Pro­file Hamish Blake

Andy Lee’s best mate knows he’s get­ting older but is de­ter­mined not grow up, and in his lat­est ven­ture he’s go­ing back to school,

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - TV Guide - - CELEBRITY - writes An­drew Fen­ton.

GOLD-LO­GIE win­ning co­me­dian Hamish Blake says it was a weird, but good feel­ing, to re­turn to his old high school af­ter a decade and a half to film part of ABC com­edy-drama


Blake and the show’s cre­ator Jess Har­ris ac­tu­ally met as teenage drama stu­dents at St Leonard’s Col­lege in the Melbourne sub­urb of Brighton.

‘‘That was a sur­real mo­ment for Jess and I, we were back on the stage in the theatre where in 1998 we did the Year 11 school pro­duc­tion of Rosen­crantz And Guilden­stern

Are Dead,’’ he says. ‘‘It is a funny feel­ing, that 15 years on, you do go full cir­cle with a film crew.

‘‘The snack ma­chine in the com­mon room was still there and so it was good to say hi to an old friend!’’

The new sea­son fol­lows Jess (Har­ris) and Josh (Sch­midt) as they re­turn home af­ter a long back­pack­ing trip to find their thir­ties loom­ing and all their friends have grown up and got on with their lives.

In­clud­ing Jess’s on again, off again teacher boyfriend Billy (played by Blake), who has a new girl­friend.

‘‘He’s had to move on be­cause the real world doesn’t stop when you go back­pack­ing and it’s sort of her quest to get him back,’’ Blake ex­plains.

The co­me­dian has also moved on, mar­ry­ing his girl­friend of two years Zoe Foster on De­cem­ber 11 last year, his 31st birth­day.

But he ex­plains he’s also avoided grow­ing up.

‘‘I’ve tried to do both at the same time, so I’ve si­mul­ta­ne­ously got mar­ried and now I’m on an­other gap year.’’

Blake and Mrs Foster-Blake have even col­lab­o­rated on a book,

Text­book Ro­mance, al­though Blake dis­misses his con­tri­bu­tion as ‘‘mess­ing around in the mar­gins’’.

His wife has so far de­clined to col­lab­o­rate on an­other. ‘‘I keep

sug­gest­ing a book called My

Awe­some Hus­band, By Zoe FosterBlake, but she has so far not agreed to the plot out­line.’’

Twen­tysome­thing be­gan life on Melbourne’s com­mu­nity chan­nel in 2007, and Har­ris tapped her old drama buddy to lend a lit­tle star power to the show.

‘‘I popped up very briefly,’’ Blake ex­plains, adding that the char­ac­ter of Billy was only in­vented af­ter the show moved to the ABC.

‘‘My favourite bit about Jess’s writ­ing and act­ing is just her great ob­ser­va­tions of the tiny lit­tle nu­ances of ev­ery­day life.

‘‘She cap­tures it very ef­fort­lessly and presents a very real world, which makes it su­per funny.’’

While it’s a com­edy, Blake’s role is pretty straight and he rel­ished the chance to do some proper act­ing, rather than just telling gags.

‘‘Act­ing is some­thing I re­ally love do­ing,’’ he says.

‘‘It’s not like I lament the fact that with us do­ing our travel show it’s not some­thing I get the chance to do of­ten, but when I do it’s great fun.’’

Later this month, Blake will film a new movie with Por­tia de Rossi called Now Add Honey. And of course Hamish & Andy’s

Gap Year Asia, on Chan­nel 9, has the duo trekking around Asia and broad­cast­ing from a Bangkok pub.

Blake says he re­alises how lucky he is to never have had to get a proper job. ‘‘We’re in­tensely lucky,’’ he says. ‘‘Andy and I have a such a sim­i­lar idea of what’s fun in life and usu­ally that just boils down to be­ing cu­ri­ous and liv­ing in a state of eter­nal won­der and we’ve found our­selves in jobs that, at the min­i­mum, per­mit that, and at the max­i­mum, en­cour­age it.’’

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