Ask the Leyland Brothers

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Ask the Leyland Brothers
Created by Mike and Mal Leyland
Theme music composer Provist Brothers
Opening theme Ask the Leyland Brothers
Country of origin Australia
Original language(s) English
No. of series 5
No. of episodes 153
Release
Original network Nine Network
Original release 1976 – 1980

Ask the Leyland Brothers was an Australian television show that screened between 1976 and 1980, covering 153 episodes. The series followed the Leyland brothers, Mike and Mal, who traveled across Australia and New Zealand in response to questions posed by viewers.

Development[edit]

Prior to embarking on Ask the Leyland Brothers, the Leylands had made three feature films and two previous television series. The films Down the Darling, Wheels across a Wilderness and Open Boat to Adventure were produced between 1963 and 1967, and followed the brothers on three journeys across different parts of Australia.[1] The television series, Off the Beaten Track and Trekabout, were produced during the early to mid-1970s.[1]

Inspiration for the new series came from You Asked for It [citation required], a US series in which Art Baker would fulfill requests from viewers that were sent in via postcards. The series was broadcast in Australia during the 1970s.[2] Ask the Leyland Brothers was intended to follow a similar format, with viewers nominating places which the Leyland brothers would visit and cover in each episode.[2] According to Mike Leyland, the plan was for readers to feel involved when their names were read out, thus causing them to encourage their "mates" to watch the show as well.[3]

Production[edit]

In order to get things started, in 1976 the brothers filmed an initial preview episode which mapped out the format, and placed a full page advertisement in the popular TV Week magazine.[2] The format proved to be successful, and one stage the show had 2.5 million viewers.[4]

Initially the brothers traveled in an orange Volkswagen Kombi (later upgraded to a pair of 4WD vehicles), and the show was filmed in Super 8.[2] The film format combined with their "Beatles's style" haircuts and onscreen manner gave the show a "home-spun" feel.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b McDonald, Neil. (31 August 2007). "Tracking down the Leyland Brothers". Herald Sun, Melbourne, Australia. pG28.
  2. ^ a b c d Healya, Chris; Hubera, Alison. (2010). "Ask the Leyland Brothers: Instructional TV, travel and popular memory". Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, 24:3. pp 389-398. DOI 10.1080/10304311003703108
  3. ^ "The Quick Interview". (20 October 2003). The Mercury, Hobart, Australia. p16.
  4. ^ a b Joyce, James. (15 September 2009). "Blazing a daggy trail and loving it: The Adventurers". The Newcastle Herald, Australia. p4.