IF YOU’RE not aware of David Tench, he was an animated talk show host who appeared on Australian TV for less than six months in 2006.
And by animated I don’t mean he was full of life, he was literally animated.
During the 16 episodes of David Tench Tonight which aired on Channel 10, the wacky host grilled stars including Pat Rafter, Ronan Keating, The Wiggles and Julia Gillard.
Then the show was axed.
Now, 10 years later, the man who played David Tench has opened up to news.com.au about the bizarre show and has revealed which celebrity guests weren’t easy to deal with.
Drew Forsythe said he wasn’t convinced he was the right person for the role when he was approached by Andrew Denton, the brains behind the show.
“I’m an actor, not a comedian and I’m certainly not an interviewer,” Forsythe said to news.com.au.
“But Andrew said he was sure I could do it and we had a couple of test runs and I thought, perhaps I could.”
“It wasn’t my voice,” Forsythe said about the character.
“I personally based the character on Gordon Elliot who was a talk-show host who started out on Good Morning Australia with Kerri-Anne Kennerly. He had this deep voice with a kind of American twang.
“And I also based it a bit on David Letterman. He had this laugh he would do whenever he was trying to think of something else to say which was a handy tool to use.”
Becoming David Tench physically was much tougher than finding his voice.
“I’d come in on the morning (they’d interview two guests in a day) and put on a wet suit that was covered in dots,” Forsythe said.
“My face was covered in dots too. They were glued onto my lips, my eyelids, all over.”
Forsythe had a special studio out the back which had 24 cameras all aimed at him as he sat behind a desk.
“I’d sit there for a couple of hours while they calibrated the entire character,” he said.
“The guest was in another studio with the audience and there was an empty desk which they would face. There was a screen behind the desk and the image of David Tench would come up on there and I was able to ask questions directly to them.
“There was a television set in my studio where I could see the guest.
“It was quite a complex process and once I was in my studio I couldn’t leave it. If I had to go to the toilet, well, I couldn’t.”
Tench was designed to embarrass the celebrity guests much as possible, Forsythe said, and most of them played along.
“Nelly Furtado was actually really good fun,” he said, “of all of them, she was the best”.
“Mark Holden was very good and Julia Gillard was quite good but she wouldn’t answer many questions.”
One guest in particular though proved to be more than a handful.
“The most difficult one was Johnny Knoxville,” Forsythe said.
“He was drunk and he was drinking throughout the interview. He was just quite obnoxious really, but we still managed to get an interview out of him. He laughed along but it was just a bit obnoxious and it took a bit of coaxing.
“Johnny Knoxville wanted to come back and talk to me [after the show had been filmed]. I dispensed from it as quickly as I possibly could. He was OK, he was just like some drunk at a bar.”
At least the Jackass star’s interview made it onto TV though, unlike an Australian pop star who Forsythe refused to name.
“It never went to air because he wouldn’t answer the questions,” he said about the singer.
“He was really awkward. He’d just say yes or no.”
Nowadays Forsythe is travelling the country with The Wharf Revue with Jonathan Biggins and Phillip Scott.
Currently in Canberra, they’re set to perform in Sydney at the Wharf Theatre in October.
As for the brains behind David Tench Tonight, Andrew Denton, he’s rumoured to currently be pitching a new interview-based TV program.
According to The Australian, Denton will also host the show.
News.com.au understands Denton has also met with a couple of radio networks to discuss a potential return to the airwaves next year.
It’s not known if it would be a daily show or just a weekly radio program.