TV Tonight recently went behind the scenes of Spicks and Specks for their ’70s special, set on a mock Blankety Blanks set.
Host Adam Hills wore a cross between Graham Kennedy and a cricketer’s moustache. Myf donned her Suzi Quatro leathers, while Alan was…well, probably just Alan in the ’70s.
Guests included Noelene Brown (of course), comedian Tommy Dean, music entrepreneur Michael Gudinski and the pop guru, Molly Meldrum.
Gudinski and Meldrum, both old mates, ribbed each other the entire recording, in a style resembling a sitcom. Only two of the ‘insults’ will actually make it on air: “Answer the question, smart arse.”
As Meldrum told TV Tonight later, it’s all part of their personal history.
“Michael and I are great friends. We send each other up all the time. He’s one of my best friends. We do have our differences at times, but we have a bit of fun,” he said.
The Spicks recording, at ABC studios Ripponlea, was filmed in the very same studio in which Meldrum hosted Countdown.
“The last time I was here was the last Spicks and Specks. And certainly in that one where we talked about Countdown it became a very weird situation. I kept looking across, because the set where Spicks and Specks is is where all the performances used to be. And I looked across to see the Humdrum set, even though it wasn’t there it was in my mind, and then looking up at the Control Room. It was quite an experience.”
Last year Countdown was revived ever so briefly in the adjacent studio, for the launch of Foxtel’s 111 Hits.
The 70’s Spicks special, which airs this Wednesday (against Meldrum’s other appearance on Hey Hey the Reunion), closes with a 70s dance troupe. For Meldrum it brought back memories of Countdown’s dance specials.
“Every year I would hope there would be a big film that had a lot of dance in it, or music in it I should say, so we could do a whole dance special. Luckily we had Grease, Saturday Night Fever, You Can’t Stop the Music… so there was something every year to have a dance competition around.
“The Xanadu one was the only one where we took it out of the studio and took it to Chaser’s disco on Chapel Street in Prahran. And that was like taking Hollywood to Melbourne. It was astonishing.”
The ’70s special is only the second time Meldrum has appeared on Spicks and Specks.
“I just love the company,” he says. “I adore Myf, Alan’s such a great guy, and Adam is just the perfect host. I voted for him in the Logies. They’re just a lot of fun. And it’s unique in its own right. There are other, dae I say pretenders, but Spicks and Specks is it.
‘The great thing is when you watch the show you don’t know who’s going to be on and how it all balances out. Adam is a great ringmaster.”
Spicks and Specks ’70s special airs 8:30pm Wednesday on ABC1.