Ten years since we first Your Gen-ened

On the 5th May 2009, Shaun made his biggest splash into the mainstream zeitgeist by first hosting Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation, joining the original cast of Amanda Keller, Charlie Pickering and Josh Thomas for four glorious seasons, which got zanier as it went on, eventually even spawning a book!

And, sure, there was a hiatus between the original (2009-2012) and the reboot (which returned last year, but splitting hairs aside – happy 10 years to TAYG!

Shaun and Charlie reminisced on the anniversary over Twitter (both of whom obviously have ABC news based comedy shows at various times of the year)….

Talkin’ ‘Bout another round

TAYG will be back for 2019! After a come back last year on a new network, with new team captains (but thankfully the same host) Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation (MK2) will return to our screens for Series 2 later in the year. Filming is happening during February and March.

The quiz show battles celebrities from different generations against each other, with questions and physical challenges, to decide who is the greatest generation (of the week).

In the meantime, you can watch Series 1 online.

Your Generation is back!

It’s been six years, but next Monday, Shaun returns as host to one of the most popular TV shows he’s ever been a part of: Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation. But this time, it’s on a new television station with three new team captains. Watch the promo.

Shaun spoke to us about the return (Monday 21st 7:30pm, Channel Nine)

TAYG coming back is a bit of a surprise. Were you surprised that you got back involved?

It’s always been asked after, for us to come back. But as the years passed, we thought “oh, it’s gone now.”

The original idea was to just to do a reunion show. But for some reason, there was no opportunity to do that. Nine asked “would you be interested in doing [a new version] over here.”

I wasn’t really interested in doing it without the original cast; that was the point, that the reunion would be fun. Then I helped out with the casting, because they were going to do it anyway, and they did the captains and were looking for a host, so I said I’d come in, and it was quite fun, in a different way.

It’s quite different, as you’d expect. When it was Amanda, Charlie and Josh, they were new, and I was new, and we were getting to know each other, and getting used to it, and that created a really interesting dynamic. This new incarnation, I know the people a bit more, and in a different way. It’s kind of the same ingredients, but it’s being used to make a pudding instead of a risotto – it’s quite strange.

Do you think it’s something you might continue to revisit?

We’ll see how it goes, it’s not really my decision – it was fun to do though, it was great.

But if it works out well, and is continued in some form, would you be interested?

I wouldn’t say no, I don’t say no to anything.

Mad As Hell returns January 31st

For the first time since 2015, Mad As Hell is returning at the start of the ratings year – January 31st – for its EIGHTH season! This will be the first at the new studios in Southbank, Melbourne, where the ABC has consolidated all its television and radio production in Victoria. But the whole team has moved across, so expect arguably the best satirical show on Australian TV to continue where it left off.

ABC, Wednesdays at 8:30pm from January 31st

The Ex-Ex-PM and the Ex-Studios

On Thursday night, we’ll be treated to a sort-of-Micallef double-header, with the finale of Series 2 of The Ex-PM on ABC at 8:30pm, where Dugdale goes head-to-head in a debate with his political rival.

Following it will be a special on the ABC Ripponlea studios, which closed this year, after being home to many classic TV shows for 50+ years. The last show to be filmed there, which will feature throughout the special, was Mad As Hell. Expect to see some behind the scenes footage and an interview with Shaun.

Behind the scenes of The Ex-PM Series 2

During the filming of series 2 of The Ex-PM earlier this year, I had the pleasure of visiting the set and meeting some of the cast.

The administration building where Dugdale’s campaign headquarters was set

The main filming location was not actually in the Darling Downs, Queensland, but at the former rail workshops in Newport, Victoria. In fact, Dugdale’s campaign head quarters, and all the rooms they use as their offices, were in a former administration building on site, complete in its dilapidated glory.

Some of the nearby maintenance sheds were used to build and shoot specific sets, such as the prison sets in the Justice episode.

Outside sat Dugdale’s campaign bus, which unfortunately, actually broke down during filming and had to be towed away!

