Kate Langbroek: “I didn’t necessarily want to be hosting that sort of show”
Hosting a reality dating show was not on Kate Langbroek's bingo card, until she took one looks at My Mum, Your Dad.
Kate Langbroek really wasn’t especially interested in hosting My Mum Your Dad until she saw a screener of the UK version.
Even taking into consideration the production shortcomings she was sold on the concept of mature-aged singles seeking love a second time around, and match-made by their own children.
“When I finally got to watch it, I loved it so much. I loved the premise of it more than the execution, if you know what I mean. You have to look past the execution and even the hosting, to see what the genesis of the idea was,” she tells TV Tonight.
“Within a few days, maybe a week or so and I was hosting the show.
“(Nine executive producer) John Walsh was really clear that it was going to be a sort of ‘heart-led’ production, rather than a drama-led production. It was quite genuine in its intent to see single parents find love, of course with their children watching it unbeknownst to them.
“While I love watching reality shows that lean more into the drama, I didn’t necessarily want to be hosting that sort of show. But I love the thought that someone who sacrificed themselves in the honourable art or science, or sheer luck of child rearing, I would have a chance to rediscover that part of themselves that had lain dormant,” says Langbroek.
“Somehow felt very easy for me to do it really”
“I’ve done quite a bit of television, but this was also a stretch for me to step into hosting, but it somehow felt very easy for me to do it really, because I actually believed in it and because everything was set up. Nine are the masters of that style of Reality. I’m an unabashed MAFS enjoyer, and they’re just really good at that.”
In season two, filmed last March, there are six men and seven women looking for love, watched on by their adult children in a nearby Bunker. While the involvement of the offspring was a Reality twist in S1, how does that play out in S2?
“There are surprises along the way. What was a surprising revelation was when we went into it I thought ‘How will this work now that they know the kids are watching?'” she admits.
“The kids are so committed, and so studious and heartfelt about it”
“It actually didn’t matter at all. In fact, I forgot that was even a component of the first series, because they threw themselves so enthusiastically into the job of matchmaking for their parents. The kids are so committed, and so studious and heartfelt about it. It seemed like the most natural thing in the world. Even though the parents are aware their children are watching, they say and do some extraordinary stuff.”
With only one season having screened what is the success rate for the previous couples seeking romance?
“Some couples are still dallying, coming back and forth to the waterhole. There was a couple that were together until Christmas and then broke up. Now I think they’re seeing each other again,” she reveals.
Yet despite her enthusiasm, Langbroek admits there were times in S1 when she had hesitations around some of her hosting duties.
“In the first series, I kind of played these games with the kids or we’d do a quiz show where I would ask questions. A couple of times I said, ‘I don’t really feel comfortable asking children about these. I wouldn’t be comfortable if someone asked my adult son about this.’ And the producers straight away were like, ‘Yes, you’re right’ and that was it,” she recalls.
“There’s enough, believe me, inherent drama in watching people’s journeys”
“It’s got to be entertaining. But it doesn’t have to be disruptive, malicious, or gratuitous. There’s enough, believe me, inherent drama in watching people’s journeys, as they try and throw off the shackles of what they’ve wrapped themselves up in, for the last 30 years. There’s enough drama in watching them kind of free themselves from that, without us having to add too many ingredients that aren’t necessary for the recipe.
“Because the children were involved, it adds a different tenor to the makeup of the show. It adds another level of responsibility on our side to not gratuitously amp up the drama or try to fiddle or anything like that.”
“There are some really tough times for the kids”
This season while the kids will have the power to send some of the adults home, there are also some confronting moments for them as onlookers.
“Without giving a spoiler, there are some really tough times for the kids, when they see a side of their parents that they haven’t seen before. They love their parents, and they think their parents are amazing. Their parents have raised them. But they see their parents as humans, and see how flawed their parents are in some cases. It’s really difficult for them,” she insists.
“Sometimes their parents say and do some terrible things as humans are want to do. But then you see how the children deal with that. It’s just incredible.”
My Mum Your Dad screens 7:30pm Tuesday & Wednesday on Nine.