When he was asked to get the Spicks & Specks band back together, Adam Hills had no hesitation.
“I didn’t even think twice,” he tells TV Tonight. “I said, ‘As long as Alan and Myf are on board I’m up for it.’ Especially as it was celebrating AusMusic month. So there was a reason for it being there.”
Filmed in Melbourne in mid-September, the one hour special brings back the magic of the ABC series that wrapped in 2011. From all reports everybody had a great time filming the show. So given it was one of ABC’s most successful light entertainment shows, could he be open to more?
“Yes,” he told TV Tonight.
“I’m trying to be really coy, but I can’t be. We had so much fun doing the sessions that if it was offered to me, Alan & Myf, I would happily come back this time next year and do another one for AusMusic month.
“Maybe we do 4 episodes every Sunday night for AusMusic month?”
I can detect some hesitation in his voice.
“I kind of feel like because we did a big farewell and a tour, it might be a bit disingenuous to come back and do 30 or 40 weeks.
“Plus TV has changed, I don’t think anybody is doing 40 episodes.”
“It’s entirely possible. I can’t believe we’re having this conversation!”
Hills is now London-based where The Last Leg is a key show for Channel 4. I suggest a 10 episode run filmed intensely over 3-4 weeks or a similar model.
“You’re right. We used to film 4 episodes in a week and then a writing week. So it would only take 6 weeks to do 12 episodes. It’s entirely possible. I can’t believe we’re having this conversation!” he laughs.
The Hills-Brough-Warhurst chemistry was so integral to Spicks and Specks that even ABC could not replicate in the one season 2014 reboot with Josh Earl, Adam Richard and Ella Hooper.
“It was a once in a lifetime thing,” he agrees.
“It’s really important to know that you’re not magic and that not every show you make can be go as well as the first. When we started making The Last Leg in London, Josh (Widdicombe) & Alex (Brooker) and I sat down after the first Paralympics series and Channel 4 had offered us another series.
“But we bounced off each other so well that I said ‘I’ve seen this kind of chemistry before and it doesn’t happen very often. So when it does I think you’d be mad to walk away from it.’
“Spicks & Specks wasn’t like any other show, and a bit of lightning in a bottle.”
“I know a lot of networks have tried to make their own Spicks & Specks, and in the UK The Last Leg. But Spicks & Specks wasn’t like any other show, and a bit of lightning in a bottle.”
Were there concerns it could not be recaptured in the Reunion special?
“Part of me was thinking ‘It’s only a one-off so if it doesn’t work, what are they going to do: sack us?’
“But for some reason I had no doubt that it wasn’t going to be fun and absolutely lovely,” he continues.
“Walking into the make-up room with Alan and Myf there it didn’t miss a beat. I think I walked in and they were sitting down talking with the same make-up people we had. Within 30 seconds we were laughing. It was genuinely like we hadn’t been away.
“The one thing that didn’t change was the chemistry between Alan, Myf and I, and the producers and a lot of the same crew.
“We all just felt like we just slotted in and picked up from where we left off.”
“I’ve never seen a line-up like that on stage joyously singing Run to Paradise.”
Panelists include Adam Briggs, Ricki-Lee Coulter, Frank Woodley and Denise Scott. Dropping in on the night is a roll-call of famed Australian music performers, including many from the ‘Spicks family’ culminating in a group number.
“I’ve never seen a line-up like that on stage joyously singing Run to Paradise. I love that if any of my English friends were watching they would have no idea what is going on!” Hills insists.
“On our farewell show we had Brian Mannix and we were singing Where Will We Be in 50 Years? but it was tinged with sadness.
“This time because it is a celebration it was just pure joy.”
From the UK, Hills will be monitoring social media to see reactions.
“This will be the first time I will have to deal with Spicks & Specks going to air that I will have to deal with tweets afterwards. I’m placing bets on how many tweets will comment on the greyness of my hair!” he laughs.
And if it goes well, we should expect more next year?
“Look it depends how the episode goes on Sunday, but I would never say never,” he teases.
“Let’s see what the ABC comes up with.”
Spicks & Specks Reunion 7:40pm Sunday on ABC.