Interview with the team from ‘NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT’ – a new comedy panel show on Channel 31

by Lisa Clark

Not a Lot of People Know That is a new comedy panel show coming to Channel 31 on Thursday night at 10pm and will be on for six weeks. This takes the show through the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, but smartly they have pre- recorded it, because just about everyone involved will be performing in a show. We realise that everyone has their minds on the Festival at the moment, but it’s nice to rewind at home occasionally in front of the TV, so this show could be a relaxing way to keep you in the Festival mood.

Three of the performers were lovely enough to give us an idea of what to expect.

N: Neil Sinclair
V: Victoria Healy
A: Alasdair Tremblay-Birchall

Tell me about the people involved, was it someone’s project or a collaborative effort?
N: Luke McGregor played all the parts.
A: And it turns out in the final episode Luke was played by 75 different people.
(All laugh)
N: It was very much a collaborative effort.
A: Neil Sinclair, Emma Sharp and Andy Matthews got this project up and running.
V: Alasdair became interested in this show when he realised he could just turn up and fail.
N: And I got Vic on board by accident because I just cruised around the St Kilda streets for hours asking anyone on the footpath but they all asked for money, but Vic said she’d give it away for free.

How long have you been working on it?
V: Yonkers
A: The idea germinated about 8 months ago
N: Yeah, The drunken conversation I had with Emma happened about 8 months ago.
V: We started writing in August 2012

How do you get a show up at Channel 31 anyway?
N: With practice, or is that Carnegie Hall?
V: Or ask Lessons with Luis. They are a great example of Channel 31 success.
N: Bully Emma Sharp into doing it. She’s a great producer.
A: Go through the Channel 31 protocol as found on their website
V: That’s very practical, Al. Are you a Virgo?
A: No I’m a Logician – a person who studies logic

Are you frustrated that commercial TV doesn’t want to give these types of shows more space?
N: Don’t they? This would be a really cheap show for them to make. I wouldn’t cost much at all.
A: I think they do, we just need to show them how good community produced shows can be.

How does this differ from other trivia panel shows?
V: I think it’s different because we are showcasing local comedy talent. We’ve had Michelle Nussey, Sam Petersen, Xander Allen, Rob Hunter, Hayman Kent and Luke McGregor on the show, just to name a few.
A: And we’ve also introduced people to other amazing talent in Melbourne – stunt women, a local politician, and writers.
N: And it’s funny.

How many episodes are there?
N: Six in this first season
V: But there will be more. A second season is in talks. High level talks. The UN might be involved.

Are you relieved the episodes are all pre-recorded before the series goes to air so you can relax and concentrate on your own live MICF shows?
N: Yeah, my show Neil Sinclair: Phoney is a lot of work.
V: He’s lying! I can tell! He taught me how to lie in his show about how to like. He’s saying this while he’s touching his anatomy. I know this because I am well aware in what an anatomy looks like cos I’m doing a show about the anatomy called Victoria Healy’s Anatomy.
A: And I’m going to try hard to work my show into this question. My show is called Alasdair Tremblay-Birchall in Trying Hard

I hear you had to re-record some of the episodes, tell me how that came about?
N: Some git stole our hard-drive

How was the re-recording experience?
V: Great, it made the show better
A: Once I knew the answers to the questions, it made it even more difficult to get them wrong the second time round.

Is this show just an elaborate promo clip for your Festival shows?
A: This show is completely unrelated to Alasdair Tremblay-Birchall Trying Hard and has nothing to do with promoting his comedy fest show at the Forum 9:45pm (everyday except Monday).
N: No, it’s a calling card for our writing skills and our ability to make a professional panel show on a small budget.
V: It’s not a promo because we can’t mention our shows on the program, that’s community TV for ya! Everything has to be non-commercial. I should’ve just told them that no one makes a profit from an MICF show.