The Courier-Mail

Dar­ren McMullen


Orig­i­nally cre­ated for the Na­tional Ge­o­graphic Chan­nel, Out­siders with Dar­ren

McMullen has found a new TV home at ABC2. We chat to the host about what new­com­ers can ex­pect from the travel doc­u­men­tary with a twist.

How did the pro­ject ini­tially come about?

The con­cept was con­ceived over a few whisky sours in Scot­land with a great guy called Will Simp­son. He was talk­ing about es­sen­tially trav­el­ling the world and do­ing a talk show with all the in­ter­est­ing char­ac­ters you may meet in life and I said, ‘That would be my dream — to do a travel show with the weird and wacky and won­der­ful.’ Then I kind of for­got all about it.

He ob­vi­ously didn’t though?

No. Six months later he called me up and said, ‘Hey re­mem­ber that show we came up with af­ter a few whisky sours? Well, Na­tional Ge­o­graphic wants to make it.’

Who do we meet dur­ing the show? We cover ev­ery gamut. We see bizarre re­li­gions — peo­ple who wor­ship aliens or an­i­mals among other things — peo­ple who make mu­sic with their plants and peo­ple who go time trav­el­ling. You have some pretty in­ter­est­ing ad­ven­tures along the way.

I love Louis Th­er­oux, but it ir­ri­tates me a lit­tle that he doesn’t im­merse him­self in what he’s do­ing, he kind of makes judg­ment based on be­ing a fly on the wall. For me, it was al­ways, I want to walk a mile in their shoes to see if it’s some­thing I would con­sider with ab­so­lutely no judg­ment or pre­con­cep­tions.

That must be hard to do?

It is, yeah. But I’ve al­ways been at­tracted to the weird and won­der­ful peo­ple in life. I’m fas­ci­nated in how peo­ple’s brains work, how they get to that point where they’re see­ing life in a com­pletely dif­fer­ent light than any­one else. Are they the ones who are ac­tu­ally see­ing the world the way it is or are they com­pletely men­tal?

What did you dis­cover?

It’s com­pletely up to the eye of the be­holder. There are cer­tainly some things I found that I never thought I would be­lieve or sym­pa­thise with but in re­al­ity I did.

Have you ever felt like an out­sider?

That’s prob­a­bly why I was so per­fect for the show, I’ve al­ways felt like an out­sider. I’m al­ways the one that’s on the edge of all the groups and that’s the way I pre­ferred it.

Where do you think that comes from?

I came to Aus­tralia at the age of 12. Com­ing from a com­pletely dif­fer­ent cul­ture, with a com­pletely dif­fer­ent sense of hu­mour, speak­ing com­pletely dif­fer­ently and re­ally made to feel I was an out­sider and dif­fer­ent from ev­ery­body else and that kind of ce­mented my adult­hood. I still feel like a guy on the edge of so­ci­ety and I guess that’s why these colour­ful char­ac­ters I get to meet fas­ci­nate me so much.”


 ??  ?? Dar­ren McMullen has al­ways found the “out­siders” of so­ci­ety fas­ci­nat­ing.
Dar­ren McMullen has al­ways found the “out­siders” of so­ci­ety fas­ci­nat­ing.

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