Australian Story: Sept 16

Monday’s Australian Story is the first of a two part profile on legendary Paul Hogan.

In addition to Hoges, the episodes feature his son Todd, speaking publicly for the first time, former colleagues Delvene Delaney (who also introduces), director Peter Faiman and Bill Macartney, current collaborators Shane Jacobson and Dean Murphy, and commentators Jane Caro and Andrew Mercado.

As he prepares to celebrate his 80th birthday next month, an uncharacteristically reflective Paul Hogan looks back over his remarkable life and career.

Featuring previously unseen childhood photos and candid insights from family, friends and colleagues, the two episodes reveal the legendary actor and comedian as never before.

As Delvene Delaney says in her introduction: “The world knows him as Hoges or Mick Dundee, but I know a very different man – Paul Hogan.”

Hogan was an accidental star. Born and raised in western Sydney, he left school at 15, married in his teens and had three children by the time he was 22.

“Living in the real world, before I got into television and entertainment was a huge advantage because it gave me perspective,” Hogan says.

He was working as a rigger on the Sydney Harbour Bridge when he decided to enter a TV talent show to make fun of the judges. By sheer luck, one of those appearances was spotted by a journalist on A Current Affair.

“They were looking for someone to give the man in the street’s opinion,” Hogan recalls, “and I was a genuine man in the street.”

It was A Current Affair producer John Cornell who saw the potential in Hogan and they formed an enduring partnership that, over the next 15 years, led to The Paul Hogan Show then Crocodile Dundee, one of the most successful independent films of all time.

Over two episodes, Paul Hogan – A Fortunate Life offers an honest, revealing and entertaining look at the ups and downs of an extraordinary career.

“I’m not allowed to have regrets,” he says. “If I have regrets, some hairy thunderer should come down from the sky and smack me down and say, ‘How much luck do you want in your life?’”

Producer: Greg Hassall

Part One 8pm Monday on ABC.

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