PRO­FILE Shura Taft

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - TV Guide - - CELEBRITY -

Af­ter be­ing hooked on the show as a teenager, the host of The Mole is thrilled with his new job and, just like us, he’s try­ing to guess who it is, writes Anooska Tucker-Evans.

Tues­day, 7.30pm, Seven

FOR Shura Taft host­ing the re­vived se­ries of Chan­nel 7 re­al­ity show

The Mole is a dream come true. The 30-year-old was ad­dicted to the orig­i­nal se­ries, which ran from 2000 to 2003, and says get­ting the op­por­tu­nity to present a pro­gram he loved so much as a teenager is ‘‘amaz­ing’’.

‘‘It was a pinch me mo­ment when I got told I was do­ing the show,’’ he says.

‘‘There’s not many times in life that you’re part of some­thing that you orig­i­nally loved. It’s a dream job for me.’’

As a 17-year-old, Taft (pic­tured) would watch the show re­li­giously then dis­cuss with his mates what hap­pened in each episode.

‘‘On the back of my school diary we had our col­lec­tive thoughts on who was the mole,’’ he says.

‘‘Now be­ing a part of it is bizarre and amaz­ing.’’

The se­ries has con­tes­tants work­ing to­gether in dif­fer­ent chal­lenges to earn money that adds to the win­ner’s pot. But try­ing to sab­o­tage those chal­lenges and make the group fail, is the mole.

The mole’s iden­tity is kept se­cret through­out the com­pe­ti­tion un­til the very end. So se­cret, in fact, that not even Taft or the crew are al­lowed to know.

‘‘I think that’s a good thing for two rea­sons,’’ the host says.

‘‘One, it means that when I’m do­ing my pieces to cam­era I’m not sud­denly think­ing, ‘Oh, have I looked at the mole too long, have I given some­thing away?’. So it means I can be at ease. And two, which is even bet­ter, I play along with the au­di­ence.

‘‘I’m in ex­actly the same po­si­tion as the au­di­ence so, of course, I’m think­ing about who it is and I’ve got my the­o­ries.’’ Many the­o­ries as it turns out. Taft ad­mits he’s sus­pected five out of the 12 con­tes­tants to be the mole, and is con­stantly de­bat­ing with the rest of the crew as to who is the sabo­teur among the com­peti­tors.

‘‘Ev­ery­one’s got their the­o­ries. We’ll fin­ish the shoot and sit down and have lunch and we’ll be like, ‘What did you think of so-and-so do­ing this?’,’’ he says.

Mak­ing it even trick­ier for them to guess is a new trend which has de­vel­oped among the con­tes­tants that has been nick­named ‘‘mol­ing’’ or ‘‘mol­ish be­hav­iour’’.

Given the per­son who knows the least about the mole each week is elim­i­nated, the con­tes­tants have started pre­tend­ing to be the mole to throw oth­ers off and keep them­selves in the com­pe­ti­tion longer.

‘‘There are peo­ple who aren’t the mole act­ing like the mole be­cause it’s part of the game so you think, ‘Why did that per­son muck up the chal­lenge? Is it be­cause they’re mol­ing?’.’’

While the task of guess­ing who is the mole is tricky enough, the chal­lenges have been putting some of the con­tes­tants far out of their com­fort zones.

They in­clude ev­ery­thing from phys­i­cal to men­tal chal­lenges like solv­ing puzzles, find­ing miss­ing peo­ple, ab­seil­ing and even be­ing sus­pended from a high-wire 20 storeys in the air above the Blue Moun­tains in NSW.

‘‘There’s a mix of thrillseek­ers and scaredy cats in the group,’’ Taft re­veals.

‘‘Some of them han­dle it well, oth­ers not so much.

‘‘I’ve looked at all the chal­lenges and been like, ‘Oh my God, I want to do that’.’’

So how then would Taft go as the mole?

‘‘It’s a lot of pres­sure. The whole show hinges on the fact that the mole can do their job se­cretly and with­out be­ing de­tected,’’ he says.

‘‘It’s a very hard thing to do be­cause peo­ple are con­stantly watch­ing you.

‘‘I think I’m quite a con­vinc­ing liar, but hav­ing that weight on me I’m not sure.’’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.