ON CAMERA: Proserpine Ex-Services Club president Ian Lade (right), showing British comedian and actor John Bishop around the club’s ’museum’ while BBC cameraman Roger Laxon films on.
ON CAMERA: Proserpine Ex-Services Club president Ian Lade (right), showing British comedian and actor John Bishop around the club’s ’museum’ while BBC cameraman Roger Laxon films on.

Proserpine RSL to hit UK television screens

A GROUP of returned servicemen from Proserpine and Airlie Beach will appear on British television screens following the filming of a BBC 'travelogue' at the Proserpine Ex-Services Club last week.

The travelogue centres around award-winning UK comedian, actor and television personality John Bishop, who, 22 years ago, cycled from Sydney, Australia, to Liverpool in the UK.

When Bishop, who now packs out stadiums with his stand-up comic shows, decided to retrace the Sydney to Cairns leg of his epic ride, he did so with a BBC camera crew in tow.

Under the working title 'Australia Re-cycled', Bishop and his crew have spent the past few weeks filming a variety of activities along the way and last Thursday they rolled into Proserpine in search of an RSL.

After a tour of the club with Proserpine Ex-Services Club president Ian Lade, Bishop shared a few ales with a number of the Whitsundays' most prominent returned servicemen including Vietnam veteran Rowland Badenoch and Airlie Beach RSL vice president Bill Rose.

Topics discussed on camera included dealing with post traumatic stress, the place of RSL's in the community and an overview of military traditions.

Director Rhairi Fallon said the film crew certainly got what they were looking for.

"I think we wanted to get a sense of the RSL and the part it plays in Australia," he said.

Mr Lade said the filming was unexpected, "but hopefully a bit of promotion for our club".

Mr Rose agreed.

"It'll probably be good to let the British know what we do as retired ex-servicemen and it'll keep our comradeship up," he said.

As for Proserpine itself, Bishop seemed to like the place.

"It's like heartland Australia - the type of town that often gets missed but this is where I think you find the real Australia and genuine people," he said.

The travelogue has not yet been given a screening date but Mr Fallon said it was likely to air on BBC 1 and BBC Worldwide before the end of the year.


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