The Big Issue : Edition 542
THE BIG ISSUE 28 JUL -- 10 AUG 2017 17 "In a sense it's always been an open relationship," adds Hamish. "And the third person in the relationship is sometimes millions of people who are listening to -- or watching -- the show. That's probably why it's no challenge to really keep things interesting." And this is the premise for the pair's new TV show, True Story with Hamish and Andy. Billed as "the best true stories you've never heard", each show revolves around a real story that a listener has recounted to the Hamish & Andy show producers. After listening to hundreds of stories, the producers selected a handful, which will each have a dedicated episode. The set-up has the feel of the radio show, in a sense. Hamish and Andy (inexplicably dressed in velvet blazers, emblazoned with their own made-up crests) sit opposite the storyteller, and we get their genuine reactions as the story unfolds. In one episode we meet a woman who used to manage a high-class resort in Bali. In another, a man who worked on an outback croc farm. The people aren't famous. And the stories? Not traditionally "newsworthy". Just cracking, real-life yarns. The sort of hilarious tales you'd tell at a party. But the corker? As the story is told, it is wound in with a re-enactment, featuring a rolling cast of easily recognisable Australian actors and comedians -- like Mick Molloy, Sam Pang, Damien Garvey (Rake), Kat Stewart (Ofspring) and David Roberts (Please Like Me) to name a few. "It's been a hell of a lot of work," laughs Andy. "Probably not as fun, to be honest, as the radio show. "But it stems from the same love. Which was loving everyday people's stories. The radio thrives on them. We always feel that truth is funnier than fction; the type of stories that you’re hearing from your friends -- that's the stuf that makes us laugh the most. "It's nice to know you don't have to be famous to get your own biopic. You can just have done one dumb thing, one day." He laughs. "And that led to a lot of other dumb things and now you have it immortalised on television." Deciding to fnish up the show did spark another classic Hamish prank. While they were on air, he asked Andy to sign a contract, completely covered except for the signature panel. Trusting his mate, Andy signed. He now shoots Hamish a resigned look. The contract was for a fragrance: Andy by Hamish. Which -- at the time of writing -- had already sold out of pre-orders, snapped up by listeners who lapped up the gag. A shipment of 5000 is set to hit Chemist Warehouse in August. Hamish quipped about it in a recent Hamish & Andy episode: "There's been two instances, Ando, where people have bought this as their wedding scent. Now, it doesn't get more formal than a wedding. But that's the beauty of a smart casual fragrance: you can dress it up." Long-sufering Andy agreed to do one photo for the packaging and promotion (literally a single photo -- he was clever enough to work out he wasn't contractually obliged to do the whole shoot). But there is also now a hilarious ad that Hamish strung together using footage sneakily flmed while Andy was in the studio. It's quickly going viral. Why a fragrance? It's a superannuation plan, Hamish explains. A little nest egg, now their radio show is fnishing up. It’s what Beckham did when he retired. "Can we change the topic?" asks the unwilling face of the new scent. Alright. New topic. This isn't the frst time they’ve appeared on the cover of The Big Issue. Ten years ago, they were snapped as fresh-faced twenty- somethings, horsing around in the studio. A lot's happened since then. And a lot has stayed the same. So. What would they like to say to 10-years-ago Hamish and Andy? Andy. "I'd just say, 'Hey, well done guys on moisturising, because we look exactly the same.'" Hamish. "I'd actually say to 10-years-ago us. 'Guys. Sit down. You're gonna think we're kidding, but people are still interested in taking a photograph of you. But don't worry. In 10 years time it will be petering out.'" » Melissa Cranenburgh (melissacranenburgh.com) is The Big Issue's former associate editor. » True Story with Hamish and Andy is back on Nine from 1 August. Andy by Hamish will be available in time for Father's Day. "TEN YEARS AGO, THEY WERE SNAPPED AS FRESH FACED TWENTY SOMETHINGS. A LOT'S HAPPENED SINCE THEN." PHOTO (LEFT) COURTESY OF THE NINE NETWORK. PHOTO (RIGHT) FROM ED#311, PHOTO BY JAMES BRAUND 2008: HOODIES. 2017: VELVET.