Hamish and Andy’s TV rivalry
Andy Lee is best known as half of the phenomenally successful radio and TV duo Hamish and Andy, with his long-time creative partner and best mate, Hamish Blake.
While the two will reunite and hit the road later this year for the travel show Perfect Holiday, right now they are both working apart on different Channel 9 programs.
Blake had a ratings hit this week with the first episodes of Lego Masters, so the pressure is on for Lee with the second season of Talking 'Bout Your Generation, which starts tonight.
Lee represents Gen Y on the comedy-quiz show hosted by Shaun Micallef, with rivals Laurence Boxhall and Robyn Butler fronting the Gen Z and Gen X teams respectively.
You and Hamish are going up against other with your side projects right now - will you be keeping an eye on each other's ratings?
Oh yeah. Hamish and I only ever do shows for ratings and awards. So definitely. And hopefully I can win both. In all seriousness, I will be watching his show. We don't really take too much interest in the ratings on our shows but hopefully they rate well enough that we get to do them again. That's pretty much the bar.
Do you appreciate each other's talents more when you reconvene after doing projects apart?
Yeah it does. It's not the reason we do it. It's not like you should go away and have another wife momentarily just to see if you like your own wife. It's more just new challenges. A new challenge is always a great reason to step out and try different things and certainly we talk to each other a lot about the process of both shows as we do for learning for us and the others in our TV company if we were ever in the future to go down that path of making a similar show.
What can we expect from season two of Talkin' 'Bout Your Generation?
I think it's better - which is good. I have had a chance to get to know Lawrence and work more closely with Shaun and Robyn, which made it more fun. I really enjoyed it last year but in the same way of when you are playing board games with friends you know really well, you can throw out more scathing remarks and also be a bit more competitive. So I think the wheels come off a lot more this season and it makes for good viewing.
What lessons did you learn from last year?
I felt that learned that you really just have to sit back play the game and enjoy it, rather than think it's a television show. I allowed myself to do that a lot more this season. Shaun, even though he looks like a mad science teacher who has no idea of the syllabus, you have to trust that he will keep it on track and enjoy playing it.
So the comedy comes from playing the game rather than looking for the joke?
I think that's where Hamish and I have been at our best as well. We love finding areas to play in rather than actual written jokes. The way we put ourselves in those positions on those travel shows and on the radio is where we like playing the most and it requires an element of trust for that. Hamish and I have that in spades because we've been mates for so long and I think this season allowed as all to lean into that a bit more.
Have you noticed the supposed differences between Gen X, Y and Z more starkly since you have been playing on the show?
When it comes to Lawrence, not at all. His is a Baby Boomer's brain caught in a young man's body. He knows the most obscure, weird, old art questions and movies but this year there were more influencers on, which I just loved. I don't really follow any of these people or know much about Instagram influencers but learning what they found important and their perspective on life personally showed the difference between Gen Y and Gen Z and made me feel a little bit old - but certainly not as old as Robyn. I would like to reiterate that she is definitely the oldest on the show.
Who is the biggest threat?
I am certainly the weakest with regards to knowledge so I see both of them as a threat. But weirdly they have similar strengths. Laurence and Robyn, particularly when it comes to the arts, are just both brainiacs and very quick. I keep lobbying for more sports-based questions.
What was it like fronting a team with The Veronicas? They seem like a handful …
They don't have a filter when it comes to bickering between the two of them and they get on each other's nerves so quickly and, in true sisterly fashion, they kind of forget about it five minutes later. You will see genuine moments where they are bringing up personal grievances on the show and being quite vulnerable. I saw Shaun looking at one point going 'is this OK?' and I like 'yep, don't worry, I have seen this on the radio show before - they are going to be fine'.
And how about Sophie Monk?
Sophie's superpower is having absolutely no filter from the brain to her mouth when it comes to saying things. There was a great moment where we were wondering who the actor might have been in a film and an army helmet came out. I said 'maybe he's from The Hurt Locker'. And she said 'oh right, the sneaker shop?'. And I said 'I think you're thinking of the Foot Locker'. She wasn't even going for a joke.
What can you tell us about Perfect Holidays?
I am so thrilled that Hame got clearance to travel again. I don't know how many brownie points he has in the bank with (wife) Zoe but I bet he's using a few up. So I just want to put it on the record that I am very grateful to Zo and I think she is amazing and her product Go-To is a wonderful product that everyone should buy. But the difference with this one is that we want to have a few more surprises. That's what has been exciting about this process. Gap Year was great, but the format, if there is one, is that we are actually organising alternate days for each other. So we are in the dark even more which I think will make for even more genuine exciting moments along the travels.
Watch Talkin' 'Bout Your Generation, tonight, 7.30pm, Channel 9