The Loft - Series 8

Beat Magazine Article

lofty heights
Part of the excitement of live television is that anything can happen, as host of Channel 31's The Loft Live Ged Wood will happily tell you. "With RMITV and Channel 31, there's always the threat of something going completely wrong," the local standup comedian says, "but its never been the end of the world."

Once, he recalls, the power board burst into flames moments before the show was due to go to air. Another time band equipment failed and so the guitar went silent during a song. However, it's not all drama. "I quite enjoy the live factor," Wood states. "I was interviewing someone once and we were talking about the cricket, and one of the cew members ran off and came back with the scores, which was really good. You can only do that on live television," he says.

The Loft Live falls into the late night chat show genre of programming - "a Letterman style variety show" - and has been running for a couple of years now on Thursdays at 9.30pm. Rove McManus, who has since moved to Channel Nine was the original bost. Kim Hope was next behind the desk and it was then that Wood became involved. "I started doing a segment when Kim Hope was the host. Kim had just mentioned me doing something, so I started doing a science and technology segment - it was a bit of a kooky segment where the information was pretty much correct but I took a comedic slant on it. It was fun. Then Kim decided she didn't want to continue hosting, well, I was there, so I started doing it," he says casually. wood, winner of the 1996 Victorian heates of Raw Comedy, is now prepairing for his third season in the host chair, and promises some changes this season. "There'll be more mucking around with the onscreen people and we'll be playing with the structure of the show," he says.

His onscreen companions, "the gang" as they call themselves, consists of Loftie The Bear, a stuffed toy found one day whilst shooting. Little Loftie "has the best ideas out of all of us," jokes Wood, Bernie Carr has been with the show for "about three or four seasons, and it's good because he knows what he's talking about." Looking for something different to stand up to do, Matilda joined as a degment presenter. "She does different segments, they're always really funny. She's sort of taking the piss out of other TV shows and presenting weird and wacky stuff," he explains. "Scott Brennan acts like a lunatic and does whatever's funny that week." Adam Richard is also returning to The Loft and will be presenting a weekly venue review. Wood produces the Loft with Rob Nairn ("his name is Rob and he's got a shiny bike" he quips), using the volunteers and resources from student production group RMITV. "It's just a really good training ground for people who what to get into the television industry and people who get involved with the Loft are nine times out of ten amazingly professional, dilligent and committed and its really good because it wouldn't happen if they weren't there," he says appreciatively. "I'm always amazed every week at how many people turn up to do it."

Although Wood says "you can actually do it with no budget" funds are still required to produce the program. So The Loft Live Benefit has been organised as a fundraising gig for the show. This Saturday night at the Price Patric comedians Wil Anderson, Dave Hughes, Dave O'Neil, plus Loft regulars and alumni, Ged Wood, Matilda, Duff, Scott Brennan, Kim Hope, Bernie Carr, Adam Richard plus others will be lending their talents to the benefit. Wood points out "This will be a lineup that you probably wont see anywhere until comedy festival."

Joanne Brookfield

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