All Under The Place – 12 Nov, Sydney, Australia

So this is it. ‘All Over The Place – Oz’, the best job I’ve ever done in my life, has come to an end. In 3 months I’ve visited every state and experienced more of this continent than the vast majority of people who live here ever will, and I got to do it with a great crew who, after several years of making this show together, are all firm fiends of mine. I’m a lucky so and so really.

People keep asking me what I think of this country having been so immersed in it these past months, so…

Australia – YAY!

– The food. It’s amazing. The ingredients, the variety on offer – USA you should be ashamed of yourselves. If the Aussies can do it then so can you.

– The coffee. Surely the best in the world. It’s very rare that anyone, anywhere, makes you a bad cup of coffee, and they can make it for you in more combinations than I knew existed.

– The weather. This time of the year (Aug-Nov) I can’t think of a much better climate in the world. Not too hot, not too cold, perfect filming weather. Awesome.

– The people. Virtually all the Australians we’ve met are like the best of the UK and the USA combined. Open and friendly but with a slightly sarcastic humour that I just love.

– My friends. Annoyingly for my social life, 5 incredibly good friends of mine have emigrated here over the years, so to catch up with them has been fantastic.

Australia – BOO!

– The Internet. My god Australia, it’s not the 90s anymore. Internet speeds can be awful and wifi access (particularly in the cities, weirdly) is infrequent and expensive. It makes me feel like this place is more cut off from the world than it already is.

– Flies. No wonder most Australians choose to live by the coast. Head inland and your life will be made a living hell by these moisture craving parasites. It wasn’t even fly season and in some areas we had them crawling in our eyes and noses every 10 seconds and swarming on our backs.

– Being on fire. Australia seems to be on fire a lot. I consider this a design flaw.

– The emptiness. Australia is a country larger than Europe, with a population a third of the size of the UK. Also, until relatively recently in geographical terms, most of it was underwater. So the soil is parched and often sandy and the landscape is flat and empty once you head out west from the east coast. In places you can drive for days and see nothing but dusty soil, clumps of desert grass and the odd stumpy tree. It makes me feel a bit melancholic for some reason.

Overall, I have to say this has been the job of a lifetime. It was like being paid to be on a really well planned gap year, but doing things no student on their gap year could ever afford to do. In fact, I feel like I’ve been out here for a year. It’s definitely time to come home. Unfortunately I only get to spend 3 days at home before I find myself living in Liverpool doing panto until January! But those 3 days are going to be amazing…

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