The new Spicks and Specks team? Adam Richard, Josh Earl and Ella Hooper.
It was announced last year, then languished in the ABC’s “too hard” basket for most of this year but now it appears Spicks and Specks is finally back.
The hit music quiz show is set to return early next year hosted by comic Josh Earl with Melbourne radio host Adam Richard and former Killing Heidi singer Ella Hooper.
The series return was to have been announced at the ABC’s 2014 upfronts event later this month but with the pilot due to be recorded this week, news of the much-loved series return has leaked.
The original Spicks and Specks team: Alan Brough, Adam Hills and Myf Warhurst.
“We can’t confirm anything,” one ABC source said. “But I think people involved in the series have gotten a bit excited and told their friends and it’s leaked out.”
“No comment” is the official word from the ABC whose bosses are reportedly unhappy that what was to have been one of the big announcements of the 2014 line-up has been leaked. But online, friends of the new stars wasted little time in offering congratulations.
Triple J broadcaster Tom Ballard, Daddy Cool singer (and Spicks and Specks regular) Ross Wilson, television host Meshel Laurie all sent twitter messages of support.
Richard, a prolific social media user, was uncharacteristically quiet on the issue, offering only: “I don’t know what you’re talking about” when one Twitter follower made allusions to the role.
From January 2005 to November 2011, the original Spicks and Specks, hosted by Adam Hills with team captains Alan Brough and Myf Warhurst, was a staple of the ABC’s Wednesday night line-up. It introduced musicians and comedians as they answered pop culture and music-based questions in a contest in which ultimately, the point score was nowhere near as important as the fun had along the way.
Regular panellists including Hamish Blake used the show to increase their popularity and several performers relaunched their careers and found new fans as they revealed a lighter side.
The series spawned spin-off specials including an annual Christmas episode, A Very Specky Christmas, and a Best of . . . program which usually rated higher than the regular program.
The series ended in 2011 when the three main stars, who had agreed on a “one in, all in” plan for the show, grew tired of the format.
Last December, ABC watchers were thrilled by the announcement that the series would return this year.
Included in the novel-sized book of new shows confirmed for the year was a special “sealed section” which promised Chris Lilley would be back (with what would become Ja’mie: Private School Girl) and the new Spicks and Specks.
A two-page photograph of the show’s vacant set was accompanied by the single line: “The seats are empty for now but watch this space”.
The official Spicks and Speck twitter account has not been updated since last year. Ironically, one of the final messages was from Hills saying he was happy to hear the show would get another run.
“I always thought there was life in the old dog without us,” he wrote.