Michael Dalton has already had a busy Midsumma Festival as his alter-ego Dolly Diamond, but decided to add something extra to the mix this year with Dolly Diamond’s Blankety Blanks.
“I wanted to do something a little different, rather than just a cabaret,” explained Dalton.
“It’s about having a fun night out – it’s literally just that.”
Blankety Blank is a television show Dalton watched from a young age in England. He recalls watching Les Dawson hosting the progamme and then Lily Savage.
“And then of course Graham – what a master!” Dalton commented, referring to the Australian version, Blankety Blanks, hosted by Graham Kennedy.
“He was obviously a master of the game. He’s one of those people you really remember – he had that intimacy with the guests.”
Dalton says the key to hosting Blankety Blanks is being able to think quickly of your feet and being able to react well to whatever the celebrities and contestants say at the time.
“I think I’m going to be good at that,” quipped Dalton.
Anyone who has ever sat in the audience of a Dolly Diamond show will be able to confirm that indeed, Dolly Diamond is very good in that role!
Those who remember Blankety Blanks may recall that much of the humour was not about what was actually said, but rather the attached innuendo.
“That’s as naughty as you make it. I love that sort of comedy!” laughed Dalton.
Dalton said it’s much easier to host as his alter ego Dolly Diamond, “She’s so much sassier!”
Pulling together a series of Blankety Blanks shows relies on finding enough celebrity guests for each night. Dalton used the age-old adage of “I’ll get by with a little help from my friends” and has managed to find thirty guests from a diverse background.
“We’ve been really lucky!” said Dalton.
“We have some unusual people – if that’s the right way to put it – like Michael Rowland and Virginia Trioli (ABC TV News Breakfast hosts). I love them. I wanted it to be people I really like, not just someone who might be the flavour of the month. There’s no one in that group that I wouldn’t want to have dinner with, let alone do a game show with.”
The show is all about the entertainment and comedy.
“At the end of the day, there’s enough people in the room who will make comments, whether they’re good, bad or indifferent, that I think will be the magic. The intent is about the comedy. They’re all generally funny people. Everyone’s got that ability to make someone laugh.”
Dalton says the show will have a wide audience appeal and it won’t matter if you’ve never watched an episode of the Blankety Blanks game show.
He knows certain audiences will be attracted to specific shows to see their favourite celebrity – whether that’s Joel Creasy, Anthony Callea, the cast of Kinky Boots or someone else.
Every night will feature new questions and new celebrities and will be a completely different show, but one’s thing for sure, each one will be hilariously entertaining.
Dolly Diamond’s Blankety Blanks opens tonight at Chapel Off Chapel as part of the Midsumma Festival.