From 1992-95 “Guts” on Nickelodeon set a new boundary for kids across the country. It combined extreme sports for and athleticism for kids. Swimming, running track, boat paddling, and of course the final challenge–the famous Aggro Crag is what made it was one of Nick’s groundbreaking game shows of all time. It was so successful that it spawned a spin off titled “Global Guts” which featured kids,not just U.S. this time, from countries all over the world competing on the show. I guess you can say Guts in the 90s was a great time for kids to be active pre obesity and technology of the new millennium. Well the “On your mark. Get set. *blows whistles*” game referee Moira Quirk who we knew as “Mo” on the show took the time for me to interview her to discuss what it was like filming at Nickelodeon Studios Florida and her time on the show. Do you have it?
1. How did you get the role in Guts?
It was simply an audition… or a series of them. They kept bringing me back to show me to the next person up the Nickelodeon line.
2. What was a typical day like at Nick Studios? I know the cast & crew filmed in Soundstage 21 as opposed to Stage 18 and 19 if I’m not mistaken.
I remember it was the largest soundstage Universal Studios had. We’d shoot three shows a day. Then we would or wouldn’t go home.
3. I know you’ve answered this before but describe climbing the Aggro Crag.
It wasn’t quite the same for me as when the contestants climbed it. I didn’t have Mylar being shot at me for a start. I remember being surprised that the ground below me was squishier than I had anticipated!
4. What was one of the good things about living/working in Orlando?
I made great friends in Orlando with amazingly talented people. A few are still there, but most of us are in LA and New York and Chicago now. As for Orlando, or rather Florida, the heat and humidity was too much for me. The cockroaches were too much for me. But I loved going to the ocean and the beautiful beaches. I lived in a lovely old Southern Gothic Victorian by a lake and I loved that!
5. Orlando,FL had a reputation of being known as Hollywood East in the early 90’s. Do you remember any other shows being filmed where you were at?
Other than Nickelodeon shows, not really.
6. What was it like to see all these other nations, particularly your hometown England, compete on Global Guts? It was really like a mini Olympics to me.
It was fun! It was a great way to see the show out.
7. What did you think of the 2008 revival “My Family’s Got Guts”
I’m embarrassed to say I never saw it.
8. Do you still talk to Mike O’Malley?
9. You were also appeared on Figure It Out sometimes. How much fun was that show?
Perhaps it was my schedule, but I always felt I walked off the plane, walked onto the set, got slimed and then had to fly home. So, if it was a fun show, I never had time to notice.
10. Describe the feeling of getting slimed.
Well, if you can imagine a really slimy substance landing on you… it’s like that.
11. Speaking on upcoming projects you do alot of voice acting these days. is there a difference between that and regular acting?
Implying it’s irregular acting? Hmm! But yes, voice over is my gig now. Sometimes you might actually see me in person- check out Dirty Work at dirtywork.com (only if you’re older!)- but usually I’m in front of a microphone. There is definitely a different skill set involved, even between the different types of VO work I do. An audiobook is very different from a BBC radio play, which is different from an LA Theatre Works play-recording, which is different from a game like Skyrim, which is different from a game like Star Wars or X-Com, which is different from a Marvel cartoon which is different from Madagascar.
12. Did you have a favorite ride at Universal Studios Florida?
I did! At that time there was the Hanna Barbera ride. It was a simulator ride and you would chase Dick Dastardly and Muttley. I am hugely into Hanna Barbera cartoons, so that was like my happy place. Mostly because there was an interactive area attached and my favourite spot was where you could push the buttons to make the sound effects (like ‘zup zup zup’ when someone takes off really quickly!) I could waste quite a lot of time in that room.
13.How do you feel knowing that Guts is loved today along with the other Nickelodeon shows during that time?
It’s rather nice. I still remember shows I enjoyed as a kid, so if GUTS evokes those same feelings that’s pretty cool.
14. Any other behind the scenes or fan moments that happened on set at the studios?
Honestly, it’s all the behind the scenes tomfoolery that really informs a show. And my lips are sealed.
15. What do you think was the best thing about Nickelodeon Studios?
Its love of orange.
16. Would you like to see Nick Studios be reopened?
I don’t know what studios might already be there and operating, but if Nick wanted to reopen and run a union operation and it was beneficial to the region, then godspeed!