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For Pete’s snake

THERE’S plenty of hiss­ing go­ing on in a ware­house-turned-TV stu­dio in Yar­rav­ille. It’s the set­ting for the Chan­nel 9 kids’ se­ries Snake Tales, which stars Kath & Kim’s Peter Row­sthorn and Stupid Stupid Man’s Leah Van­den­berg (right). The 13-part se­ries is be­ing pro­duced by West­side Film and Television and fea­tures Row­sthorn as Jake, the op­er­a­tor of an out­back rep­tile park. ‘‘I’ve learned how im­por­tant it is to re­lax with snakes be­cause they can sense when you’re ner­vous,’’ Row­sthorn says.

Bondi boys bat­tle Bali beach

SOAK­ING up the sun on Bali’s Kuta beach sounds bliss­ful, but for Bondi Beach life­guards on a cul­tural ex­change in In­done­sia it has proved an un­pre­dictable ex­er­cise that has left them ex­hausted. A hand­ful of the lar­rikin boys in blue, made fa­mous through Lo­gie-win­ning ob­ser­va­tional se­ries Bondi Res­cue, have been put through their paces bat­tling wild surf and unfamiliar con­di­tions while film­ing Bondi Res­cue: Bali, to screen on Chan­nel 10 later this year. For life­guards Ryan ‘‘Whip­pet’’ Clarke (above left) and Tom Bunting, a gru­elling ocean res­cue to save a French wo­man and her two sons was the tough­est chal­lenge of their ca­reers. ‘‘It’s one of the most in­tense res­cues I have done,’’ for­mer Home and Away star Clarke says. Kuta beach has suf­fered nine deaths so far this year, with an av­er­age of 20 to 30 deaths a year. Bondi has one fa­tal­ity a year.

Jamie’s back-yard hits

JAMIE Durie, who a year ago caused grief for Nine when he left it to join ri­val Seven, de­scribes The Out­door Room— to screen on Seven af­ter the Olympics— as the best show he’s made. The for­mer Back­yard Blitz host last week left Melbourne for a quick trip to Los An­ge­les to look at work op­tions. It’s un­der­stood many US net­works are in­ter­ested in se­cur­ing the rights to The Out­door Room.

Dar­win un­der the mi­cro­scope

THE pro­duc­ers of the ac­claimed doc­u­men­tary se­ries Cap­tain Cook: Ob­ses­sion and Dis­cov­ery are mak­ing a new se­ries for ABC-TV, Dar­win’s Brave New World. Based on con­tro­versy sur­round­ing the pub­li­ca­tion of Charles Dar­win’s On the Ori­gin of Species, the se­ries will be filmed around the world and will in­clude in­ter­views with sci­en­tists David Suzuki and Richard Dawkins, along with drama­ti­sa­tion and spe­cial ef­fects. It’s based on a the­sis by Aus­tralian his­to­rian Iain McCal­man. The ex­ec­u­tive pro­duc­ers are Mark Ham­lyn of Screen Aus­tralia, Sue Cloth­ier from the Becker Group and Cana­dian Pat Ferns.

Min­der back, but no Terry

CLAS­SIC hit TV show Min­der is be­ing re­made for Bri­tish television with for­mer EastEn­ders ac­tor Shane Ritchie play­ing Archie Da­ley, the nephew of wheeler-dealer Arthur Da­ley. Lex Shrap­nel will play Archie’s min­der or body­guard. The six-part se­ries has been com­mis­sioned by Bri­tain’s Chan­nel Five from Talk­back Thames and will be given a con­tem­po­rary up­date. The orig­i­nal was an in­ter­na­tional hit in the 1980s, star­ring Ge­orge Cole and Den­nis Water­man. Cole and Water­man are not ex­pected to ap­pear in the re­make. Mean­while, Amer­i­can net­work CBS is de­vel­op­ing a re­make of the 1970s cop se­ries The Streets of San Fran­cisco, which launched the ca­reer of Michael Douglas. CHAN­NEL [V] pre­sen­ter and VJ James Ker­ley will front Fre­mantleMe­dia’s new stu­dio-based dat­ing show Taken Out. Billed by Ten as a big, shiny en­ter­tain­ment for­mat with a sense of hu­mour, the se­ries will be screened on week­nights when it launches af­ter the Olympics. Ker­ley, who has re­cently re­turned from at­tend­ing some of the world’s hottest mu­sic fes­ti­vals as part of a new [V] travel se­ries B430, also hosts The Dave and Ker­ley Show with Melbourne ac­tor­co­me­dian Dave Law­son. HOL­LY­WOOD star Har­vey Kei­tel has joined Michael Im­pe­ri­oli head­ing up the cast of the Amer­i­can re­make of the BBC’s Life on Mars. Kei­tel will play Det Gene Hunt, the hard-nosed head of the homi­cide de­part­ment.

Be­hind the best al­bums

SE­RIES two of Great Aus­tralian Al­bums launches on SBS on Satur­day night with the Go-Be­tweens’ 16 Lovers Lane. The doc­u­men­tary se­ries, writ­ten and pro­duced by Toby Cress­well with Mush­room Pic­tures, fea­tures in­ter­views with key per­form­ers and their col­leagues and goes be­hind the scenes to re­veal the emo­tional, fi­nan­cial and po­lit­i­cal hur­dles faced by the artists and pro­duc­ers. Fu­ture episodes look at Mur­der Bal­lads by Nick Cave& the Bad Seeds, Pow­derfin­ger’s Odyssey Num­ber Five and Hunters& Col­lec­tors’ Hu­man Frailty.

Ker­ley out and about

Har­vey stars on Mars

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