Actress Miriam Margolyes has said she felt “at home” with a group of “adorable” Aussie bogans she met in Bendigo on her new road trip documentary series.
Margolyes’ new three-part series, Australia Unmasked, starts on ABC tonight (July 19) and follows her on an eight week trip across the bottom of the country exploring social injustice.
In one funny highlight while in Bendigo, Miriam Margolyes puts on a helmet and lets out her inner hoon, joining a local bogan for a burnout in his ute.
The 81-year-old explained that she met a diverse range of people on the trip, and didn’t believe she would “get on with the bogans” but found them delightful, kind and fun.
“I’m a bit of snob, I think, and when they said, ‘we want you to meet some bogans’ – and I knew what bogans were – I thought, well, I don’t want to meet bogans, I’ve got nothing in common with them,” she told The Age.
“But, in fact, I did feel more at home with the bogans than I did with the people I met at the polo ground!
“The bogans were adorable – they were a community, they were kind to each other, they were very kind to me.
“I don’t like their music … but the people were real and loving and friendly.
“That isn’t to say the poshies weren’t friendly, they were. But they’re not so demonstrative, they’re just more restrained. They’re more English, I suppose.”
@abciview Nothing quite like experiencing the local culture 😂 #AustraliaUnmasked #MiriamMargolyes #CarBurnout ♬ original sound – ABC iview
Miriam Margolyes shocked at Tasmania’s homophobic past
In the new ABC documentary series Australia Unmasked, Miriam Margolyes spent eight weeks driving across the bottom of the country.
She’s exploring the Aussie notion of “the fair go” and how it plays out in the lives of Australia’s diverse citizens.
Margolyes, who is a lesbian, became an Australian in 2013 and has been with her Australian partner Heather for decades.
She visits Tasmania, the last state to decriminalise homosexuality in 1997, to meet activist Rodney Croome and join her first Pride rally in Hobart.
Margolyes travels to Ulverstone, which was at one time Australia’s “most homophobic town”. She’s shocked to learn of the hateful anti-gay rallies that took place there in the 1990s.
In the subsequent two episodes, Margolyes then journeys from Tasmania to Victoria and South Australia.
“Everybody had heard of the ‘fair go,’ and knew what it was. But is it still going? That was the question,” she said.
“It’s a phrase that is actually enshrined in the constitutional document that they give you when you become an Australian, as I did in 2013.
“It’s an interesting concept and I wanted to know, does it still exist? Do people believe it? Do they know what it is? And everybody did.”
Miriam Margolyes: Australia Unmasked starts on ABC tonight (July 19).
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