SHE started out as a “boundary line bub” running around the Woorndoo Recreation Reserve, but now comedian Kate McLennan gets to talk about her beloved Aussie rules each week on behalf of the AFL.
McLennan is one of the three panellists on the new all-female AFL show Sirens, which can be watched on AFL.com.au and YouTube every Tuesday.
The show was the brainchild of Angela Pippos, who joins McLennan and winter Olympics gold medallist and Collingwood board member Alisa Camplin to dissect the previous weekend’s football action.
The Mortlake-raised comedian said the show only started a few weeks ago and she was already loving it.
“We’d been talking about doing Sirens for pretty much the whole year,” McLennan said.
“Angela Pippos approached the AFL in January and had been working hard to get sponsors but they weren’t having much luck.
“She was so persistent. Then we got a sponsor and within a few days it was all on again. Rather than wait until next season, we thought get a few under the belt this year.”
A Cats supporter, Mc-Lennan moved to Geelong from Mortlake as a 10-year-old, joking that the family “got Geelong memberships as compensation” for having to move.
“I went to pretty much every game from the age of 10 to 16,” she said.
“My favourite footy memory was watching Gary Ablett take his ‘mark of the century’ over Gary Pert.
“I was sitting right there on the boundary line.”
She said Sirens felt like a full-time job.
“You do have to know what you’re talking about to write jokes about the stuff, so my weekends are now completely taken up with watching football and reading every article, and watching shows like Footy Classified.
“But I suppose most footy fans are like that.”
McLennan said the aim of Sirens was to offer a different perspective and not spout the same information as every other footy show.
“When Angela first pitched a show targeted towards women, the AFL thought it was a great idea,” she said.
“So many women go to the footy, they’re members, they’re mums driving their kids to footy. They don’t get to play at an elite level but they’re still really passionate about it. Even from a marketing point of view it would be a shame not to tap into that.”
The only downside so far has been the emergence of some misogynist and sexist comments from YouTube viewers suggesting that women had no place commenting on football.
“It’s really a shame,” McLennan said.
“I haven’t looked at it but I heard about it. I have a rule: I don’t look at that stuff on the internet.
“It’s easy to say it’s water off a duck’s back but it can be really upsetting.
“You can’t please everyone. Also, with football it’s new territory we’re breaking into.
“It’s hard even being a female comedian sometimes.
“But if you don’t like (Sirens), you don’t have to watch it.
“We’re just pleased there are people who like it.
“We’ve had a lot of feedback from not only women, but guys as well saying they’re finding it entertaining.”