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Triple J's Tilley on 'live, dangerous' TV

AAP logoAAP 23/09/2016 Sarah McPhee

Triple J Hack presenter Tom Tilley says the show is "a bit dangerous" for television but serves to better inform young Australians on contentious issues.

The radio program moved from the airwaves to the small screen last year for live debates on topics including drugs, porn, body obsession and generational differences.

Hack Live's fifth show, Aussie Patriots, aired on ABC2 on Thursday night with Tilley at the helm as the self-described "chief wrangler" of a panel with "diametrically opposed views".

"I've been able to kind of establish myself as a fairly prominent voice in youth current affairs because there are not many other outlets that really do what we do," Tilley, who has worked on Hack since 2007, told AAP.

"I hope that people hear perspectives that they haven't come across before and get a deeper understanding of the other sides of the argument relative to where they already stood."

United Patriots Front leader Blair Cottrell, former Australian soldier Andrew Fox-Lane and indigenous writer Nayuka Gorrie were among those to join the heated debate.

Tilley said the Thursday episode served to present young Australians with "a bit of context for the changes and dynamics and tensions" overseas on patriotism and immigration, including in France and the Leave vote for Brexit.

"There is so much passion in the room but the tone that we're trying to create is one of understanding," he said.

"If I sense that a lot of the panel is starting to oppose one person, I have to very carefully make sure they're not under sustained attack from the whole room for too long."

He said having space to air intense footage on television engages viewers "in an even more powerful way" than radio can.

"That's the ether of it, to unapologetically demonstrate what is really going on in young people's lives," he said.

"We're taking a risk in making the show but that's what makes, hopefully, really dynamic and informing television."

The show - with more than 154,000 Facebook followers and 66,000 on Twitter - has a history of stirring up support and outrage among viewers via social media.

"These issues come up in conversations among their friends and they engage in a deeper, better informed discourse than they would of otherwise," Tilley said.

The seasoned presenter said audiences should expect a sixth Hack Live before year's end.

"We do have a topic in mind, very, very different to the one we're discussing today," Tilley said.

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