It is always sad when someone who created great memories from your childhood passes on. It’s always really weird because often you haven’t thought about hem for a very long time. So it was when I heard the news about Mike Leyland’s passing yesterday.
For those of you too young to remember, Mike was one half of the legendary Leyland Brothers who had a TV show titled “Ask The Leyland Brothers”. From 76 to 84 they tripped across Australia in their 4WDs or Campervans after receiving invitations from viewers to come and visit their remote areas.
As a kid I got to see heaps of cool stuff that I wouldn’t ordinarily been able to. It brought all the cool places from around Australia into our house.
Even though they boasted 2.5 million fans (a figure any TV exec would give his first born for today) it occurred to me this morning that such a concept just wouldn’t float despite the tourism that it could drive. It is simply too pure a concept to get approval.
Instead, similar TV shows now have to be polished and product based to within and inch of their life. Instead of a show just bringing us great stories and entertainment it has to be all about pushing product with the last shot telling me how much I can expect to pay for flights and accommodation or the difference in price between mature plants and seeds or whatever.
Sadly, similar TV shows are now just a sales pitch and the people presenting it are B-grade celebrities that wouldn’t know if their arse is on fire, staying in 5 star hotels and having a support crew to help them.
BTW – the Leyland Brothers ran the risk of dying if they didn’t have the skills to meet whatever challenge popped up. They didn’t have support crews to help fix a broken down 4WD in the middle of the outback when it was 50 degrees.
Will anybody remember with the same fondness when Jamie Durie passes?
Now, everyone who remembers, start singing the song ‘Travel all over the country side …” or just play the video for some cracker memories.