The Secret Life of Us: articles

The Secret's out and about

SAMUEL Johnson can't even have a kick in the park these days without up to 300 uninvited "mates" turning up.

"I can't go to the supermarket, I can't go to the zoo, I can't even go to the toilet without people coming up to me," Johnson said yesterday.

"I feel like I'm in the zoo."

Johnson is one of the stars of the Ten network hit series The Secret Life of Us, for which filming of its second series started yesterday in Melbourne's St Kilda.

No shortage of fans came along to watch. Within minutes, a crowd of about 50 had gathered to watch the cast soccer match at Catani Gardens in St Kilda.

Earlier, the onlookers swelled to more than 300 outside the Vineyard Cafe on St Kilda's Acland Street, as 20-somethings in the area text-messaged their friends on their mobile phones to come down for a gawk.

"This is so cool," said Mave Ryan, 24.

"The characters are just like us and they deal with issues in a realistic way."

For actor Damian de Montemas, the on-set attentions of fans such as Ms Ryan, who followed the film crew from the Vineyard to Catani Gardens, had an element of the unreal.

"It's bizarre. We're filming a television series but when we're on location it feels like we're giving a theatre performance," he said.

There is nothing secret anymore about the success of The Secret Life Of Us.

In 2001, the show proved to be the number one Australian drama for its target 16-to-39-year-old demographic, with an average audience of almost 1million a week after it first went to air in July. Ratings were comparable overseas, where it screened in Britain on Channel 4 and in New Zealand on TV3, prompting seven other countries to snap up the rights to it.

Secret Life co-producer Amanda Higgs is hoping viewers for the second series of 22 episodes will increase when it goes to air next month

January 11, 2002
The Australian