“Over the last 3 months people have asked me ‘When is it coming back?’ –whilst still not knowing the name of the show!” laughs Sam Pang.
“But that’s fine.”
It began deliberately under the radar last December as a panel show combining trivia and comedy. After multiple timeslots to build an audience, TEN has stuck with Have You Been Paying Attention? hosted by Tom Gleisner.
Pang concedes that even while the show has attracted word of mouth, not everybody seems to know the title.
“My favourite one was ‘When’s that show back? What’s it called: What’s Happening Now?’” he recalls.
“I said ‘That’s close, there’s a question mark at the end of it. But it’s called Have You Been Paying Attention?’
“And the stock, standard response is usually, ‘Sorry, obviously, I haven’t!’
“There are a couple of other combinations but that one was my favourite.”
Pang is one of the show’s regulars along with Ed Kavalee, Celia Pacquola, Mick Molloy and assorted guests where camaraderie and punchlines about the week’s news are more important than point-scoring.
“It’s such a fun show to do,” says Pang.
“Having done the show from the start, now there’s more banter and interaction than ever.”
Now settled into an 8:30 one hour slot, the show appears to have found a rhythm that was more difficult in an earlier 30 minute edition.
“The show in an hour version is a lot different. The half hour just seemed not enough room to breathe or give people a chance to have conversations and a bit of fun,” he continues.
“It was almost a rush to get through all the questions.
“But TEN decided to leave it on and let people find it, which was always the intention of Working Dog.
“If you leave them on people will find them, so it’s great that this show has been given a chance.”
Finally the show has a genuine lead-in with MasterChef and their M-classification also allows more freedom than previous PG limitations.
“The later slot suits some of the contestants more than the others. I think Mick Molloy is pretty comfortable in the late timeslot. And even Tom Gleisner. You sometimes forget how funny he is.”
Pang will miss the next two episodes as he wings his way to Vienna to co-present Eurovision Song Contest with Julia Zemiro for SBS.
When he returns he is determined to end a losing streak on the show, come hell or high water.
“I really want to win because there’s that amazing prize. The Have You Been Paying Attention? statue or whatever it is,” he jokes.
“I’m a slow start traditionally, but I believe I’ll get there in the end.”
Have You Been Paying Attention? airs 8:30pm Monday on TEN.