JAR­RATT’S THE VOICE OF THE OUT­BACK

Herald Sun - Switched On - - COVER STORY - SHAN­NON MOL­LOY NA­TIONAL TV WRITER

A lot of the time, the peo­ple who have brushes with the law in the ob­ser­va­tional doco se­ries Ter­ri­tory Cops have two things in com­mon — they’re young and very drunk.

Whether brawl­ing in the streets of down­town Dar­win, be­ing nabbed for drink driv­ing or steal­ing a post­man’s mo­tor­bike, grog tends to be stu­pid­ity’s main ac­com­plice.

And for se­ries nar­ra­tor John Jar­ratt, those scenes bring back some dif­fi­cult, al­beit hazy mem­o­ries.

“There’s noth­ing in it that I haven’t seen or heard be­fore,” he says of the Chan­nel 10 show.

The ac­claimed ac­tor ad­mits he was a fairly “crazy” young man with a taste for grog, who had his fair share of run-ins with the boys and girls in blue.

“Of course I did — I was a drunk,” Jar­ratt says.

“It was the usual — just like you see in the show, just as crazy. That’s what al­co­hol does to you, if you drink enough. I of­ten had to be told what I did the next day.”

The Wolf Creek star quit drink­ing in 1990 shortly af­ter a scary in­ci­dent at a high school re­union.

“I was (in a ho­tel room) with a bunch of old mates and they couldn’t get up and party, so I picked up one of those lit­tle black and white TVs and threw it at my mate who was in bed.

“Luck­ily he caught it. If he didn’t catch it, I could’ve done a lot of harm. I could’ve killed him. So that was it. No more booze. My mate be­ing alive was more im­por­tant than hav­ing a beer.”

When it comes to his in­volve­ment in this show, Jar­ratt sus­pects he was cast as its voice mostly be­cause he’s from “the out­back”.

He was born in Won­gaw­illi, a ru­ral town near Wol­lon­gong in New South Wales, and later lived in the Snowy Moun­tains area. There were stints in parts of western Queens­land, too.

“I’m from all over the place,” he says. “I’ve got a way of speak­ing that Territorians un­der­stand, I think.”

TER­RI­TORY COPS, CHAN­NEL 10, TUES­DAY AND THURS­DAY, 8PM

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