Cricket tourist stays too long at the crease
There is a great deal of him politely consuming the tucker
An Aussie Goes Bolly 8.30pm, Fox 8
ANYBODY miserable they missed his first successful series ( on pay television, an audience that rates above sampling error is a hit) should cheer up, because Gus Worland is back.
In his first outing, Aussie extraordinare Worland tramped across Australia with the Barmy Army as it celebrated the performance, or lack of it, of the English cricket team in songs and suds. And now Gus is at it again, this time in a six- part series on the opposition ’s turf, as he goes to every game on an Australian tour of India.
This is a terrific idea for an hourlong travel show but if this initial episode is any indication, not even the amiable Worland, who seems game for most things, can carry another five.
Tonight there is much more of Gus the tourist than Gus the cricket tragic. Sure, he goes to a couple of one- day games and the shots of the enormous crowds behaving much the same as spectators at any Australian ground are entertaining enough.
However, judging by the police presence, anybody who starts a Mexican wave at the Cochin ground would be in strife quick smart.
But this series is about Gus on tour rather than the game, so there is a great deal of him politely consuming the tucker and generally playing tourist in the company of some remarkably good- natured Indians, who do not mind this big pink bloke wandering all over their pitch. And he does it over and over.
To the extent the show works, it is because of Worland, who is either a good bloke or an excellent actor.
He takes people as he finds them and is happy to have a beer and a yarn with anyone who shares his love of cricket. There is a sense of the salesman in Worland ’ s performance but it is hard to imagine a better qualification for this sort of TV than genuinely liking humanity and hoping people like him as well.
Worland ’s mate — and the show ’s producer — Hugh Jackman obviously agrees that the presenter ’s personality can carry the series.
Perhaps it can, but 30 minutes into this episode you get the idea, and after an hour it is obvious what will be much the same in subsequent episodes. For people who have always wanted to watch an Australian tour of India, this should be enough to either cure them of the compulsion or compel them to book their seats for the next series.
But as a travelogue, with additional information about Indian cricket and the vast numbers of people who adore the game, it is an innings that just goes on and on.
Me and my mate Jacko:
Gus Worland with series producer Hugh Jackman