Menu
Entertainment

OPINION: Spelling Bee creates buzz for family TV

Grant Denyer and Chrissie Swan host The Great Australian Spelling Bee.
Grant Denyer and Chrissie Swan host The Great Australian Spelling Bee. Photo Contributed

THE Great Australian Spelling Bee is like a great big hug.

That's what one of my co-workers said this week while we were discussing the new show and it stuck with me.

The family entertainment series, which has children aged eight to 14 competing in a series of spelling challenges, is an unexpected ratings and social media hit for Channel 10.

While it didn't quite hit the numbers of Ten's other big show, The Bachelor, The Great Australian Spelling Bee wasn't far behind, debuting to a national audience of 1.19 million (peaking at 1.49 million).

I was certainly surprised by how much I enjoyed the show and I found many viewers on Twitter who felt the same way.

My concerns over smothering stage mums and potentially pretentious child geniuses dissolved within the first five minutes as I was won over by the enthusiastic spellers and the show's supportive atmosphere.

Spelling Bee's producers and hosts, Grant Denyer and Chrissie Swan, have managed to create a space for friendly competition where fun and sportsmanship are just as important as correct answers.

Denyer was particularly impressive for his sensitive handling of the disappointed children who didn't get through.

"I do feel like the king of the kids," Denyer told me in a recent interview.

"When I was on Sunrise kids knew me because I was always mucking around, whereas now they know me from the Feud because they sit down and watch it with the family and now there's Spelling Bee."

It was also nice to see the parents supporting each other backstage, sharing hugs and high-fives.

Perhaps best of all, Spelling Bee gives the spellers the space to be themselves, often with hilarious results, and celebrates a love of words.

It's the perfect alternative to the seemingly endless barrage of cooking, renovating and sport.

Topics:  channel 10 family spelling bee television the great australian spelling bee



Enticer to 'Tri' and win bike

COME TRI: A shorter distance event for those new to the sport is being held as part of the bcu Coffs Tri weekend.

Enticer at Coffs Tri for those thinking about doing first triathlon.

Valla search unable to find missing swimmer

An aerial view of Valla Beach.

Hopes of finding swimmer who went missing at Valla Beach are fading.

Son of Ibrahim's bodyguard gunned down in Coffs Harbour

SHOOTING VICTIM: Nemilote 'Nim' Ngata (right) with John Ibrahim. Ngata was shot in Coffs Harbour on February 10, 2018.

The son of Semi Ngata, shot three months ago, was hit by a shotgun

Local Partners

Kylie reveals ‘nervous breakdown’ over split

KYLIE Minogue was left heartbroken when she split last year from her fiance Joshua Sasse, saying she thinks she had “a nervous breakdown” and has taken time to...

I’m a Celeb outrage: ‘You’ve hit rock bottom’

David and Lisa Oldfield pose for a portrait at their home in Belrose.

VIEWERS vent their anger and disappointment at the latest intruders.

Shock twist: MAFS affair explodes

A mess.

The final decision left everyone stunned.

Stone the flamin’ crows: Home and Away actor's new project

Ray Meagher has launched his own line of hot sauce.

Stone the flamin’ crows! Actor releases own line of hot sauce

Audience member shocked penis puppeteer

Rich Binning and Barry Brisco from Puppetry of the Penis.

It takes a lot to shock Rich Binning who appears nude on stage

What’s the greatest 1980s movie ever?

That lift, featuring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey, back when she had a normal nose.

From Dirty Dancing and Crocodile Dundee to Die Hard

Jennifer Lawrence flaunts her nudity on set

Actress Jennifer Lawrence attends the premiere of "Red Sparrow" at the Newseum on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, in Washington. (Photo by Brent N. Clarke/Invision/AP)Source:AP

Jennifer Lawrence so comfortable on Red Sparrow set, she went naked