Hit sketch show’s door still open to fresh com­edy tal­ent

Townsville Bulletin - - LIFESTYLE -

SHANE Bourne would love to see Thank God You’re Here back on tele­vi­sion. So would Chan­nel 7.

Bourne, who has just re­placed Daniel MacPher­son as host of Danc­ing with the Stars, has given the first in­sight into why the pop­u­lar im­pro­vised com­edy pro­gram hasn’t been on air since 2009.

Bourne be­lieves it’s be­cause pro­duc­ers Work­ing Dog – Rob Sitch, Tom Gleis­ner, Jane Kennedy, Santo Ci­lauro, and Michael Hirsh – have been wait­ing for a fresh crop of Aussie com­edy tal­ent to take part.

Bourne reck­ons now would be the per­fect time to bring the show back, and he wants to host it.

“Thank God You’re Here is the one that peo­ple ask me about,” Bourne says. “If it got the green light, and if I could, I’d have to ( host it) be­cause it’s in my DNA.”

Thank God You’re Here was a rat­ings phe­nom­e­non as soon as it started on Chan­nel 10 in 2006, of­ten get­ting up­wards of 1.7 mil­lion view­ers per episode across the five cap­i­tal cities.

Seven poached the show in late 2008, pay­ing a re­ported $ 1 mil­lion- plus an episode for the 10 episodes it screened the fol­low­ing year.

Things have been quiet ever since – but Bourne thinks the time might be right for it to re­turn to the small screen.

“They ( Work­ing Dog) used to talk about the fact that ( when Thank God You’re Here first aired) there was a re­ally good pool of es­tab­lished, semiestab­lished, and un­known co­me­di­ans.

“I re­mem­ber talk­ing to them a cou­ple of years ago and them say­ing, ‘ It is just a bit thin on the ground on the un­knowns.’ I think there is a bit of a groundswell ( of new tal­ent) now.”

Seven pro­gram chief An­gus Ross is just as keen as Bourne to have the show back on air. “Thank God You’re Here is a great for­mat,” Ross says. “We’d al­ways be ready for another burn around!”

Joel Edger­ton in



Graham Nor­ton. Mon­day, 9.15pm, SEVEN Honourable men­tion for guilty plea­sure view­ing:

Sean Keenan in



Shane Bourne.

ON TAR­GET: James Spader as the cal­cu­lat­ing Ray­mond Red­ding­ton in The Blacklist, whose sea­son re­turn left Amer­i­can au­di­ences stunned.

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