As my far-reaching discussion with Family Feud studio host and warm up man Russell Fletcher draws to a close, we chat about the show’s host Grant Denyer, and (in an effort to give you a bit more detail about the nuts and bolts of record days) the studio audience….
SH: How many people are in the studio audience?
RF: We can fit 140 to 150. Generally, because it’s really hard to get people to come to daytime records, we have about 70 to 80. Sometimes we will have 197 who have responded, and we’ll only get 70.
SH: People just don’t show up?
RF: That’s right, but the nighttime records are full, and it’s fun. It’s pumping and we get lots of new people through and it’s really lovely. Not wanting to have been a warm up guy, I’m now the luckiest man in showbiz in a way, because I’ve still got my job.
SH: And it is a fun positive gig and it makes people happy.
RF: And everyone, from Pam (Barnes) down, is just incredible to work with. We are cheeky and mischievous as well and that’s really important, because it can become really repetitious – especially my schtick, which I have to renew. Because I do want to keep the crew entertained as well. But the good thing is there’s lots of opportunities for me to make wisecracks. Occasionally I’ll throw a little gag Grant’s way as well, and he’s really appreciative of that.
SH: As in, you give him gags to do?
RF: Yes. I would do something physical and he’ll pick up on that and use it, which is really nice and he appreciates it. Grant is amazing.
SH: He is. He’s a good man. I worked with him on It Takes Two, way back when. and what you see is what you get. He’s just a really down-to-earth, lovely guy.
RF: And he’s smart. And he’s fast. I couldn’t speak more highly of him.
SH: And he’s such a good fit for this and this is such a good fit for him.
RF: He loves it and I hope he keeps on loving it. ‘Cause it’s all about him.
SH: It would be very different without him and not as successful, I reckon.
RF: Yep, yep. (PAUSE) Sure, I’m going to stab him one day and hopefully step into his shoes.
SH: Mm, mm, mm. But that’s down the track. That’s 3, maybe 4 weeks from now.
RF: (LAUGHING) Right, right. Although some people are nice about what I do on the audition days but he is incredibly well-loved by the Australian public. They are very faithful to him and very nice. His wife is lovely and he is great.
SH: Very good. Well, thank you very much, Russell Fletcher!
RF: You are.
Again, I’d like to thank Russell SO MUCH for giving up his valuable time for our chat. It was really great to get a such an extensive look behind the scenes of this game show juggernaut that continues to win hearts, minds (and ratings!) night after night, on the Ten Network here in Australia. The show’s official site is here, and if you’re interested in becoming a contestant, be sure to keep an eye on the show’s Facebook page, which you can find here.
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