It’s become one of Australia’s most beloved comedies, but according to Gina Riley and Jane Turner, Kath & Kim very nearly never happened.

The pair, who play bogan mum and daughter duo Kath & Kim, revealed to The Age that ABC initially disagreed with the show’s direction and nearly pulled the pin.

“As I remember it, it was the Friday afternoon and we were going to pre-production the following Monday and we got a call saying, ‘It’s no longer the direction we want to go in,’” Riley, who plays Kim Craig said.

“We were completely rocked, but we thought we’ve got a pretty watertight deal memo. And they were like, ‘We’re doing you a favour; you don’t want to do this to yourselves.’

“And then we went, ‘OK, we’ll go somewhere else.’ And they said, ‘Oh, no, you can’t take it anywhere else.’ So that was when we went, ‘You know what? This is very unjust. And we’re going to fight it.’”

Turner, who plays Kath Day-Knight, added: “When the ABC wanted to cancel just before we were to start shooting it was hard to take. But we fought back.

“We were very determined to make the show we had pitched, and in reality we didn’t stop writing and working on it. It was too awful so we just pretended it wasn’t happening.”

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Television producer Sandra Levy was later appointed director of television and instructed to “sort out” the show.

“And we did very quickly and very satisfactorily,” Levy said.

“It seemed to me that the ABC had made a commitment to it, and from what I could see it was going to be a terrific show. I was just trying to untangle what looked like a debacle, really.

“It was not bureaucracy at its best, to put it mildly.”

The revelation comes amid the highly-anticipated return of the show in the form of a 20th-anniversary two-part special to be aired on Channel 7 on November 20.

Titled Kath and Kim: Our Effluent Life, fans can expect to see not only the return of the beloved titular characters but also Peter Rowsthorn as Brett Craig, Glenn Robbins as Kel Knight and Madga Szubanski as Sharon Strzelecki.

We’re sure the special is bound to be noice, different and unusual. 

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