Spicks & Specks comes full circle

Spicks & Specks has come full circle.

The hit music quiz screened on the ABC from 2005 until 2011. On Sunday another themed special sees Adam Hills, Alan Brough & Myf Warhurst reunite, to pay tribute to the music of the 2000s.

“It’s funny, all the questions that we thought were current when we first started making Spicks & Specks are now retro!” Adam Hills tells TV Tonight, as he reflects on a decade of change.

“I remember in about 2006 saying, ‘Oh my god, guys, there’s this amazing thing called Wikipedia. It’s just come out and it’ll make things so much easier to research. We should totally get on that!’

“Oh, my God, there’s thing called YouTube”

“And then a year later going ‘Oh, my God, there’s thing called YouTube. We don’t have to go through ABC archives anymore!’

“There’s even a game in this particular episode where we play tunes on Nokia mobile phones because that was considered the height of technology.”

“We were trying to think ‘What’s the style of 2005?'”

But it is the wardrobe for this special that is one of the more amusing aspects.

“Often when we did 60s or 70s specials we would dress in that style. But then we were trying to think ‘What’s the style of 2005?’ and then Alan & Myf just went ‘We should just wear the same clothes that we wore in 2005!’ So we’ve literally got the same suits, dresses, shirts we wore back in the day!”

Panelists for the special include Ella Hooper, Nic Cester from Jet and comedians Joel Creasy and Sarah Kendall. Also appearing are Kate McLennan and Kate McCartney, with a performance by Thirsty Merc.

Filmed late last year, the special sees Hills sporting his infamous ‘Brexit’ beard (and it will for at least one more upcoming special on the 2010s). Hills vowed on The Last Leg not to remove the beard until Brexit was sorted. That took another 15 months.

“I didn’t expect it to go on that long”

“I didn’t expect it to go on that long but the longer it did go on, the funnier it would be,” he admits.

“It caused so many continuity hassles both with Spicks & Specks and when I did that Tourism Australia ad with Kylie Minogue. We filmed that in October of last year.

“The producers were saying to me ‘Can we shave it off?’ I said ‘No, it’s got to stay on for The Last Leg!’

“They found a way to get some some curling tongs, pin it under my chin and then spray it with hairspray so that I looked like a normal human being!

“Now that I’m off air for a little bit I’m growing it back -but a normal-style beard because (wife) Ali wants it back! I think she likes a bit of rough!”

Hills is currently hibernating in Melbourne after the cancellation of his Comedy Festival shows, and awaiting decisions on how he will film a new season of The Last Leg.

Given he now has holes in his schedule, is there a chance of more Spicks & Specks?

AusMusic & Christmas specials aside, Hills says filming went relatively smoothly, and made the task nostalgic fun.

“I remember Alan, Myf & I afterwards -and even the producer Anthony- were looking at each other and going, ‘This just feels like an old episode. There’s no pressure.’

“Maybe we could do some more of these?”

“We filmed it quite quickly, we had a ball. We all kind of went ‘Oh, maybe we could do some more of these?’

“There was talk of possibly doing a short season this year, maybe like 10 episodes. The tricky bit for me was finding time in my schedule because I also had the Paralympics for Channel 4. But now I’ve got a massive hole in my diary there’s certainly an opportunity to make it.

“But then that raises the next question: would Spicks still work without a studio audience? And I think it would.

“I’m definitely open to it. I don’t think this would come as any surprise to the ABC. They know that I’m up for it, if we could find a way to do it.”

Spicks & Specks: ’00’s Special airs 7:40pm Sunday April 19 on ABC.

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