“Pretty much they said, “We love it. Good luck!'”
Not many stars get a show greenlit from a cozy concept pitch. But not many stars are Hamish & Andy.
When you have the track record of Hamish & Andy it’s very nearly a free pass when it comes to getting your next project greenlit.
And why shouldn’t they? Strong ratings, critical success, funny stuff.
Nine’s Director of Television Michael Healy is a big fan, so their pitch meeting for Hamish & Andy’s “Perfect” Holiday, sounds decidedly chilled.
“We’re lucky in the sense that there are no requests or restrictions,” Hamish Blake explains.
“I mean, we’re really lucky to have the relationship we do with Mike and the whole network. We know that it’s based on not taking the piss too much. If we’d just said ‘We want to go away and have a holiday’ and we came back and there was no show, I guess that would be the last thing we did with Nine.
“We kind of just ran through the idea”
“So we kind of just ran through the idea of ‘We thought it would be cool to take it it in turn, alternate each day… and pretty much they said, “We love it. Good luck!’
“But if we have an idea for Nine and they say ‘No thanks guys,’ that’s ok too. We’re all big boys and big girls and we can handle it. We can move on.”
To elaborate, the 3 episode series sees the duo in North America, unveiling surprise challenges for each other, from “Figure-8 Bus Racing” in Washington to trying to find Bigfoot in Canada.
“We didn’t want to just go back to doing Gap Year. That was a fun time and while a 32 year old on a Gap Year is just as ridiculous as a 37 year old, for some reason, it just felt even more of a stretch.
“So we thought ‘What do we like doing when we travel? Why are we travelling?’ But we were just honest. I’m excited to get away for three weeks with my best bud, and do dumb shit that I’m not allowed to do!”
“It at least gives you a shot at feeling more genuine”
The “surprise” element of the show, in which neither knew what task they were about to face involved heavy reliance on their research team. But it was also a device that was successful in their True Story format.
“It at least gives you a shot at feeling more genuine. We deliberately try to engineer scenarios where whatever we’re naturally feeling will be better than anything fake,” Blake continues.
“We want to make a show where if things kind of go a bit wrong, that’s terrific.”
Also returning is the voice of veteran actor Rod Mullinar (Bloom, Five Mile Creek, Skyways, Ryan, Patrick) who has been with the duo since their radio days.
“It just felt right. He’s a lovely guy and he’s always just got the tone. We’re really lucky he’s available for us,” he admits.
“We’ve occasionally tried different voices but I guess at it’s heart, what we do is just being silly and you can’t get any more gravitas than Rod.”
“The next morning was even more extreme”
Amongst the most extreme tasks sees Blake face off with the world’s hottest chilli. But it wasn’t just the excruciating gourmet that was the problem.
“The toilet the next morning was even more extreme,” he warns.
“I mean, no-one can accuse us of being a highbrow show but jeez we could have been a lot more low brow if we’d shown the next morning.”
Hamish & Andy’s “Perfect” Holiday airs 7pm Sunday on Nine.