Spicks and Specks ending: It was Great while it lasted
Here’s the biggest TV story of the day, the week and even the month; Spicks and Specks will end at the end of this year. But don’t put a foot through your computer screen in anger yet, it seems as if its a fairly amicable end to its seven year run of 277 episodes.
There has been a completely positive outpouring of affection for the show, which is simply great to see, as most shows end because the stars are tired, or out of ideas. But the show managed to refresh itself constantly while maintaining the core element of the dynamic of Adam, Myf and Alan, as well as the loose format centered around games with accessible to difficult music questions.
And speaking of the trio, it is a wonder that they have remained intact after so many years, with no reported fights, or detections to commercial networks (it’s almost assumed that Adam has received numerous tempting offers).
They have also all been raised up from relative obscurity, with Adam being known for his friendly brand of stand-up only, Alan for his acting work and Myf for her work on Triple J radio.
Now, Adam has his own primetime talk-show, Myf had her own (but unfortunately ill-fated) breakfast radio show on Triple M Melboune with Peter Helliar, and Alan is an ABC radio host, who also had regular guest spots on Triple M.
The effect it will have not only onthe ABC’s schedule but the whole Australian television landscape. It is located smack-bang in the middle of the week, and for years the ABC has structured its Wednesday primetime schedule around it- helping it to establish a powerhouse night of solid gold hits including The Gruen Transfer and Summer Heights High. To a lesser extent, it has helped to provide a solid launching pad for shows such as Hungry Beast and At the Movies, which surely would be forgotten without its popular neighbour.
And let’s not forget the strong influence it was on other shows. Yes, it was similar to Never Mind the Buzzocks, but the ABC brought a unique local flavour to it, and almost pioneering a format of laid-back anecdote spouting combined with silly yet fun games as well as tough questions for real music buffs.
Many other networks have tried to copy this formula; to name a few, Between the Lines, The White Room and You May Be Right. Even the ABC has had a crack at it with the Trophy Room. Yet all have failed to take off, only showing how unique and inimitable the chemistry and atmosphere of the show and its regulars.
It has also brought newfound popularity, or a new audience to people such as Hamish Blake, Frank , Denise Scott, Dave O’Neill who all now have regular TV gigs that they didn’t have before Spicks and Specks started (Hamish and Andy’s Gap Year, Woodley, Winners and Losers and In Gordon Street Tonight respectively). It has also brought new fame to various musicians such as Ella Hooper, Brian Mannix, Brian Cadd, Richard Gill, the list goes on…
My tip would be that after Spicks an Specks wraps up, the gap in Wednesday nights will be filled by a longer run of In Gordon Street Tonight. As for Myf and Alan… I know they’re talking to the ABC about other projects, but here’s a free suggestion; why not have an At The Movies style show, but instead they review new albums, songs and recap the week’s music news. They could even put their eclectic taste and knowledge of music to good use by putting viewers on to great new/old music.
So here’s to Spicks and Specks; Alan’s dogged yet playful determination to win (including his eyes-to-the-ceiling game-face), Myf’s infectious laugh, Adam’s seamless improvised quips, to the tip-of-your-tongue moments in Substitute and the weird and wonderful musicians as guests. We will miss you when you’re gone, but in the meantime, enjoy it while you still can!