Dave Hughes is the funny man with the answers
IF YOU have a problem, Dave Hughes will solve it. Well, at least he'll try.
The Aussie funny man returns to our screens as the host of Ten's new, original comedy series Hughsey, We Have a Problem.
"My career is based on talking about my problems and having people laugh about my problems; I'm just extending that out," he tells The Guide.
"The whole format is not really new, but we're certainly not paying anyone any rights for it. We were making it up as we went along."
In each episode, Hughes and a panel of comedians and celebrities analyse life's everyday problems, sharing anecdotes from their own lives and working towards an answer and untangling the messiness of modern life.
While not topical or news-based, the series is likely to fill that Have You Been Paying Attention?-shaped hole in your TV viewing schedule.
"Whether it's Have You Been Paying Attention? or Cram or the many panel shows I've been on over the years - even going back to Glasshouse on Channel 2 - it's the play between the panellists that matters. That's what I really wanted to focus on, finding the rhythm between everyone who's there," Hughes says.
"I've taken my experience on all those shows and brought that to my show."
Guests include comedians Julia Morris, Tommy Little, Luke McGregor, Sam Simmons, Nazeem Hussain and Denise Scott, and celebrities Michala Banas, Ricki-Lee Coulter and Natarsha Belling.
"Everyone got it very quickly, the rhythm of the show, and were having a really good time," he says.
"Occasionally you go 'Guys can we swear a bit less? We're trying to get this on air'."
Hughes' stand-up credentials helped him attract Australia's best comedic talent for the show.
"Take someone like Julia (Morris), it took us a little while to get her on," he says.
"You hardly see her on a panel show, but she sent me a message afterwards saying she bloody loved it. I was very happy my colleagues in the comedy industry were keen to jump on board. I think they knew I'd look after them.
"As the host you want everyone to be as funny as they can be. I wanted people on the show who had funny bones basically, and I wanted them to be honest.
"Sam Simmons was just fantastic. He really worked in the format. He said he's been on all the British panel shows and he had more fun on this one."
And Hughes isn't afraid to get personal, throwing out his own issues into the mix.
"In one episode we tackle the fact that my wife gets too distracted in foreplay and brings up random topics when I believe we're trying to be romantic," he says.
"I also brought my dog Barkly on one episode because my dog kept biting people... it didn't really work, though, because he's bitten someone since then."
The toughest task for Hughes is to guide the panel and audiences towards some sort of consensus.
"The hardest thing sometimes is trying to wrap up the problems," he says.
"There were times where I thought 'Oh, God, how do I summarise what was just said there for the poor soul who emailed us their problem?'"
Hughesy, We Have A Problem premieres on Tuesday at 8.30pm on Channel 10.