What do the producers of The Footy Show, Before The Game and Millionaire Hot Seat have in common with the director of Dancing with the Stars, the storyliner for Neighbours, the editor of Bondi Rescue, a Foxtel group programming director and presenters for Mix FM, Gold FM, WIN News, Seven News and Deutsche Welle in Germany? They were all trained and got their start as volunteers on a little live TV show on community television called Darren & Brose, hosted by Darren Chau and Brose Avard. Despite having no budget, this pioneering program became Channel 31’s highest rating show, and was the very first live, daily program in the history of Australian community television.
As tapes of these live shows were believed to not exist and the fact that the programme ended just prior to the rise and domination of YouTube, there has been no public record of this groundbreaking television show since it went off air … until now. Recently a box of digital tapes was found in the garage belonging to the parent of a technically savvy former crewmember, who recorded most of the shows … but just forgot to tell anyone.
Over the coming months these tapes will be released online for free via YouTube and www.darrenandbrose.com from May 23, so that what was once narrowcast on Channel 31 Melbourne and Geelong can now be available worldwide. The tapes are not only a record of the early work of some of the industry’s top professionals, but also reveal an innovative, funny and highly entertaining comedy variety programme featuring sketches, pranks, animation, talent competitions, music parodies of everyone from the Beatles and Rolling Stones to Bon Jovi and Kiss, film parodies of Star Wars through to Mission Impossible, and special guests including Glenn Robbins, Kerry Armstrong, Dave Hughes, Wil Anderson, Ian Smith, Tony Martin, Suzie Wilks, John Safran, Red Symons, Santo Cilauro, Andrew Gaze, Dylan Lewis, Jo Stanley & Bert Newton to name just a few.
There are dozens of jaw dropping, sidesplitting moments from this revolutionary show that pushed the envelope. There’s the time Darren & Brose crashed a 1500-seat event and arrested innocent people for crimes against fashion. There’s the time Red Symons handcuffed Brose and shaved off all of his hair. There’s the time Kerry Armstrong spontaneously stuck her tongue in Darren’s ear. There’s Santo Cilaurorevealing a film idea he came up with that nearly got him disowned by his colleagues at Working Dog. There’s Tonia Todman’s anecdote about a dildo. There’s the time Glenn Robbins revealed that he … ‘masturbated a lot’. And there’s Bert Newton’s hilarious tribute on the 100th episode.
The La Trobe Media Group was formed out of La Trobe University by writer/performers Darren Chau and Brose Avard. Despite no budget, the group produced 100 episodes of Darren & Brose – a live to air, comedy variety television programme which featured outside broadcasts as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Melbourne Fringe Festival and University Orientation weeks.
In addition to producing television shows and training university students in television production, the La Trobe Media Group were actively engaged with the community running educational and training seminars for hundreds of high schools, as well as donating many hours to initiatives such as La Trobe Lifeskills, a registered training organization providing programs for people with disabilities.
The Darren & Brose lost tapes will be released over the coming months commencing Thursday May 23 at
www.darrenandbrose.com and www.youtube.com/user/darrenandbrose
“Very funny boys…so refreshing!” Bert Newton, television icon
“I love them…I love what they do!” Kerry Armstrong, AFI and Silver Logie award winning actor
“Very funny … the next big thing” The Age
“They’re geniuses…one day they’ll pick up that Gold Logie!” the late Stan Zemanek