Host Adam Hills and team captains Myf Warhurst and Adam Brough will say goodbye to Spicks and Specks with a special pre-recorded final episode of the much-loved ABC TV music quiz show to screen on November 23.
But fans bereft at the prospect of music-trivia-free Wednesday nights can console themselves with the news that the trio will traverse the country in an epic, Franseyesque farewell tour that won’t wrap up until January.
And as the ever-amiable Warhurst told the Star Observer, she and her co-stars were pulling out all the stops for their final farewell — dignity be damned.
“This is hilarious, but in the show itself we’ve actually got heaps of choreography and dance routines,” she laughed. “So in preparation, today I’m heading out to dance class, which is probably going to be the most devastating thing I’ve ever had to endure, I’m sure.”
Warhurst promised audiences could look forward to “a whole new show, with different games and a whole new level of stupidity and pyrotechnics” from the Spicks and Speck-tacular live experience.
She admitted arena touring took her out of her comfort zone when compared to the televised version of the show, in which she and her co-stars can take as long as six hours to perfect what eventually screens as a slickly-edited half-hour of entertainment.
“Hopefully it won’t be as tough as last time we did live shows — I’d never done anything on stage before, or any singing or dancing, so it was quite a shock to the system. This time around, I’m embracing it more.
“And of course it’s the last time the three of us will be hanging out a lot together as well. It’s the end of this chapter of our lives, so we want to make the most of it.”
And what a long chapter it’s been — seven years and 277 episodes, to be precise. It’s surely testament to the show’s enduring success that news of the end earlier this year was met with shock and dismay from viewers.
“People seem to have been really shocked. It’s been lovely working on the ABC, because they give you a chance to develop and grow,” Warhurst said.
“We weren’t perfect at the beginning, but people stuck with us. Because of that, I think people feel like they have a bit of ownership over the show. And we’ve been in people’s lounge rooms for seven years. It’s weird that we won’t be there anymore.
“But we thought, we’d better do it before everyone gets too sick of us!”
Like ABC stablemate At the Movies, Spicks and Specks seems to double as both entertainment and education, encouraging conversation and exploration of music from a variety of genres and periods.
“You know what I love, too? On the show we get some of the weirdest bands on to play ‘Look What They’ve Done To My Song Ma’ [where snippets of popular songs are played in by bands from different genres].
“To give these odd, quirky bands that usually play in local pubs a chance to be seen on national television is wonderful. There are no other avenues on mainstream TV for bands like that, so I’m really happy we’ve been able to offer that.
“And of course there’s so little music on TV nowadays anyway — it’s said that people don’t want to watch live music, but they do.”
Warhurst came to Spicks and Specks from positions as editor-in-chief of respected Melbourne music paper Inpress and work as a broadcaster on Triple J, but one flubbed answer mere weeks into her tenure on the show threatened to destroy all her hard-earned indie rock cred. It’s the infamous mistake she’s spent the past seven years living down: how on earth did she forget the name of Nirvana’s seminal 1991 single Smells Like Teen Spirit?
“Sometimes you can dig it out, and sometimes you can’t — it just depends where your brain is. I remember that question because I was two weeks into the job, I’d never done TV before, I was surrounded by all these comedians and I was so nervous.
“I was really upset afterwards, but after that, I stopped caring. Everyone just laughs when I muck it up now. I think everyone knows I don’t know everything!
“Whereas Alan, on the other hand, actually does know everything.”
INFO: Spicks and Specks-tacular, November 15-18, Hordern Pavilion. Melbourne’s Convention Centre January 12-14. Tickets through Ticketek. Tickets through Ticketek. www.thefinale.com.au