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Image for Spicks and Specks is pretty much the same – so what are you complaining about? ­­

Spicks and Specks is prettymuch the same – so what areyou complaining about? ­­

The new version of Spicks and Specks premiered on the ABC last night and was predictably met by howls of Twitter outrage (“We want Myf back!”). But was the show really any different from the old version?

Once you cut through the howls of rage that Aunty could trample the legacy of the original Spicks and Specks team, the main criticism of the new version was that host Josh Earl needs to calm down, speak slower and not yell so much. Earl has since responded to critics on Twitter and addressed the pressures of his new job by comparing his plight to Brian Johnson who took over as AC/DC frontman after Bon Scott’s death. Yep, in that analogy Adam Hills is Bon Scott.


Earl and new team captains Adam Richards and ex-Killing Heidi singer Ella Hooper were joined for the comeback episode by Jay Watson of Tame Impala and Pond, comedians Meshel Laurie and Des Bishop, and opera singer Jacqueline Dark.

The return of the show lit up Twitter with #spicksandspecks trending and picking up plenty of attention from the spambots. 140-character reviews appear to have been evenly split between: A) Fans welcoming the return and willing to give the new cast a chance to settle into their roles; and B) The angry mob of critics outraged that our tax dollars haven’t been used to shackle Adam Hills, Alan Brough and Myf Warhurst to the Spicks and Specks set forever.

“Unfortunately Josh has a very annoying nasal voice, can you pppllleease get someone who can enunciate English which is comforting to the ear for this time slot,” asked one disgruntled fan on the show’s Facebook page. “I love spick (sic) and specks but was truly considering turning over because of Josh’s voice.” Another enraged fan suggested that the new version has destroyed the legacy of Spicks and Specks, and says she will “work to have it taken off air”.




Despite the criticisms, the show maintains pretty much the exact format with the same games, credits and jokes. There’s the likable host you could take to tea with your nanna, the heavy-set comedian, and the plucky brunette who rose to fame thanks to triple j. In fact the “new” format is so similar to the original that it seems significant to note that the Ella and Adam sit on different sides of the set to their predecessors. Expect a Senate inquiry into the new seating arrangements to be announced in the coming days.

Music trivia buffs will note that the first answer on the show’s return was “Gotye”, while Miley Cyrus, The Buzzcocks, and ‘The Macarena’ were also featured as answers. There was also a Kanye/Taylor Swift chestnut dredged up from 2009, opera gags – “I thought contralto was how you open a Word document” – and an awkward joke set-up involving 10CC guitarist Lol Creme. (Apparently LOL cream is a treatment for ROFL rash. Boom-tish!)

The show was the 15th most watched program on Australian TV last night with just under 600,000 people tuning in, well below the 2.47-million who watched My Kitchen Rules. The Spicks and Specks return was the ABC’s third best rated show last night behind The 7.30 Report and a repeat of QI.

A repeat of Spicks and Specks will air tonight on ABC2 at 8.30pm. The show is also available for streaming via iView.

Watch deleted scenes from the Spicks and Specks comeback:

A slip of the tongue from Josh Earl

Jay Watson on the flakiness of drummers

Des Bishop sings ‘Jump Around’ in Mandarin

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