He was one of Australia’s most adored entertainers and the man behind some of our most iconic songs, the highly anticipated two-part miniseries, Peter Allen: Not The Boy Next Door will premiere over two Sunday nights in September on Seven.
Not The Boy Next Door tells the story of Peter Allen, who went from being a childhood performer in country NSW to a Grammy and Academy Award-winning songwriter and the toast of Broadway, marrying into Hollywood royalty along the way.
Best known for his signature song, I Go To Rio, the unofficial Aussie anthem, I Still Call Australia Home and Tenterfield Saddler – a moving tribute to his grandfather George Woolnough, Allen also co-wrote the huge commercial chart hits, Don’t Cry Out Loud, the Grammy Award-winning I Honestly Love You for Olivia Newton-John, and the Oscar Award-winning Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do).
The miniseries stars Joel Jackson (Deadline Gallipoli) as Peter Allen, Rebecca Gibney (Winter, Packed To The Rafters) as Peter’s mum Marion Woolnough, Sara West (Winter, ANZAC Girls) as Peter’s one-time wife and lifelong friend Liza Minnelli, Nick Farnell (Charles Bean’s Great War, Killing Time) as Peter’s father Dick Woolnough.
“To be given the unique responsibility of playing two legendary Australians, in Charles Bean and Peter Allen, back to back all before I’m 24 years old is incredible,” says Joel Jackson. “The on-set experience I garnered whilst shooting Deadline Gallipoli has given me the confidence to dive straight into the huge task of inhabiting the charisma and flair of Peter Allen.”
It also features Henri Szeps (Mother and Son) as Peter’s agent Dee Anthony and musical theatre star Rob Mills as Peter’s singing partner Chris Bell; with Sigrid Thornton (Underbelly: The Golden Mile, SeaChange) as screen legend Judy Garland and 14-year-old newcomer Ky Baldwin as young Peter Woolnough.
“Now, in 2015, I think we’re perhaps better placed than ever to be able to tell Peter Allen’s story with the honesty it deserves,” says Sigrid Thornton. “And for me personally, as a lifelong Garland fan, I feel privileged to be bringing her to life with this marvellous team, to a whole new audience.”
Peter Allen: Not The Boy Next Door is Seven’s third drama collaboration with Endemol Shine Australia after the smash hit, INXS: Never Tear Us Apart (2014) and the hugely successful, Catching Milat (2015), and screens on Seven on Sunday 13 & 20 September at 8.30pm. Checkout the ‘sneak peak’ below.
Image: Joel Jackson (Peter Allen) and Sigrid Thornton (Judy Garland) in Peter Allen: Not The Boy Next Door – photo by Tony Mott