JARRATT’S THE VOICE OF THE OUTBACK
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