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EXCLUSIVE: Rove McManus' new life drawing show is nothing like you'd expect

The naked truth...

By Sebastian van der Zwan
While many of us were baking banana bread and having countless Zoom meetings, Rove McManus spent lockdown sharpening up his sketching skills.
Now, he wants Australia to do the same with Life Drawing Live, a fun two-hour special where nude models pose for amateur artists, celebrity guests and viewers at home, with experts providing advice and Rove as host.
"With everyone going into quarantine, I wasn't allowed to get out and perform, so I picked up my pen as a creative outlet, which was very good for my mental health," the former talk-show king, 46, tells TV WEEK.
"Then came the idea of this show, which can work within self-isolation rules and is about embracing your artistic side. It was a no-brainer. We went with nudes because it's just more exciting than a bowl of fruit!"
A former fine-arts student, Rove recalls of his past life-drawing lessons.
"Everyone's very respectful and professional, although there was one class where the model got up and walked around to look at people's work before putting their robe back on. It was pretty uncomfortable. Suddenly I became very focused on my page!"
Rove's new show is set to bring about some naked truths... (SBS)
The three-time TV WEEK Gold Logie winner hopes Life Drawing Live will help him when it comes to mastering the tricky task of drawing feet, but he adds, "I still to this day cannot and refuse to draw a penis. I can't do it. Will not do it."
Rove has just finished illustrating his third children's book, but he's not the only one in his household with an artistic streak – his wife, Mystery Road actress Tasma Walton, 46, is an abstract painter, while their daughter Ruby, six, "has a wonderful creative spark".
He says proudly, "She's very much into the fantasy world of dragons, unicorns and fairies, and she draws these amazing little adventures where her cousins and friends go on all these journeys."
Rove is a children's illustrator, so he's well equipped for the new show! (SBS)
Life Drawing Live viewers can share their drawings on social media or via email, with the chance of their work being analysed by experts live on air.
Rove enthuses, "You don't have to be a natural artist – just pick up a pencil, draw that first line and you're away. There are no rules.
"It's a great way to spend a night in and connect with other people."
WATCH: Flashback! See Rove at the TV WEEK Logie Awards in 2012:

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