The daring pranks on comedy show Balls of Steel have proved a winning formula in Oz. Based on the original British format, it sees comedy characters perform stunts on the general public to impress a studio audience.
The Australian version of the show, hosted by The Chaser's Craig Reucassel, smashed ratings records for Foxtel's the Comedy Channel, with 195,000 viewers tuning in when it premiered a week ago.
TV personality James Kerley, who plays evil game show host Alex Zane, was recently in town to bring tales of what he says is the most fun he's ever had on TV.
"The whole show pushes it so far, which I think is a refreshing thing because there's a lot of safe TV around," Kerley says. "There's some cheeky, risky stuff that we haven't seen for a while so it's been great to see all the nutcases go out and stretch things as far as they can without getting punched or sued or locked up."
Kerley says some of the highlights include an Indian journalist doing random "racist" breath tests at 4am, an attractive woman who openly flirts with men in front of their girlfriends and of course his own fake game show pranks. These include frustrating contestants with buzzers that don't work and playing an out-of-control game show cab driver in a cheeky homage to Kerley's former Channel V show Cash Cab.
"Some of the sketches will really offend people, they're quite confronting and some are just funny on a slapstick level," he says. "It's got some of the strong stuff from Britain and some even stronger new stuff from Australia, so it's different but still a good laugh."
The NSW-born presenter is no stranger to WA, with parents hailing from Albany and Cottesloe. He flew over for the opening of the Claremont Quarter with his girlfriend, Dating in the Dark host and Miss Australia 2008 Laura Dundovic. After that the couple headed up north on an impromptu road trip, visiting Exmouth, Coral Bay and Monkey Mia. They also headed to Rottnest.The second episode of the 10-part Balls of Steel series screens tonight at 7.30 on The Comedy Channel.
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