Good News Week is where I, like many members of Generation Y, discovered the hilarious and hugely talented Trevorrow, often joining host Paul McDermott to belt out a raucous sing-a-long (if you haven’t seen them, you really should…they’re on YouTube). However, the comedian and some-time singer’s career has been going strong since the early ‘80s, when Red Symons produced cover versions of Tintarella di Luna and The Beat Goes On which Trevorrow recorded with Wendy De Waal as cabaret duo Globos.
“Red produced and arranged both of the Globos hit singles, in 1982 and 1983,” recalls Trevorrow. “We’ve had a long distance bromance for 30 years as we’ve watched each other carefully, making sure one doesn’t get too much more famous than the other. A balance of terror, you might say.”
Nowadays both men are ABC regulars, with Symons hosting 774 ABC Melbourne’s breakfast show, and Trevorrow appearing regularly on 702 ABC Sydney as fill-in presenter of the evening show. Over the past 30 years, Trevorrow has popped up everywhere – radio, free-to-air and pay television in Australia and the UK, and as the wildly successful host of the Mardi Gras Parade – often as Bob Downe.
Downe, the “Prince of Polyester” and the host of the fictional regional daytime TV show Good Morning Murwillumbah, was created by Trevorrow in 1984, and launched his solo career in 1987. Since then, Trevorrow has consistently toured Australia and the United Kingdom with great success and forming many firm friendships.
“The best thing about touring for 30 years and more is how many you make along the way,” he tells me. “The same cities and towns tend to crop up on the tour schedules, so you’re always back before you know it. And of course, once you’ve got friends on the road – real ones, I mean, not the Facebook kind – you’ve got a couch to sleep on. Win win!”
Trevorrow, born and raised in Murrumbeena in Melbourne’s South-East, is a contemporary of other Australian comedy greats such as Gina Riley and Jane Turner, and appeared in episodes of their hit sitcom Kath and Kim. “We’ve all been close mates for over 30 years,” says Trevorrow. “We came up in the same theatre/cabaret/comedy scene in Melbourne in the early ‘80s – so it was a complete and utter delight. Gina, Jane and I worked a lot together onstage before Kath and Kim – in fact, we invented Gina’s character, Coralee Hollow, in 1980 – four years before I thought of Bob!”
This year, Trevorrow is bringing Bob Downe back to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival with his show Bob, Sweat and Tears. Downe’s local paper, the Murwillumbah Irrigator, has accused him of living a lie, while the rumours which have been swirling for years have forced him into staging a tell-all extravaganza.Asking Trevorrow for clues is fruitless.
“I’m like Schapelle Corby,” says Trevorrow. “You’ll have to pay me a lot of money before I’ll tell you a thing. Suffice to say it’s a roller coaster ride of shocks, revelations, great music with John Thorn and a live band, and special surprise guests. That sound good enough for you?”
BY JOSH FERGEUS