon­day was the high­est rat­ing pro­gram in the 7.30pm times­lot, beat­ing out com­peti­tors Fam­ily Food Fight and All Star Fam­ily Feud.

“It’s quite in­tim­i­dat­ing when you see it in per­son,” he says. “It’s bloody mas­sive.”

The mu­si­cian and ac­tor says he wasn’t wor­ried about any stigma at­tached to be­ing a game show host. “What at­tracted me about this gig is it isn’t just a game show; there’s that fam­ily as­pect to it,” he says.

“We’re cre­at­ing good op­por­tu­ni­ties for good peo­ple, whether it’s some­one who has faced ad­ver­sity or has given back to the com­mu­nity.”

Axle has been can­did about the highs and lows of try­ing to make it in Hol­ly­wood. In be­tween his guest roles in the Amer­i­can se­ries Shame­less and Agents of SHIELD, he had to pick up odd jobs to get by in­clud­ing work­ing as a bar­tender, a barista and a poker player.

“The pub­lic don’t maybe un­der­stand what goes on in the life of an ac­tor or a mu­si­cian or any artist,” he says. “It’s not all beer and skit­tles … There are a lot of great ac­tors who have day jobs too.”

Axle is keep­ing his fin­gers crossed for another sea­son of The Wall.

“Hope­fully it’s a big hit and we get another sea­son; maybe LeBron will call,” he laughs. The Wall is on Mon­day at 7.30pm on Chan­nel 7

Axle White­head has swapped act­ing for the role of game show host on The Wall.

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