OUT BOX OF THE
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