The seven who are fronting the ABC series are aged from 20 to 28 years old and have diverse backgrounds and experiences in media, journalism, documentary, radio, online broadcasting and events.
The others are: Marc Fennell (24 from NSW, known from Triple J and SBS’ The Movie Show), Jessicah Mendes (27 from WA), Veronica Milsom (24 from Vic), Kieran Ricketts (26 from NSW), Chris Leben (20 from Vic) and Kirk Docker (28 from Vic).
Joining them are another 12 young Aussies aged 20-30 from Queensland, Western Australia, Victoria and New South Wales who will act as Researchers, Web Content Producers, Shooters / Directors, Editors and Graphics.
Their selection follows an extensive nationwide search that netted 1130 applications, which were whittled down to 60 interviews. During their lengthy pre-production training the lucky 19 were versed in everything from story conferencing, location shoots, defamation, editing, research and writing.
During this period, industry experts appeared as guest speakers including Seven’s Peter Meakin, John Safran, Richard Neville, Catherine Lumby, Julian Morrow, Chas Licciardello and David Marr.
With the resources to tell new stories, the Hungry Beast project is being likened to the ABC’s discovery of new voices through Race Around the World, Beatbox and Fly TV.
Under the banner “Tell Us Something We Don’t Know,” the 10 part half hour series will also be complemented by a website where viewers can submit stories to potentially be included on-air.
Executive Producer Anita Jacoby (Enough Rope, The Gruen Transfer) says, “Even though they are very different – some come from a serious journalistic background, others are natural piss-takers – they each have key qualities that we are looking for. They are hugely motivated and hard working.
“They are voracious consumers of all kinds of media, not just the usual sources. They have well thought-out views on why a lot of contemporary television doesn’t speak to them anymore – and they are confident enough to think they can do better.”
Series Producer Andy Nehl (Beatbox, Blah Blah Blah, Lawrence Leung’s Choose Your Own Adventure, The Chaser’s War on Everything) said, “This is a very media savvy group. Although new to television, many of them are multi-skilled and have already created some memorable content for the web.
“We can’t wait to see how new people, raised in the Google, Twitter and cable universe, interpret the world.”
It premieres 9pm Wednesday September 30th on ABC1.