COMIC HILLS GETS BACK IN THE GAME
TURNING 50 in lockdown doesn’t look like it should for Australian comic Adam Hills.
With plans to celebrate his milestone birthday last week in London, where he films hilarious news comedy show
the frontman was planning to party hard with friends and family.
Now, with the coronavirus curtailing those travel plans and Hills sheltering with his wife, Ali McGregor, and daughters at home in Melbourne, he’s turning back the clock as a children’s author.
“I’d been working on a children’s book for ages and it stalled. Then they got back to me a few weeks ago and said, ‘We love it, here’s an offer’. So just as my live work dried up, I get to write a children’s book.”
It’s yet another string to the accomplished presenter’s bow, using isolation to pick up the project while promoting his new documentary
The inspiring special follows Hills as he worked behind the scenes with UK rugby league club the Warrington Wolves to establish a team for those with physical disabilities.
Born without his right foot, his desire to play the game he grew up supporting was thwarted by the age of 13.
“What I realised from joining this team was my experience was the same as anyone who was born with a disability; in that we all got to a certain level, we all loved it and then you get to an age where the difference between you and the ablebodied guys just becomes more and more obvious.”
After establishing the side and preparing to tour Sydney for a friendly against South Sydney, Hills fell in love with the sport all over again. “You can see it on everyone’s faces in the team, all these guys either did play and thought they’d never get to again; or just never thought they’d have the chance to play the sport they loved. Now we have become this really tight knit band of brothers,” he explains. “We’re all on a WhatsApp group together, we’re all helping each other with lockdown.”
Hills’ wife makes a hilarious, eye-rolling cameo in the doco, explaining her husband’s mid-life adventures in league was a better option “than buying a Porsche or having an affair.”
Two years in and Hills thinks she might have changed her mind.
“She said that at the beginning of all this... it’s two years later and I’ve fractured my ankle, torn my ligaments and I was knocked out on the field for two and a half minutes. Plus, every Tuesday night I’m not home because
I go and train and all my wardrobe is rugby league kit, I think she might prefer if I had an affair. An affair might not have lasted this long,” he laughs.
Born to try: Comedian and lifelong rugby league fan Adam Hills.