Hamish Blake and Andy Lee have a cult world-wide following with their Australian Channel Nine comedy show Hamish and Andy's Gap Year. The duo dropped into the Engineering Department to visit our own TV award-winner Dr Hugh Hunt for some very specific advice.
"Hamish is totally mad, and Andy tries to keep him on a straight path. The combination is perfect!"
—Dr Hugh Hunt
Hugh explained: "Hamish and Andy were filming across Europe last year and I was asked if I'd advise them on their crazy plan to pedal an Aquatrike (a pedalo with big wheels) from Gibraltar to Ceuta in Morocco, North Africa."
Despite arriving late for their tutorial, having got lost in the Cambridge one-way system, the pair immediately hit it off with Hugh, senior lecturer in Applied Mechanics at the Department.
He said: "When we got chatting it turned out we had a lot of background in common - we'd all grown up in Melbourne. It was a very funny conversation, the cameraman was laughing quite a lot and couldn't hold the camera still. Hamish is totally mad, and Andy tries to keep him on a straight path. The combination is perfect!
"Hamish was always trying to direct the conversation away from any kind of seriousness and when he offered the formula 'E = m c squared' and translated this as 'Excitement = men times cycles squared' - well, I had to come back with something. It was a bit of luck that I came up with 'Exhaustion = Mediterranean Sea with two idiots'. Thereafter he must have come up with some five different versions of E=mc squared - and it was hard to keep up."
Hugh himself is no stranger to television having won a Royal Television Society award last year for his programme Dambusters: Bombing Hitler's Dams*. His latest television project is a Channel 4 documentary about a real-life planned escape from Colditz.
In the meantime he's not discounting another appearance with Hamish and Andy. He said: "They left having passed only an hour in the Department, but we had had a lot of fun and I did manage to teach them the pi dance. What's the pi dance? I'm not giving anything away just in case they use it in one of their later episodes..."
You can see more of Hamish and Andy's challenge at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFzpnYFoG-c&feature=plcp
*There is a special screening of Dambusters: Bombing Hitler's Dams with a question and answer session led by Hugh at the Department on Thursday, 31 January. 6-8pm. http://talks.cam.ac.uk/talk/index/42375