Mark Humphries and Dr Andrew Rochford host the new TV series Pointless.
Mark Humphries and Dr Andrew Rochford host the new TV series Pointless. Nigel Wright

A new challenge: Mark Humphries on his jump from SBS to Ten

Mark Humphries won't take offence if you tune in to Channel 10 on Monday at 6pm and have no idea who he is.

The satirist and TV presenter, best known for lampooning politicians and Australian society in general on SBS Viceland's The Feed, has landed his first 'mainstream' TV gig as the co-host of the quiz show Pointless.

A fan of the original British series, he jokingly tweeted two years ago that he'd love to host the Australian version.

Now, it's a reality.

"As I was doing the audition I was like 'This will never happen. I should just have fun with it'. I think that helped," he says. "I was extremely relaxed. It's an absurd premise that someone from SBS is hosting a quiz show on Ten."

Humphries and his co-host Andrew Rochford (pictured) have been recording episodes for the past few weeks, and he describes it as a huge learning curve.

"I have newfound respect for Andrew O'Keefe and Grant Denyer, not that I didn't have respect for them before," Humphries says.

"It is quite a challenge doing the five half-hour episodes (per recording session) but the actual filming takes a bit longer. We've got a live audience so you've got to be on the whole time.

"Everything I've done has been pre-recorded in corners of SBS, so to get an immediate reaction to your material is terrific."

Pointless is essentially the polar opposite of the show it's replacing, Family Feud.

The aim is to give a correct, but obscure answer. A score of zero, meaning none of the 100 people surveyed gave that answer, is a perfect result.

"It's about how you can think differently to everyone else. That is, to me, the key to the show and what I've always responded to," Humphries says.

"There's something more satisfying getting an obscure answer. This is not just about being right. It's taking in everyone else's knowledge and factoring that into your answer.

"It's genuinely thrilling as the bowser comes down towards those low numbers. When it hits zero people are elated, the audience and myself included."

He assures The Feed fans that he won't leave his sharp wit at the door just because he's now in the family TV space.

"I don't think it hurts to open yourself up to a larger audience. Of course I say that now, ask me in a couple of days," he says.

"It was never my plan to become a quiz show host, but I don't think I'm radically sanitising myself."

Pointless premieres on Monday at 6pm on Ten.


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