Reality TV

Hamish Blake chats to TV WEEK about his new hosting gig on LEGO Masters and being a cool parent

“When Sonny and Rudy are teenagers slamming doors in our faces, I can hold up this TV WEEK interview and prove that people thought we were cool!”
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When you scroll through Hamish Blake’s CV, it’s hard not to be impressed. At 37, he’s one half of Australia’s favourite radio duo, created several top-rating TV shows and – most importantly – taken home the TV WEEK Gold Logie Award in 2012.

He’s now set to keep the good times rolling as the host of LEGO Masters – a reality show in which participants compete to build the best LEGO project. A gig Hamish calls a “dream job”.

You could say it hasn’t turned out too badly for a kid who decided to ditch his double degree at university to pursue a career in comedy.

Considering all his success, is Hamish proof that following your gut – even if it means dropping out of university – might be your best bet?

“I don’t feel anyone should use my CV as a solid example,” he tells TV WEEK with a laugh. “If people are thinking, ‘Hamish dropped out of uni and he’s done alright – maybe I should leave too,’ that’s a bad idea.”

Hamish takes on yet another role as host of LEGO Masters (Image: Nine Network).

It’s clear that this is a father-of-two speaking cautiously, wary that his kids may eventually use his history against him.

“I dread the day they ask me [about studying],” Hamish says. “If Rudy and Sonny [his children] do ask, I’m just going to tell them I did medicine.”

While “Dr Blake” might be a stretch, Hamish is smart enough to know he made the right call.

“I like to think I freed up a spot at university for someone smarter and more driven,” he says. “So in a small way, I’ve contributed to the future of the country.”

In many ways, Hamish still seems like that cheeky kid who chose comedy over commerce. Talking with him on the phone, you get the sense you could suggest almost anything and he’d be up for it.

Which probably explains some of the more bizarre moments from his career.

There was that time he competed in the Mr New York State bodybuilding competition in Hamish & Andy’s Gap Year, or let the singer Pink! tattoo a skateboarding frog on his arm.

He’s a bit like a big kid, in the best way possible, but he’s also 37 years old and has been performing alongside his best mate, Andy Lee, since 2003. That’s 16 years in the game.

“It does seem like a long time when you say that,” he says. “It makes me feel old.”

The boys got up to all kinds of mischief on Hamish & Andy’s Gap Year (Image: Supplied).

Hamish and Andy first got their start in community radio and TV, before landing a break in 2004 when Channel Seven handed the pair their own TV show, Hamish & Andy, a six-episode experiment.

While it didn’t set the world on fire, it didn’t tank either, and their chemistry was enough to catch the eye of Rove McManus. By 2005, they were regular guests on Rove Live! while also writing for the show. It was to be the beginning of the Hamish & Andy juggernaut.

While a lot has changed since then, Hamish maintains the beating heart of their approach hasn’t changed.

“It was never our intention to get rich or win Logies,” he explains. “For Andy and I, the biggest joy has always been in producing the work, not the pay-off.

“So whether that’s recording a radio show or hosting a TV show overseas, each time that we were able to go again felt like a career achievement.”

Admittedly, Hamish isn’t one for looking back, but when pressed on how he feels about the two decades that have passed, he’s honest about the positives.

“I’m most grateful that so many of my favourite memories from my 20s and 30s have happened on TV or radio, and I have a record of them,” Hamish says.

“Most young people have awesome stuff happen when they’re young, but it’s all a blur, whereas mine is captured on camera. It’s a nice time capsule.”

Hamish calls his on-screen appearances with Andy a “nice time capsule” of all the “awesome stuff” he’s done (Image: TV WEEK).

While he’s built a career on the back of an impressive body of work, these days Hamish is just as celebrated for the content he posts on social media. For the most part, they include him getting up to no good with his four-year-old son, Sonny.

The consensus online seems to be that Hamish and his wife Zoë are cool parents.

“I certainly don’t see it [being cool] that way, and I’m sure Zoë doesn’t,” Hamish says. “We’re just doing the same thing that every other parent is doing: just trying to get through each day, do our best and have some fun.”

“But I do want this to go to print so that later in life, when Sonny and Rudy are teenagers slamming doors in our faces, I can hold up this TV WEEK interview and prove that people thought we were cool!”

Hamish and Sonny on the True Stories set (Image: Instagram @hamishblakeshotz).

While raising teenagers might seem a while off, Hamish has learnt that time flies. So, for now, he’s making the most of having a captive audience, which includes taking his kids to work.

“I brought them onto the LEGO Masters set, but I stupidly told Sonny this was what I was doing, so when we got there, he wasn’t impressed,” says Hamish.

“He was just like, ‘Oh, yeah – this is exactly what you told me.'”

While hosting LEGO Masters is the here and now for Hamish, we live in a world obsessed with knowing what comes next. However, the star admits he doesn’t exactly know what lies ahead.

“If things seem like a good challenge, then I’m in,” he says. “Timing is more important these days [with the family]; I prefer shorter timelines. Otherwise, I’m open to anything.”

Hamish and his daughter Rudy on a family getaway in New Zealand (Image: Instagram @zotheysay).

Later this year, Hamish and Andy host a new travel show, Perfect Holiday, but other than that, it seems having no plan is the plan.

“Not knowing what’s going on has become normal for our family now and I kind of like it that way,” he says.

Now if that’s not cool parenting, we don’t know what is.

LEGO Masters premieres Sunday, 7pm, on Nine Network.

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