Former Chaser comedian Andrew Hansen will front the new ABC TV public speaking series, Strictly Speaking.
Hansen is known for his satirical songs and character pieces on the The Chaser, sometimes attracting controversy, including for his Eulogy Song.
The 13 x half-hour show is a competition that searches for ‘Australia’s Best Public Speaker.’ Following its contestant call 1500 applications are being whittled down to 27 spots via 320 auditions.
“As the performing monkey of my family, I’ve been wheeled out at every wedding since infancy,” said Hansen.
“By some cosmic error I was made school captain. Very soon the staff realised what a mistake had been made, as I exploited my weekly speeches to air controversial opinions and make woeful jokes.
“Later I went to uni and dabbled in the debating scene there. I escaped quickly as it was a bit daunting and pretentious! For me, the best speeches are hugely entertaining and funny and moving – they’re the kinds of speeches you’ll see on Strictly Speaking.”
Amanda Duthie, ABC TV Head of Arts and Entertainment, said, “There is absolutely room for meaningful rhetoric and speech writing in the era of the sound-byte and that is what this show celebrates.”
Hansen’s post-Chaser hosting of the show follows from Chris Taylor’s presenting Australia’s Heritage: National Treasures.
The co-production between ABC TV and Southern Star Entertainment will begin shooting in Sydney in September to air in early 2010.