Hamish and Andy's romp in Europe

Hamish Blake, left, and Andy Lee star in the new TV series Hamish and Andy's Euro Gap Year.
Hamish Blake, left, and Andy Lee star in the new TV series Hamish and Andy's Euro Gap Year. Effi Cohen, Channel 9

IT'S easy to see how winning a Logie for your new show could go to your head.

But don't expect to see Hamish Blake swanning around Europe with this gold statuette when Hamish and Andy's Euro Gap Year premieres on Thursday.

"Hamish insisted he should wear it as a big brooch and told me that means he's allowed to fly the plane and skip customs when he arrived in England," said co-host Andy Lee.

"As I did some research I found out none of those things are true.

"It's actually safe at Kerry Blake's (Hamish's mum's) house."

The new series will be broadcast weekly from The Lord Stanley, a disused pub in East London, and feature the boys' travels and adventures.

Leave it to the radio funnymen to find the most bizarre places and events in Europe, like the German festival celebrating "Fingerhakeln" or "finger wrestling".

"They link this small leather circle between two little fingers and yank it across the desk," Lee said.

"About 80 per cent lost skin on their fingers and they were all bleeding.

"They'd go to this area that looked like a civil war hospital and they got the excess skin cut off and bandaged and then they'd have a go again."

Lee didn't return to London with any medals, but at least he kept all of his skin.

"We weren't strong enough to actually be able to hold on to rip our fingers," he said.

"They were so strong. They did chin-ups just with their middle fingers.

"Their middle finger was twice as big as the size of my thumb.

"Basically, as soon as they started pulling my finger would immediately retreat or give way.

"So there was no serious injury, but a significant loss from our side."

Blake and Lee didn't shy away from the more remote reaches of the continent, travelling to Finnish Lapland above the Arctic Circle to meet the indigenous Sami people.

"It's so remote that the main profession is reindeer herding," he said.

"We went up there to meet a fella named Ari who was a reindeer racing champion.

"They strap themselves on skis on the back of wild reindeer and they get up to 60kmh when they race them.

"Hamish and I took each other on. We thought because it was so cold we'd go to nearest lake, use a chainsaw to cut a hole in the ice and the loser had to go in.

"Let's just say it's very invigorating. If you're in there for more than three minutes then you die."

One of Lee's favourite destinations was Bosnia, where he and Blake had to prove their manhood.

"Bosnia is a place people should add to their wish lists. It was extraordinarily beautiful," he said.

"We went to a place called Mostar, which comes from a word which means bridge keepers, and they have this bridge built in 16th century.

"The locals jump off it as a sign of coming of age.

"Hamish and I were up there looking off this 25m-high bridge going 'should we be doing this'. I can safely say my bottom is still sore."

After annoying Lee to the brink of insanity with an Irish tin flute during the pair's UK road trip, does Blake have a new instrument of torture for their European travels?

"I think he's eyeing off a Viking horn in Sweden," Lee said.

"No doubt I'll delight in somehow throwing it away."

The series will finish with an Olympic Games-themed episode, although the boys are calling it "an athletics and sporting extravaganza based in London" since they can't use the word Olympics.

If they have a go at any Olympic sports, then Lee reckons he and Blake would do best in team sports.

"Maybe hockey where hopefully we can just play in a position where we're not actually needed."


Hamish & Andy's Euro Gap Year - Nine - Thursday 8.30pm (8pm Bris)

Topics:  gap year hamish and andy hamish blake tv show

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