OUR STRAIGHT MATES: HAMISH BLAKE
Hamish Blake is usually part of a duo with Andy Lee but sometimes he flies solo, dancing in gay clubs, pashing blokes and… overheating!
“I’ve pashed plenty of blokes!”
DNA: Along with Andy Lee, you’ve made a lot of TV. What are the moments that stand out for you?
Hamish: For us, the perfect moments are where something unexpected happens and we are genuinely laughing. Once we went to a bar in Japan where they had monkeys as waiters. We weren’t expecting that… I mean, seeing a monkey running up to you and putting a beer on the table, well, it really got us. We were in tears. Of all the people you’ve interview, has there been anyone special?
I can’t go past Tom Hanks. There’s always a worry about meeting a hero, that they could turn out to be a jerk. But he turned out to be the greatest guy of all time. He was exactly as you’d hope Tom Hanks to be: folksy, charming, and with a lot of time for everyone in the room.
Tell us about Pink; she tattooed your arm! Yes, she had carte blanche to do whatever she wanted, tattoo-wise. I thought she’d do a dick and balls but the frog on a skateboard was something she’d draw when growing up and now it’s with me forever. She tattooed it before going on stage and, during the concert, said, “This is not going to make sense to anyone else but I forgot to tell you, Hamish, don’t go in the shower with it for 24 hours.” I had a personalized message in front of 25,000 people at Rod Laver Arena. That’s how good Pink is: she can stop her show for skin care!
Have you ever pashed a bloke?
Yes, many times. I kissed our radio panel operator Cacklin’ Jack on air, just to give him his first bloke kiss.
Who’s your best gay mate?
I’ve got a few so I don’t want to offend anyone. It’s a dead heat between my mates Josh and
PK. I couldn’t split them because they’re both terrific guys.
You must’ve been to gay club land in your time; any adventures?
Yes, and I’m the worst dancer but always welcomed with open arms. The thing is, I go in as the worst dancer, I leave as the worst dancer, but always pick up some moves. My big problem is that I’ve only got a two-dance maximum because I have a thermostat issue.
I overheat. I have two dances on and two off to avoid a saturation mess! If I do three on, I’ll never cool down for the rest of the night. Maybe I should go to gay clubs more often because then I could dance in my undies and be rid of my thermostat issues. What song always gets you dancing?
Dancing Queen. We did a gig the other night with Bjorn Again, actually, so I danced to a solid ABBA set!
Has anyone ever come out to you?
Not directly, but growing up in the ’80s I had mates who we knew were gay but we’d never had that conversation. It was never like, “Guys, I’ve got to tell you something.” Luckily, it was an era where they felt comfortable enough to just come out on their own terms in a gradual process.
You won a Gold Logie in 2012, but also the Fugly Award for Spunkiest Male TV Personality back in 2008. That one must feel pretty special?
Oh, yes, that was much bigger! That’s why if you look closely at my Gold Logie acceptance speech I’m, like, oh well, once you’ve climbed Mount Everest you can’t be that excited about Kosciuszko. Like anyone who goes through that experience, it’s very flattering, but you have to keep it in perspective. It’s a slow-horse race so, technically, you can win with 21 percent. It would be a mistake to think it was unanimous. I was very lucky to be there that year.
Who’s your diva?
Lady Gaga. Even pre-A Star Is Born, that Netflix doco where she’s getting ready for the Super Bowl is unbelievable. I’m unashamedly one of Gaga’s monsters now. It took me a while to come to the party but I think she’s amazing. That doco tipped me over.
You’ve done nudie runs, a naked restaurant, and dressed in women’s swimwear, but why the New York bodybuilding contest?
Yes, well, I wanted to wear a G-string. I thought in bodybuilding they wore G-strings all the time, but this turned out to be, like, a familyfriendly body-building contest! They made me get changed into a full-cheek speedo. I’ve also done tons of cross-dressing. In fact, last weekend, Andy and I were hosting a carnivalethemed event and when we got our outfits we said, “Where’s the pants?” It turned out what we thought were necklaces were the skirts! I was glad we were wearing undies because at first I thought we’d be free-balling it.
Have you ever had a wardrobe malfunction? Many times! In women’s clothes, particularly, I’m sure I’ve shown people way too much. I also went through a bit of a festive rotund stage in the US. I refused to believe I was gaining weight. I split a lot of pants and popped a lot of buttons in that era and the deafening noise of splitting seams is what led me to believe I might have gained weight in America.
Briefs, fitted boxers or free-balling?
I’m a fitted-boxers man. One thing that frustrates me is not having enough undies or socks, so every now and then I’ll do an audit of my undie draw and I’ll throw them all out and buy, like, thirty pairs of the same. This stops me having favourites. Throw out all the old and start from scratch! You have to be brutal and just let them go. It’s liberating because you have 20 or so pairs on a new, even footing.
Can you explain your role on Lego Masters? I’m not a judge, thank God. I’m there as a consumer or as a parent. I’ve played with Lego since I was a kid and now, as a dad, I’ve spent many afternoons building things with my son. I love the creativity. I’m there to direct traffic through the show with the challenges and the contestants, but I then hand over to The Brickman, who is an actual Lego expert.
The Brickman? Sounds like a Pulp Fiction character.
Yeah! He has a real name but I don’t want to say it. I didn’t know what he’d be like. I thought if he’s a Lego Master we’d be coming from different worlds but he’s the loveliest, regular guy. When we’re not filming, we talk about cricket and footy. I came to realise his skill is just like any artist’s. He’s a perfect mix of engineering and creativity.
You also have a new show coming up with Andy called Perfect Holiday.
Yes, it’s me and Andy travelling around making each other do dumb shit. We’re literally doing it because we missed travelling and making Channel Nine pay for our holidays. It’s kind of our happy place, and something we were doing before we were on TV or radio. We’d take weird road trips back in our uni days, and we’re excited to still be doing it 20 years later.
I should go to gay clubs more often because I could dance in my undies and be rid of my thermostat issues!
DNA: Who would you turn gay for? Hamish: I’d be a Tom Hardy guy. My wife will think I’ve said this to annoy her because she’d leave me for Tom Hardy. So it’d be like a double-dagger to her: you’ve lost your husband and Tom Hardy’s now off the table!