“You’re the person with all the answers and there’s a bit of power there. You don’t have that many game shows that are hosted by women, particularly young women, so I think that’s a nice flip of the format … You don’t have to be a stern man in a suit any more.”
This season, contestants have been sourced from around the country, at trivia nights and auditions, resulting in a diverse group that consumes its news from a variety of outlets.
“Some people will watch the ABC news. Some are like, ‘I get my news from YouTube or Instagram or Facebook or a WhatsApp group,’” says Reucassel. “For me, the most fascinating part of doing this show is determining what news is now. It’s an interesting challenge for society, because shared news used to be an important part of social cohesion and democracy.”
It’s a problem Lee has experienced in the writer’s room, where she has found the process of compiling questions trickier than she anticipated.
“You’d think you just write down a question and an answer, but you’ve got so many things to consider. You’ve got to think about if it’s going to create good chat and conversation. You’ve got to think about whether it’s too hard or too easy. And the things that seem obvious to you, if you’re eternally online like I am, and you’re like, ‘How did someone miss this? Everyone on Twitter was talking about it,’ for a normal person, it wouldn’t be on their radar at all.”
For Reucassel, win the week is a chance to flex his improv muscles in between making series on climate change.
“One of the things that worked in the documentaries is that I came from a comedy background, and I think it’s important to maintain that balance. I don’t want to always be 100 per cent serious.”
Although it’s mostly for laughs, he says win the week engages viewers with current affairs.
“Comedy is a way of getting news to different audiences. My kids are more likely to find out about a political story by seeing it on a comedy show than by watching 7.30for instance.”
And of course there’s the untapped talent of the public.
“It blows my mind how funny people are who haven’t chosen to pursue comedy,” says Lee. “They’re concreters or chefs or bakers – a whole gamut of people. So that’s what I’m looking forward to – bringing those people onto screens and have the rest of Australia meet them too.”
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