The news of Andrew Denton’s return to TV was enough to secure interest in Randling, though the announcement of the 20 team members who will compete has added extra interest (especially considering they’ve started filming the show proper – go to the show’s website if you’d like to attend a taping). Sadly the list includes too many “same sames” – the people we always see on ABC shows. They are all seasoned performers and given the nature of the show Denton will get the best out of them, so it will be good to see if they deliver – at least there’s some new talent (Benjamin Law, Michael Williams) and some brilliant people long-missing from our screens (Anthony Morgan) adding interest. Bring. It. On. From the press release:
After a period of intense backroom negotiations, with an eye on the salary cap, ABC TV is pleased to announce the players recruited to the new game show hosted by Andrew Denton.
Across 27 weeks of RANDLING, ten teams of two will slug it out on the greatest battleground of all: WORDS.
From the creators of The Gruen Transfer, RANDLING is a game show where every point is precious, where battles are fought tooth and claw in the toughest non-sporting competition in the whole world.*
Marking his surprising return to television, Andrew assures the teams: “I’m not here to help … but I am open to bribery.”
The host says contestants have been chosen on their competitiveness, their looks, and their ability to “talk good”.
The RANDLING team members are:
Annabel Crabb – ABC Chief Online Political Writer. Currently bringing us Kitchen Cabinet on ABC TV. Also has a killer vintage frock collection.
Merrick Watts – Comedian, Triple M radio host and TV presenter. When he’s not hanging out with his family, Merrick also likes to restore old postie bikes.
Robyn Butler – Actor, writer and producer. We loved her in The Librarians.
Rob Carlton – the man behind ‘Chandon Pictures’ and an actor since he was 14. Most recently seen as Kerry Packer in the two part ABC TV series Paper Giants.
Toby Schmitz – Playwright, director and actor, knocked ‘em dead in Ruben Guthrie and in last year’s Much Ado About Nothing. Now appearing in Melbourne Theatre Company’s The Wild Duck.
Angus Sampson – Actor, writer, director. Former ‘Thank God You’re Here’ champion. Recent telly gigs have included Spirited, Underbelly, The Librarians and Wilfred.
Benjamin Law – Making his TV debut. Author of autobiographical novel, The Family Law and has also written for The Monthly, The Courier Mail, Crikey and Frankie Magazine. He appears to be only 14. The host already hates him.
Wendy Harmer – Author, broadcaster and humorist. Right now she is relishing her role as the Editor In Chief of The Hoopla.com.au.
Heath Franklin – Comedian, best known for his comedy character – ‘Chopper’, Created for The Ronnie John’s Half Hour. Has appeared in Spicks and Specks and Thank God You’re Here.
Felicity Ward – Comedian, also best known for The Ronnie Johns Half Hour. Won best newcomer at Melbourne Fringe Festival (2008).
Julia Zemiro – Presenter of Rockwiz and co-host of SBS’s broadcast of the Eurovision Song Contest for the last two years.
Toby Truslove – Currently stars in ABC TV’s Outland. Recently seen in Laid, All Saints, McLeod’s Daughters, The Strip, Thank God You’re Here and The Librarians.
Genevieve Morris – Started in Comedy Inc, also caught the eye as Elaine Front in ‘Live From Planet Earth’. Became a household face as ‘Barbara the bank manager’ in a series of television ads.
Dave O’Neil – Stand-up comedian, actor, writer, radio fella. Regular on Adam Hills In Gordon Street Tonight.
Anthony Morgan – has been working as a stand-up comic since 1982, a legend of Australian comedy whose pauses are better than most other people’s punchlines.
David Marr – Author, biographer, investigative journalist, political and social commentator. Officially the ‘Cleverest Man In Australia’.
Jonathan Biggins – Actor, writer, director. Jonathan has directed, written and Co-Created The Wharf Revue since 2000. Officially the ‘Cleverest Man In Australia’.
Jennifer Byrne – Journalist, writer, broadcaster. Presenter of First Tuesday’s Book Club. Silver Logie winner and one-time Sale Of The Century champion.
Chris Taylor – Comedian, writer, Chaser, former ABC cadet journo.
Michael Williams – Making his TV debut: Michael is the Director of The Wheeler Centre and previously co-presented 3RRR’s Breakfast Show.
Audiences are welcome to join in the Sydney studio audience. For more information, go to: http://www.abc.net.au/tv/randling/
*May not actually be true*