Peter Allen. INXS. Princess Mary. And soon, Molly Meldrum. Australian TV is in peak biopic mode and audiences seemingly can’t get enough of the glossy, sanitised life stories of famous figures in our history.
Last weekend’s Mary: The Making of a Princess fit the bill perfectly. Written by Dance Academy creator Samantha Strauss, the telemovie landed tonally somewhere between Home and Away and The Secret Life of Us, with a large amount of The Bachelor-style romance thrown in – a royal love story for the masses.
With these “based on a true story” specials a ratings boon for networks, we decided to put together a list of sure fire crowd pleasers that should be put into production immediately...
Showgirl: Kylie Minogue - The Musical
Fresh from her turn in Never Tear Us Apart: The Untold Story of INXS, Samantha Jade reprises her role as Kylie Minogue in this two-part musical event about the Australian superstar. Charting the diminutive singer and actress’s career from child actress to multi-platinum recording artist, Showgirl also delves into Kylie’s personal triumphs and tragedies – all in song.
Also starring: Dean Geyer as Jason Donovan, Ian “Dicko” Dickson as Pete Waterman, Harrison Craig as Rick Astley, Altiyan Childs as Michael Hutchence, Matt Corby as Nick Cave, Reece Mastin as Robbie Williams and Ricki-Lee Coulter as Dannii Minogue. Soundtrack album available through Universal Music.
That’s Not A Knife: The Legend Of Paul Hogan
He’s the former Harbour Bridge rigger who became the public face of Australia around the world – and this telemovie starring Luke Hemsworth captures what made loveable larrikin Paul Hogan one of this country’s most popular personalities.
Follow Paul’s journey through the 1970s and ’80s, with classic sketches from The Paul Hogan Show as well as memorable moments from international breakthrough “Crocodile” Dundee recreated.
Then, in the 1990s and 2000s, Hoges battles through marriage breakdowns, tax problems and career disappointments, all the while keeping his trademark sense of humour intact.
Lady in Red: The Nicole Kidman Story
From BMX Bandits to The Hours and beyond, Oscar-winner actress Nicole Kidman (played by Sarah Snook) has leaves an indelible mark on the international film industry, while her personal life keeps tabloid magazines in business for decades.
In the two-part miniseries Lady In Red, recall Nicole’s early successes in TV series Bangkok Hilton and Vietnam, her meteoric rise to worldwide fame following her fairytale marriage to Tom Cruise (Hugh Sheridan) and her second chance at love with Keith Urban (Dieter Brummer).
Dawn Fraser: Diving in the Deep End
An Aussie icon. A maverick sports star. Before she became a walking headline, making the news for her polarising politics and views on modern-day Australia, Dawn Fraser was a bona fide legend.
Travel back to a simpler time when talented working class kids could become Olympic champions - and a girl from Balmain represented everything that was great about our young nation.
Who better to play the swimming star than acclaimed actress Mandy McElhinney, who so skilfully transformed herself into Nene King, Gina Rinehart and, in last year’s Labor Wars, Bob Hawke.
Who Wants to Be Eddie Maguire?
Written, directed and produced by Eddie Maguire, Who Wants To Be Eddie Maguire? is the untold story of one man’s rise to the very top of the Australian media industry.
Thanks to the cutting edge filming technology utilised in The Nutty Professor series, acclaimed television host Eddie Maguire plays himself as well as key figures throughout his life in this 13-part series.
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