Out­side the box

Star­ring in a re­al­ity-TV show has brought the Dal­ton fam­ily closer, writes COLIN VICKERY

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - TV Guide - - News -

WHO knew that watch­ing TV on Gog­gle­box Aus­tralia could be a fam­ily bond­ing ex­er­cise? Cer­tainly not Matt and Kate Dal­ton when they signed to be par­tic­i­pants on the Fox­tel/Ten re­al­ity show.

The Dal­tons thought it would be fun for them and their teenage daugh­ters Mil­lie and Holly to be on the show but it has turned into some­thing much more deep and mean­ing­ful.

“Be­ing on Gog­gle­box has ab­so­lutely brought our fam­ily closer to­gether,” Matt says. “We’ve had con­ver­sa­tions with the girls that we wouldn’t have around a ta­ble.

“There were a cou­ple of shows we watched about cy­ber-bul­ly­ing and our kids gave their per­spec­tive on it and bul­ly­ing within school grounds and they were very open about that.

“We even dis­cussed things like the grey­hound bait­ing that hap­pened about a year ago and the kids were very strong on the pro­tec­tion of an­i­mals.

“When the Malaysian Air­lines plane was shot down over the Ukraine,the kids were ask­ing so many ques­tions about it.

“All of these dis­cus­sions wouldn’t come up in nor­mal day-to-day life.”

Kate was ap­proached by one of the show’s tal­ent re­searchers in the lead-up to Christ­mas 2014. A week later, the fam­ily was on board. Now they are set for their sixth sea­son.

“We had a cou­ple of fam­ily meet­ings about it be­cause go­ing on a re­al­ity show ob­vi­ously has some per­ils,” Matt says. “I work in cor­po­rate life so I had to be very care­ful and we were also very con­scious of pro­tect­ing the girls. The pro­duc­ers told us it wouldn’t be the nor­mal back­stab­bing re­al­ity show.

“We had to be very open with the (girls’) school. We were upfront and told them what was hap­pen­ing so the teach­ers could keep a look­out in case there was any­thing (teas­ing or bul­ly­ing) hap­pen­ing.

“But it has been the ex­act op­po­site. We have found that the kids and par­ents at the school are quite eu­phoric about us be­ing on the show and re­ally pro­tect the kids.

“When there is some neg­a­tiv­ity on so­cial me­dia, a lot of the peo­ple who fol­low us and like us give those peo­ple (crit­ics) a whack.”

So what shows do the Dal­tons love and which shows split them apart?

“Matt and I are very to­gether on Utopia,” Kate says. “We do love Aus­tralian hu­mour. That is such a clever show with a bril­liant cast. With the girls we en­joy Sur­vivor and we’ve def­i­nitely been look­ing for­ward to The Bach­e­lorette.”

Matt adds: “When The Bach­e­lorette comes on I can’t breathe or make any com­ment or I get ab­so­lutely slaugh­tered by the kids who lis­ten to ev­ery sin­gle word.

“An­other one we all seem to har­monise on is Mar­ried at First Sight. (Kate and I) think Keep­ing Up with the Kar­dashi­ans is quite light-hearted but the kids think it is like a re­ally im­por­tant doc­u­men­tary.

“I reckon Ge­ordie Shore is an ab­so­lute shock­ing show but the kids love it. They think it is hi­lar­i­ous. I want to in­ter­view the par­ents (of the cast) and say, ‘Are you re­ally proud of what you see from your kids?’”

Now that Mil­lie and Holly are reach­ing adult­hood (Mil­lie is at univer­sity), time spent in front of the tele­vi­sion for Gog­gle­box has be­come ex­tra pre­cious.

“The TV is a cat­a­lyst for us to talk amongst our fam­ily on top­ics that we wouldn’t even pos­si­bly think of talk­ing about,” Matt says.

Open: The Dal­tons – Holly, Matt, Mil­lie and Kate.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.