Good Weekend Talks features in-depth conversations with the people fascinating Australians right now, from sport to politics to the arts, business and beyond, interviewed weekly by the country's top journalists. Consider it a magazine for your ears.
'The world will be watching': Billy Bragg on the Voice, the flag and the republic
30:20Currently touring Australia, singer songwriter Billy Bragg is celebrating 40 years since the release of his first album. Hosting this chat was senior culture writer Kerrie O’Brien, who leads a discussion about everything from life in the United Kingdom after Brexit – “We soiled ourselves publicly,” Bragg says – to the fact the world will be watching as we vote on introducing an Indigenous Voice to parliament. As an Englishman, Bragg argues he has “skin in the game”, and sees this as an opportunity to “right a terrible, historic wrong”.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Michael Cassel on cloud nine moments and the post-opening blues
44:25It’s been a big start to the year for Michael Cassel. The theatrical producer moved the mega-hit Hamilton to Brisbane (and brought creator Lin Manuel Miranda to Australia to meet the team and promote the production). He opened the juggernaut Mary Poppins in Melbourne to rave reviews. Then finally, he launched & Juliet – a Broadway darling based on the songs of international hitmaker Max Martin, who was flown in from Sweden for opening night. In this episode, Good Weekend editor Katrina Strickland chats to Cassel about everything from what he learnt from Harry M Miller and Alan Jones, to the theatre shortage in Sydney, to his hopes for a new show based on the songs of John Farnham.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
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‘Lead with love. It will return to you tenfold’: Asylum seeker advocate Kon Karapanagiotidis
30:51Kon Karapanagiotidis had a nickname growing up. The boy with the unpronounceable surname was dubbed “Mr Alphabet”. As the child of Greek immigrants, the now CEO and founder of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre thus grew up with an acute appreciation of the otherness experienced by refugees, and the need to wrap your arms around such people. “You understand the importance of what we call ‘philoxenia’ in Greek culture, which is to welcome and accept the stranger,” he says. “Everything I do comes from an understanding of where I come from, what I’ve been through, and how lucky I am to be here," he tells Konrad Marshall, senior writer for Good Weekend Magazine. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Michael Mosley on his brush with diabetes and intermittent fasting
34:11In this episode we speak with British TV presenter and doctor Michael Mosley, whose brush with type two diabetes introduced him to intermittent fasting and led to a documentary: Eat, Fast and Live Longer, which helped popularise the 5:2 dieting regimen around the world.Mosley is in Australia right now researching sleep and also for a national speaking tour this month. Hosting this chat with him about everything from hunger as the driver of intelligence, to unlocking the power of push ups and squats in the morning - is Kerrie O’Brien, a senior culture writer with The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
‘You start at a disadvantage’: Benjamin Law on diversity in Australian Survivor
36:19Fans of Australian Survivor would have been unsurprised to see writer Benjamin Law voted off the show earlier this week. Law had been on the outs with other players since the beginning, never able to form true alliances despite his best efforts – a necessity when looking to advance in the game – and repeatedly labelled by a number of players as “shifty”. But his exit has kickstarted a larger discussion about the way people of colour can be “disadvantaged” on the show, and the issue of diversity on Australian TV more generally. “I think there’s a real opportunity for Survivor, and all Australian shows, to be bringing a better mix [to the cast]," said Law while speaking to culture writer for The Age, Meg Watson this week's episode. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Are there seven stages to go through after discovering an affair?
41:16Do affairs run in families? Are there seven stages to go through after discovering your spouse has cheated on you? What is the best way to move on? Journalist Kate Legge delves into these questions and more - with Good Weekend editor Katrina Strickland - after discovering not only that her husband had cheated on her, but that their son had cheated on his partner too, and that her husband's father and grandmother had both also had affairs.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Pro basketballer Isaac Humphries on coming out
41:50Isaac Humphries is the only pro male basketball player in the world who is currently playing and publicly gay, having made a tearful, viral announcement to his Melbourne United teammates late last year. The 25-year-old stands 211 centimetres tall and is known for his defensive “beast mode” qualities on court, but in this conversation with Good Weekend senior writer Konrad Marshall, Humphries shows his thoughtful side, stepping listeners through the private pain of the coming out process, including his decision to become one of just a handful of elite sportsmen playing today to share that side of themselves in public. On the eve of Sydney WorldPride 2023, Humphries also details the aftermath of that decision, both good and bad. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sir Cameron Mackintosh on staging the world’s most successful musicals
28:15When your resume of theatrical smash hits includes Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera, Cats and Oliver, it might seem safe to assume you have the Midas touch for staging musicals. But the industry’s global doyen, Cameron Mackintosh, takes nothing for granted.Mackintosh is in Melbourne right now for the opening of one of his other shows –Mary Poppins. Recording from within Her Majesty’s Theatre, he chats with Good Weekend senior writer Konrad Marshall, about singing and stagecraft – and sales within a creative yet cutthroat field.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
'Writers need more government support': publisher Louise Adler
31:34For all the talk about our fractured attention spans and ability to still read books, when a new phenomenon hits the shelves, we crack open the covers. “If Harry Potter is delivered, what do we see? We see kids who are apparently distractible and distracted with their noses in their books - and they can’t be prised away from reading,” says Adelaide Writers’ Week director Louise Adler. In this episode, Adler talks all things books and publishing with Good Weekend editor Katrina Strickland. A former CEO of Melbourne University Publishing and one-time publisher-at-large at Hachette, Adler was speaking ahead of her first Adelaide Writers’ Week, which runs from March 4 to 9 in the South Australian capital. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
GWT summer: Acclaimed TV producer Tony Ayres on the filmmaking life - and an upcoming skills shortage
39:00We'll be back in late January 2023 with plenty of exciting interviews booked in the calendar. But for now enjoy one of our most popular episodes from the past year. And remember to subscribe and share. Australia is rushing towards a filmmaking crisis due to the paucity of locally-produced shows on which up-and-coming writers, directors and other key creatives can develop their skills. So says acclaimed producer Tony Ayres, whose hit shows include Glitch, Stateless, The Slap, Barracuda, Seven Types of Ambiguity and Clickbait. In this episode, Ayres discusses the skills shortage he expects to hit in about five years time, along with the high and low points of his own career and life, with senior culture writer Karl Quinn. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.