COMIC HILLS GETS BACK IN THE GAME

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - TV Guide - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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