Spicks and Specks Episode 9

You haven't accidentally stepped into one of those wacky Comedy World Cup things, although you'd be forgiven for believing that. Ella is joined by frequent Spicks and Specks guest, Irish comedian Jason Byrne, and his countryman, singer-songwriter Damien Dempsey. I was joined by British comic Joe Lycett and the return of an opera singer who, like Jason, has been on this show many times, Antoinette Halloran

It was great having Antoinette back on the show, and on my team! I've worked with her a number of times over the years. As regular guests on Spicks and Specks, who were both based in Melbourne, we would often find ourselves roped into the Spicks and Specktacular live shows or other music-quiz-themed events around town. Antoinette is a frequent star of Melbourne Opera productions, and you can often find her indulging her love of Puccini there. I recently saw her perform with the Melbourne Syphony Orchestra at the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular. She was on stage with Daleks, Cybermen, Ice Warriors, Ood, Ventian Vampires and Peter Davison. It was heaven. Antoinette also performed a duet for our closer on this episode, which is hysterical, and fulfilled another of my life's ambitions, to be on television with a certain someone. When you find out who, you may squeal as loudly as I did.

I was also joined by Joe Lycett who is just delightful, although something of a shit stirrer! He made some comments to incite unrest over on Ella's very Irish team, and the episode quickly spiralled out of control. Not helped by the fact that I am not one to leave a hot potato alone. Oh dear. I said potato. The Irish will be furious.

Speaking of the Irish, Jason Byrne was, as usual, hysterical. I don't think Josh even managed to start the show before Jason was up and causing havok! Ella's other teammate, Damien, was just gorgeous. His music is very soulful and his lyrics quite pointed, so I was expecting a rather serious, possibly dour, guest. To everybody's delight, we discovered that Damien is hilarious fun. This is possibly one of the most unruly episodes we've recorded in Season 8, and it was is danger of blowing out to 2 hours long. I pity the poor editors...