Hello, and welcome to the final instalment of my chat with the host of All Star Squares, Mr Ian Rogerson! To put you in the mood, here’s a blast of that crazy theme tune….
We’ve covered Ian’s memories of hosting the show fairly extensively in Parts 1, 2 and 3 of this conversation, so I figured there was pretty much only one thing left for me to ask him…
SH: Now, I know All Star Squares was 21 years ago, so… what have you been up to since then?
IR: (LAUGHING) Working! I mean, radio’s been something I’ve done for 40 years. So I’m now at the age of very-very late 30s.
SH: (LAUGHING) Yes!
I’m not desperate to go out and get myself a gig right now, but invariably things come up.
SH: And I know that you and your wife Nicole are both very heavily involved with Autism Awareness Australia. Would you like to tell us a bit about that?
IR: Yeah. Our son Jack is autistic and we had to go through the journey – which started when he got diagnosed, finally – of living with a disabled person. But it’s amazing the difference you can make if you get the right therapy and spend a lot of one-on-one time with your child. We’ve been very lucky and you know Jack’s 24 now, rockin’ around… I think he’s drinking my beer, I’m not sure.
SH: Well someone is!
IR: Someone is. But he’s got a job and everything and so that’s worked out quite well. But the advocacy of it is something my wife has really driven because of who she is; she’s that kind of person. She’s a real advocate for it and I think they’re a real force for good and certainly a voice for the autism community, particularly the parents.
SH: And they’re at AutismAwareness.com.au.
IR: It’s a not-for-profit; it’s just basically there to advocate.
IR: So, I guess that’s really it from me, as far as All Star Squares is concerned. It’s an interesting little footnote, isn’t it? I hope they resurrect it one day, because it’s actually a great game show.
SH: It is. When it’s done right, it’s just really entertaining and silly; one of those shows that you just let wash over you.
IR: Yes. When the chemistry all comes together on the show, it’s fantastic fun. I think there were some days where we were doing that show, we really all had heaps of fun and I think the audience was enjoying it too.
SH: Yeah, for sure. Perhaps one problem with the format is that you do have your regular celebrities who you can count on, but then for the guest celebrities, you get a mixed bag of athletes, actors, singers, whoever’s doing the promotional rounds… and some of those people were just rabbits in the headlights when it came to answering the questions. Sometimes we really had to rely on our regulars do the heavy-lifting.
IR: Yes, I think you guys – the writers – were doing the big work before the show back in the Green Room… just trying to get those people to loosen up.
SH: Yeah because when it came to the guests, you just got who you were given, and they were not all necessarily naturals in that situation….
IR: You’d always be so happy when Lano & Woodley turned up.
SH: Hallelujah! Yes!
IR: And all the pressure would be off.
SH: Exactly! Well, thank you so much, Ian. This has been very enjoyable indeed and thanks again for taking the time to have a chat with me!
IR: My pleasure Steve. I mean, if you ever come to Sydney or if I ever get down there, we must catch up. It’d be great to see you.
Aww, right back at ya, Big Fella! I’d just like to thank Ian for being so generous with his time, and remind you that he has a website here, he’s on Twitter here, and of course, you can find Autism Awareness Australia at www.AutismAwareness.com.au/
And that is where we leave that late nineties, late afternoon curio All Star Squares…
Aaall…. All Star Squares! Hey thanks I-an, for all the
MEM’RIES YOU’VE SHARED!!
I’ll see you next Tuesday