The Centralian advocate Tue 31 Oct 2017
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12 LIFESTYLE TUESDAY OCTOBER 31 2017 CAVE01Z01MA - V1 Bass Hill's Hala Sharhrouk and her sisters Houda, Leeann and Rouba, appeared at the council's Haldon St Festival in Lakemba on Saturday. They're also appearing on Channel 9's Family Food Fight. NON-STOP comedy is on the cards with the ABC announcing it will rebrand digital channel ABC2. The new ABC COMEDY channel will feature a nightly news show, Tonightly with Tom Ballard, and a 70 per cent boost in comedy content overall from December 4. This is the first of a raft of major initiatives expected under managing director Michelle Guthrie, who took up the role in May this year. Media analyst Steve Allen has described the decision as an odd move by the broadcaster. No one, other than pay TV, has done wall-to-wall comedy in peak night before, Allen said. So it will be a real test. David Anderson, the ABCs Director of Television has backed Guthrie, saying the move is nothing but good news. Michelle is on the right track, shes willing to invest more in Australian content, he said. Were building on our strength, delivering great Australian comedy, helping to break new talent. We saw an opportunity to rebrand ABC2, which lacked a bit of identity. The ABCs main channel will continue to air audience favourites including a 10th series of Wil Andersons Gruen, Shaun Micallefs Mad as Hell (series eight), The Weekly With Charlie Pickering and Comedy Next Gen. New international titles include season two of critically acclaimed Fleabag (in 2018), Catastrophe season three and Inside Amy Schumer seasons three and four. Childrens programming during the day will remain unchanged, though it will finish half-an-hour later at 7.30pm. Further announcements about the ABCs direction are expected in November. Comedian Tom Ballard is set to host Tonightly, a comedy news program to feature on ABCs new comedy channel COOKING in front of an audience of millions, four nights a week, on TV is enough to make even the most professional chef quake in their boots. But for the four Shahrouk sisters, competitors in Nines new reality cooking series, Family Food Fight, it was just another day in the kitchen. I am telling you its 50 people at a minimum that we normally cook for [each week] but that can get up to 100, says Halla Shahrouk, 45, who is taking part in the shows quest to Find Australias Number One Food Family with sisters, Houda, 43, Rouba, 40, and Leann, 39. Lebanese Australians of Islamic faith, they come from a family of 13 (11 children, only one of them a boy). And needless to say, Saturday Family Day get-togethers can get more than a little hectic: great training for the show. Dad invites everyone, Halla says. to make us look like villains. Shes right; the producers have gone to great lengths to make this a Family Friendly show, focusing on the chaos and excitements of getting six culturally diverse families together to compete with one another in the kitchen. And its a relief to Halla. The vibe [on set] was amaz ing, she says. We made friends with every single family. And we related so well to each other. There was no bitchiness, which is what I was afraid of. They were all families, and they understood how getting together over meals makes a family come together. As for filming with judge Tom Parker Bowles (who joins fellow foodies Matt Moran, Hayden Quinn and Anna Polyviou to assess their culinary talents), the son of the Duchess of Cornwall, she says, was refreshingly down to earth. [He was] very respectful to the extent that I could sit around and enjoy a cup of coffee with him. Every single judge, actually. They were all amazing. More ABC laughs Anna Brain Sisters get real in TVs kitchen If neighbours hear some commotion, or they call the cops or whatever, and they come to the gate and say, What is all this? Dad will be, Oh, these are just my children, and then hell invite them in for a feast! Between the four sisters, they have 19 kids between them, With one on the way; my sister Houda was around 25 weeks pregnant when we filmed, Halla explains. It was Hallas idea to take part in the show. But she does admit her sisters, initially, took some persuading. I was like, Come on, this is an amazing experience. You have had children, do something for yourself, she says. At the beginning, they were scared. I think they feared making fools of themselves on TV. What turned them off was My Kitchen Rules ... But I told them, Listen, this is a family show. And trust me, I do not think [the production company] Endamol Shine is going Clare Rigden