The crew were really accommodating and friendly, and I watched as they filmed a scene from “Image”, where the whole cast gathered in Dugdale’s office to talk about his upcoming media appearances while Rita trimmed his nose hairs. It was a complicated shot, and involved six camera angles, which was three different setups using the two cameras in the small room – it was a real room, not just a set!

I was also grateful for the opportunity to talk to Shaun, Francis and the one and only John Clarke, who was very giving of his time to talk about social media presence and the future of the ABC. He was ever bit as personable as everyone remembered.

If you’re enjoying Series 2, enjoy some of the behind the scenes photos.


 

Inside the set
Dugdale’s office
The main office area
The crew watching the filming
Dugdale’s bus
The prison set

 

The Ex-PM Series 2 arrives Thursday

We’re nearly ready for Series 2 of The Ex-PM – it starts this Thursday 8:30pm on the ABC.

Andrew Dugdale (Shaun), once the longest serving Prime Minister, is returning to politics, and standing for election in the seat of Darling Downs in regional Australia. He’s aided by his wife, daughter, agent, personal assistant, driver, security detail and ghost-writer – so what can go wrong?

Dugdale will be back on the hustings, seeking every publicity opportunity he can to get himself back into the public eye.

View more on the ABC website.

Keep an eye on this website during the series for some behind-the-scenes info on how it was filmed.

Stairway to Heaven specials start Wednesday

After much anticipation, Shaun’s Stairway to Heaven specials continue this Wednesday on SBS at 8:30pm.

Following on from his singular special in 2014, Shaun is continuing to immerse himself in the lives of those with “unshakable faith” to discover what gives them that faith, and wondering if there is more to life than being a semi-professional writer/comedian.

First up, Shaun travels to Salt Lake City to live, eat and pray with the Mormons before heading off with young missionaries to the jungles of the South Pacific. He then ventures to the Deserts of Utah to break bread with breakaway polygamists.

In Faith Healers (January 25th), Shaun immerses himself deep in the back blocks of Brazil, in the community of world famous medium and psychic spirit healer John of God for a chance to commune with the dead. Here Catholicism is intertwined with a belief in supernatural miracles, mediums and the afterlife.

Finally, Shaun wonders if Armageddon really is nigh (February 1st) and how to physically and spiritually prepare for the Apocalypse. Heading to America he undergoes biblical combat training with Doomsday Preppers  and explores the world of TV evangelism with Born Again Christian fundamentalists. On a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, he stands where Jesus is prophesied to return, before finally retreating to the Greek Island of Patmos where the Book of Revelation was scribed.

You can watch the first episode, Gods, Gurus and Ganges, on Vimeo.

Thanks to Artemis International for the information.

Talkin’ ‘Bout Rumours

Shaun, Stuart and a BananaEven since Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation finished in 2012, there have been rumours of the return of the successful show, especially given its flexible and original format.

The Australian has re-opened the rumours, saying ITV are shopping the show around the TV networks, with Channel Nine a likely destination. Interestingly, “sources” say Shaun is a likely host, but isn’t locked in yet.

Shaun himself has said that for him and the cast, the show was done, so not sure if this will develop further than a rumour….

Stairway to Heaven to air in January 2017

Shaun ponders the meaning of lifeShaun’s “Stairway to Heaven” series, which began with a single episode in 2014, will continue with a 3 part series in January on SBS.

As previously confirmed, Shaun is continuing on his quest for spiritual enlightenment, the meaning of life and finding out what drives people who have unshakable faith.

It’s a different kind of show for Shaun, who rather than taking a wry approach, is taking the journey and encounters very personally.

He will be looking at Mormonism in Salt Lake City, Spiritualism in Brazil, and Christian Fundamentalism in Texas. Previously he explored Hinduism in India.

Shaun did let us know that through this series, he does find some answers that bring about a conclusion to his quest.

The specials start 8:30pm Wednesday January 18th 2017 on SBS. Hopefully, the original special will be re-aired prior to the new ones.