Why Langbroek almost quit The Panel
THE Panel was one of Australia's most-loved TV shows, but the first few episodes were "really, really horrible" for Kate Langbroek, she has revealed.
The Network Ten talk show launched in 1998 and featured Langbroek and comedians Tom Gleisner, Rob Sitch, Santo Cilauro and Glenn Robbins discussing the news and events of the week.
In a new interview with Sarah Grynberg on PodcastOne's A Life of Greatness, Langbroek recalled that some viewers questioned from the outset if she was right for the show.
"When I started the TV show The Panel, I hadn't done TV before," Langbroek said.
The show was created by Working Dog Productions, who at the time had collaborated closely with Jane Kennedy and Judith Lucy.
"When they (Working Dog) announced they were doing this panel-style talk show on TV, I think people were expecting it would be Jane Kennedy or Jude," Langbroek said.
"When it was me it was really, 'Who the f**k is that?' I have to swear because that's basically the letters that I got."
Langbroek said on the podcast she was "really bad" on The Panel at first and "was a bit overwhelmed" given she had no TV experience.
"Suddenly, there I was with these people who are amazing and seem to know a lot of stuff," she said. "If I didn't know stuff I would say, 'What does that mean?' and then people (viewers) would go, 'You know nothing!'
"It was really, really horrible," she said.
Langbroek was "rested" after a few episodes and vowed never to return after receiving negative feedback from viewers.
"Then they called back and said, 'Come back and do another episode'. I remember saying to my manager at the time, 'I don't want to do it. Tell them no'," Langbroek recalled.
"I was so filled with dread about having to go back. I loved seeing them, but I was just so wrapped up in knots about myself."
After a break from the show, Langbroek's manager encouraged her to give it another crack.
"Somehow that period of not doing it, I basically just went, 'It's too exhausting to care about myself and what people care about me'," Langbroek said. "Somehow the sheer exhaustion meant that I just shrugged it off and that I didn't care and that's exactly what I had to do.
"From that first episode back I think it just worked because I felt free."
Langbroek went on to become one of the show's most popular panellists and remained on the program for all seven seasons.
She is currently living in Bologna, Italy and co-hosts the Hit Network's Hughesy and Kate Show from 4.30-6.30pm weekdays.
Series two of PodcastOne's A Life of Greatness is available to download for free via Apple
Podcasts and on the PodcastOne Australia app and website