Kath & Kim: articles

kath and kim

Kath & Kim sizzle together

NO ONE would have blamed Jane Turner and Gina Riley if they had walked away from Kath & Kim to start working on a new television project.

They have been morphing into Kath Day-Knight and Kim Craig for more than 15 years now and have been responsible for writing, producing and starring in three seasons and a telemovie on the ABC.

But when they formed an alliance with Channel 7, and were given the funding to explore new storylines, they decided there was still life in Kath & Kim. "Gina and I got together and tossed around some ideas; we didn't commit to a series straight away, we wanted to decide if there was still life in the old girl," Turner says.

"We came up with lots of ideas and decided that we did have enough for another series, and we have such fun writing it and getting it up."

Riley says the pair struggled with the decision to change networks, from the ABC to Seven, but eventually decided it was the right thing to do. "It wasn't an easy decision . . . the ABC just didn't have the budget to do our show the way we wanted to do it, and to foster new shows which they should be doing as well.

"It felt like the right time for us to go, and Seven felt like the right place because they were really interested in looking after the show and maintaining the integrity. And Kath and Kim were born on Seven so it seemed right to go full circle."

While Turner and Riley say they only write Kath & Kim to amuse themselves, they appreciate it has been such a hit with the audience because of the Australian references.

"I think it's so identifiable and people get the local references," Turner says. "People seem to say it's the detail, the tiny details of everyday life that they respond to rather than the broad brushstrokes of the story, and that's exactly the same as what we respond to.

"It makes you feel special to have things of your own and that gives you a sense of identity whether it's a nice identity, I don't know.

"The drama and the tragedy of spending your whole life at Fountain Gates shopping centre everyone relates to that whether they are rich or poor, regardless of where they live, you are forced to go to those malls."

While previous seasons of Kath & Kim took only six months to write, this new fourth series was in the works for a year because Turner and Riley approached it at a more "leisurely" pace. "The writing is hard work, there is no question about that, but we can just do it when we want," Riley says.

"But that means the really hard bit is first and by the time we put the wigs on and are with the other cast and the crew that's when it's great fun, and the editing process is fun as well."

Turner says that writing Kath & Kim is "collaborative" and that the one time they tried writing on their own it was far from productive.

"Only one day the whole time we tried writing on our own," she says.

"We would ring each other and say that we had come up with some really good stuff and then, when we got together, it wasn't so good, so we know we need to stay in the same room.

"We write at home and the domestic surroundings and all the dramas that are happening around that seem to fuel the show a bit."

Kath & Kim, Seven,Sunday 7.30pm

Hate it? We absolutely love it

IT'S been a while since Kath Day-Knight and Kim Craig first appeared on our television screens as characters on the comedy skit show Big Girl's Blouse.

So Kath & Kim stars Jane Turner and Gina Riley take the time to remind us just how the two hornbags from Fountain Lakes began.

Gina There had been a documentary called Weddings that had been on television which followed this girl who was a real Kim, following her real wedding, it was an hour-long show and all she said was "nup, I hate it".

Jane There was one scene when she was trying on her dress and looking at the train and saying "nup, I hate it", and her mum saying "no, it looks nice love".

Gina You went into Kath and I started doing a little pussybum princess and we found we could write and write for them, we could say anything or could do anything, what started off as one sketch just kept running. It started off as one sketch on Big Girl's Blouse and then we followed it right through Kim's wedding, we could write them forever and we loved writing them.

By Sarah Nicholson
August 15, 2007
The Courier-Mail