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Friday, August 03, 2012

3rd August 2012 Aussie retro soap alert!



Jobsearching and my retro Aussie soap fetish


Sadly I did not get the job with West Sussex county council, but seeing folk at Central Sussex College, and trying to get the best direction, and enjoying the Olympics at the moment


Not easy to admit, but down the years I have had an on and off love for the soap operas produced by Australia and recently purchased 2 DVDs of classic Neighbours episodes from 1985 to about 2004! My mother could be partly to blame having been a keen watcher of various Aussie soaps down the years the likes of Prisoner H Cell Block and Sons & Daughters (both a bit before my time though I managed to watch repeats on Channel 5 a few years ago as adult!), but she has watched Neighbours and Home and Away right from the start when I was a toddler which means amongst my early infant memorys include 'Neighbours, everybody needs good neighbours...' and surfers having accidents dancing to 'You know we belong together...' in the closing credits of Home and Away!


Now a bit of history and info esp for those not British or Australian, if it bores you skip this paragraph to the next one. The UK Australia relationship is a sort of friendly Commonwealth love-hate kind of thing, with most Australians having either British or Irish blood in some form and English/ British folk with Aussie parentage in some form (eg Bradley Wiggins and Laura Robson spring to mind!)! Australia first half of the 20th century was very British influenced with ABC being modelled on BBC and older characters on early soaps like Anne Haddy (Helen Daniels), would have accents that sounded more English home counties than down under despite being Aussie born and bred! However just after World War II things changed not only was the Empire falling apart the Australian's were suddenly outclassing the mother country at cricket, rugby, Olympics and tennis they were producing about a million grand slam winners (Impressive for a nation whose population was about 18 million then!), whilst us Brits waited and hoped the likes of Roger Taylor, Tim Henman or even bloody Andrew Castle only when desperate. But gradually not only was it sport, they were starting to dominate us culturally! In the 1970s and 1980s a series of various Australian produced shows came to our shores that seemed more bright and postive than the likes of doom and gloom Eastenders and Coronation Street, the Aussie's term for 'Whinging Poms' seemed more apt watching those UK soap operas in 1980s! We did not know it but we were being Aussified even the way we dressed and talked was being influenced by the 'good day' folk esp the likes of me that grew up in the 1990s, however with the 2003 Rugby World Cup lack of recent Aussie tennis success and recent British Gold success at the London 2012 Olympics the tide seems to be turning again!


However Neighbours (a show so popular here that the British population was happy to part fund it via the BBC for 21 years until it switched to Channel 5!) was the first overall soap I fell in love and got into as a kid due to a certain Golden Labrador by the name of Bouncer, but a few years later when Bouncer and most of his host Robinson family had departed and increasing silly storylines, I drifted onto Home and Away, loving the warmth of Alf and Alisa Stewart, Irene (I saw Lynne McGranger perform Panto at the Dome in Brighton 1995!), moody headteacher Fisher and his comedy realitionship with Marilyn, and the goings on with Sally and the complex Fletcher-Ross foster clan!


However by the late 90's I switched back to Neighbours (the return of Harold Bishop and the teenage gang that revolved around the likes of Toadie, Kennedys etc possibly played a part!) and has pretty much been the main Aussie soap I have watched since then! So whilst looking for oppertunitys to get into work been watching old Neighbours episodes, enjoying the chance to see the likes of Harold Bishop, Bouncer, Philip Martin, Joe Mangel, my and old crush Stephanie McIntosh as Sky Mangel! As well as the rivalry of the early Ramsay and Robinson clans and the Scott Charlene relationship that I was too young to see! Then suddenly just after purchasing the DVDs Channel 5 announce that as Home & Away is taking a summer break they would be showing two retro episodes from 1988 to the present day, so enjoying the chance to relive the original theme and the classic opening and closing credits seen in video below, as well as the up and down acting of some of the early Home and Away actors, and the original Fletcher family! Sad I know. lol


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