The Secret Life of Us: articles

This Life Down Under

Australia's answer to This Life is set to hit our screens—and the UK will get to see it before viewers Down Under.

The Secret Life Of Us offers a window on the lives of eight 20-somethings who share an apartment in Melbourne.

"I took a tape over to my in-laws who are both in their 70s—they loved it!" she says.

C4 has beaten Australia's Channel 10 to showing the drama first, after helping fund its production.

"There may be a few people who won't like the occasional bad language or the sexual content, but it is real life—it's about the hurdles life throws at you."

The 22-part series promises love, heartache and plenty of vodka shots.

Deborah is a big fan of British drama.

Award-winning actress Deborah Mailman is set to become a familiar face in the UK as a star of the new Aussie drama.

"The British are the benchmark for quality drama," she tells TV Plus. "Back home things like The Bill are really big. I also really liked Monarch Of The Glen."

She tells TV Plus: "I am really nervous but just so excited. In a way it is nicer that the show is being launched in the UK first."

But it's not just drama that she thinks the British excel at. "Your comedy is awesome. I love The Goodies and I've got The League Of Gentlemen on video."

Deborah, 29, plays Kelly in the show. "She is constantly left disappointed by men," reveals the bubbly star, who is a winner of the Australian Film Institute's Best Actress gong.

The Secret Life Of Us producer Amanda Higgs had previously worked on hit US drama ER.

UK viewers will have no problems relating to the everyday lives of the characters.

But this is her first project as a producer on her own. "It's been so hectic—we only finished filming the final episode in June," she said.

"There are familiar situations to relate to," says Deborah. "The characters, like most people in their 20s, are looking for the perfect home, job and lover.

"I used a small team of writers as I thought the continuity was very important. I loved This Life, but I think this show has a bit more humour in it. I love the mix of comedy and drama."

"There are also distinctly Aussie moments. We have a habit of turning a serious situation into one where you can have a laugh—maybe that's just alcohol though!" she jokes.

By Jem Maidment
June 28, 2001