Adam Hills
Adam Hills
Date of Birth July 10, 1970
Home Town Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation(s) Stand-up comedian, Television and radio presenter
Years active 1989-present

Adam Hills (born July 10, 1970) is a Perrier and Gold Logie-nominated Australian comedian and television presenter.[1] He has appeared on Australian and British television and is best known for his role hosting the Australian ABC music trivia show Spicks and Specks.

He began performing as a stand-up comedian in 1989 at the age of 19, and since 1997 has produced ten solo shows which have toured internationally. He has performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and the Montreal Just For Laughs festival, earning three consecutive Perrier Award nominations for his Edinburgh shows in 2001, 2002 and 2003.

In 2002, he scored a minor hit with his single Working Class Anthem, in which he sang the lyrics of the Australian National Anthem to the tune of Working Class Man, a famous song by iconic Australian rocker Jimmy Barnes.

Personal life Edit

Originally from the Sydney suburb of Loftus, Hills developed an interest in comedy after discovering an inflight comedy channel on a plane at the age of eight. Hills was born without a right foot and wears a prosthesis, which has become a frequent source of comedy in his act.[2] He studied a Bachelor of Arts (Communications) at Macquarie University, graduating in 1991.

He is currently engaged to Opera Australia's leading soprano Ali McGregor.[3]


Stand-up careerEdit

Hills entered the comedy scene in 1989 when he made his first appearance at the Sydney Comedy Store at the age of 19. He spent several years from 1991 splitting his time between stand-up gigs and breakfast radio, but by the mid-1990s Hills says the hours had become exhausting and he decided to focus on live comedy. In 1997 he premiered "Stand Up and Deliver", the first of 10 solo shows, all of which have toured internationally. He has travelled widely, performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and the Montreal Just For Laughs festival.[4] He has been nominated for three consecutive Perrier Comedy Awards for his 2001, 2002 and 2003 solo shows at the Edinburgh Fringe.[5]

The title of his 2001 show, "Go You Big Red Fire Engine", was coined during a 1999 performance in Melbourne. Hills asked an audience member to yell his name to the audience and for the audience to yell it back, but instead the man yelled "Go you big red fire engine!"[6] The phrase quickly became an audience chant, and Hills promised he would make it the name of his next show because, he says, "it was such an uplifting and genuinely silly moment."[7] "Go You Big Red Fire Engine" later became the name of a second stand-up show and a comedy album; it also appeared in a Detroit newspaper, on a Swedish website and was yelled by Senator Natasha Stott Despoja in the Australian Parliament.[6]

His artificial right foot is commonly used as a source of humour in his shows and the comedian has been known to remove it and pass it around. However, Hills had been performing live comedy for over a decade before he made reference to his prosthesis on stage, and it was only after "Go You Big Red Fire Engine" was nominated for a Perrier Award in 2001 that he began incorporating it into his act. Hills says he felt he could too easily have become a novelty act and that he "didn't want to be known as the one-legged comedian... I wanted to prove myself as a comic before talking about this."[8]

Hills regularly has a sign language interpreter at his festival shows, a move sparked by a performance he did in Adelaide at a disability art conference.[9] An interpreter had been provided at the show, and Hills found that it not only allowed the deaf audience members to enjoy his material but was also an entertaining and fascinating experience for the hearing audience members. "Now I have hearing people who will only book [for signer shows]," he says.[10]

Television careerEdit

Hills is best known for his role on the Australian music trivia show Spicks and Specks, which he has hosted since its premiere in 2005. In late 2007, he joined the show on a national live tour dubbed the "Spicks and Speck-tacular", with appearances in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Newcastle and Perth.[11] He has also made appearances on Australian shows Rove Live, The Glass House and The Fat, as well as the British Never Mind the Buzzcocks and Mock the Week.[12] He conducted backstage interviews at Australia's 2005 and 2006 Logie Awards and was one of three presenters at the 2007 awards.[13][14]

In June 2008, the ABC announced that Hills would co-host its coverage of the 2008 Summer Paralympics.[15][16]

Other workEdit

In 2002, Hills released a single titled Working Class Anthem, in which he sang the lyrics of the Australian National Anthem, Advance Australia Fair, to the tune of Working Class Man, a famous song by iconic Australian rocker Jimmy Barnes, titling it "Working Class Anthem". Around 40 comedians contributed to the song, which made the independent top 10 in Australia. All proceeds went to the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC), an organisation supported by Barnes and Jon Bon Jovi that supports firefighters. Hills has performed the song several times on television, including a performance honouring Barnes' guest appearance on Spicks and Specks.[17]

Between 2003 and 2005, Hills wrote as a columnist for the BBC's disability website Ouch!.[18]

Solo shows Edit

  • Stand Up and Deliver (1997)
  • Life Is Good (1998)
  • My Own Little World (1999)
  • Goody Two Shoes (2000)
  • Go You Big Red Fire Engine (2001) — Perrier nominee
  • Happy Feet (2002) — Perrier nominee
  • Cut Loose (2003) — Perrier nominee
  • Go You Big Red Fire Engine 2: Judgement Day (2004)
  • Characterful (2006)
  • Joymonger (2007)
  • Inflatable (2009)


  1. ABC's Denton, Lilley and Hills nominated for Gold Logie
  2. Adam Hills: Joymonger
  3. [1]
  4. Mr Nice Guy
  5. Adam Hills
  6. 6.0 6.1 Hill Be Back
  7. Adam Hills
  8. Unspeakably Funny
  9. Sign Here If You're Normal
  10. Adam Hills: Joymonger
  11. Spicks and Specks to hit the road
  12. Adam Hills
  13. Hills Hoist
  14. Fifi reluctant star on on box
  15. Comedian Adam Hills to host Paralympics
  16. Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games: The ABC TV Sports's Team in Beijing
  17. Disco Inferno
  18. Adam Hills

External links Edit

Smallwikipedialogo.png This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Adam Hills. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Less Than Jake Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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