Appearing on ABC-TV’s Hard Quiz has seen Dr Theja Surapaneni (of Snell and Aurelio Dental Surgeons in Heidelberg and Miners’ Dental Clinic in Wonthaggi, VIC) being called the most attractive game show contestant of all time. Interview: Frank Leggett
“I enjoy watching Hard Quiz on the ABC and I’ve always been a fan of Tom Gleeson. I’m also a bit of trivia buff and my friends and I often enjoy a trivia night at a pub. One day I was watching Hard Quiz and there was a casting call at the end of the show. I just applied online and it went from there.
“You need a special subject that Tom Gleeson will quiz you on so I chose cricket—specifically Sachin Tendulkar. I played cricket all through my childhood and even though I wasn’t very good, I loved the game. I don’t play so much these days but I’m still a huge fan.
“Cricket is a game where a moment of individual brilliance can really change the outcome. A player that had many moments of brilliance was the Indian cricketer, Sachin Tendulkar. He’s regarded as one of the best batsmen of all time. He retired in 2013 and has always been a bit of a hero of mine. That’s why I chose him as my subject on Hard Quiz.
“Tendulkar was very humble in the way he went about things and was well respected by players and fans. When I was younger, my family followed India but I formed my own opinion. I didn’t like the arrogance of the Australian cricket team even though it was probably justified as they were the best team by a country mile. So I stuck with India and still follow them today.
“As soon as Tom Gleeson started talking to me on Hard Quiz, we had a real rapport. I think it worked because there was no rehearsal and everything was off the cuff. We had never talked before so it was all very organic.
“People responded very well to my appearance on the show. I was surprised to be featured on Gogglebox [Australia] and gobsmacked that the clip on the ABC iView Facebook page has had over eight million views. It’s crazy that it has been that popular but apart from a bit of hype on the internet, my life is just the same.
“The only time I have been recognised is when a few patients said that they saw me on Hard Quiz. I guess that’s it for my TV career!”