Controversial Queensland senator Pauline Hanson has a new night job – on a uniquely Australian TV quiz show to be called Clueless.
I’ve seen the pilot episode and, as you’ve probably guessed from the top image, it’s a shameless hybrid of two original British classics, The Chase and Pointless.
And I can tell you that even though Hanson’s performance is a clear rip-off of Anne Hegerty from the UK and Australian versions of The Chase, she is bound to find a new legion of fans with this gig.
Pauline is one of six “chasers” in the new show – the others are fellow Queensland One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts and former Senator Fraser Anning.
Making up the six are other failed One Nation and Palmer United Party candidates and Sam Newman.
Contestants will be drawn from a pool of people who have registered very low IQ scores or who are One Nation supporters or those who don’t mind Karl Stefanovic or think Rowan Dean and Des Houghton make sense.
One of the show’s producers told me: “ A lot of quiz shows make people feel pretty ordinary about themselves.
“And that’s the reason Clueless is going to be a big hit.
“The sheer stupidity of all the people on the show – the chasers and the contestants – is going to make people at home feel much better about themselves.
“And don’t we all need a fillip in these trying times. They’ll be able to watch the show and realise that, in different circumstances, they could easily have been the president of the United States or the prime ministers of Britain or Australia.
“Take the original show Pointless for example. You actually have to know a helluva lot about a myriad of topics to work out what the lowest points score out of a survey of 100 people might be.
“Little-known members of a winning FA Cup side or minor actors in a film. That sort of thing.
“So there’s actually a point to Pointless. With Clueless, it pays not to have a clue.
“With Clueless, nothing protects all those on the show from being exposed as being really, really fucking stupid.”
And this is one of the reasons Clueless uses six different possible answers to some pretty simple questions as the final Chase begins and contestants vie for big prize money.
“With only three possible answers as in the other formats, even Pauline could be right a third of the time on the law of averages,” the producer explained.
“Six choices sorts out the klutzes from the clever dicks, so to speak.”
Indeed, much of the good-natured humour from the pilot comes from watching Pauline attempt to pick the right answer to the questions: What does four plus four equal? and “What might have been the name of a slave trader if slavery had ever existed in Australia?” and “What brand of beer was the coronavirus named after?”
One of Australia’s leading political analysts told me on condition of anonymity that Clueless would prove a boon for Ms Hanson politically by solidifying her core political base.
“Her supporters are going to love Pauline even more when they see just how basically and intrinsically stupid she is, just like them,” Peter Van Onselen said.