Any Australians reading this might have had a chance to catch a new TV show on the Nine Network, What a Year. Each episode focuses on a "classic" year in (recent) history and goes through the events, music, etc, of that year.
And what year did they choose for the first episode? Why, 1975, of course. As my book said, "Australia’s Greatest Year". In fact, they were intending to interview me for that episode. Honest! They called the book’s publicists, who contacted me – and discovered that I was in the lovely Victorian town of Bright, as part of the World Harmony Run team. This was great – except they don’t have a Nine Network studio in Bright. I would be in Sydney a few days later… but it was too late. Still, even without my "acclaimed" "wisdom", the show wasn’t bad. It didn’t delve into the profound historical significance of the year (like my book did… I think). But for a prime-time show, co-hosted by Megan Gale, what would you expect?
There are a lot of these shows now, reminiscing about the past with old footage. Nostalgia's always been popular, but I suppose that nowadays everyone is really keen to look back at the "good old days". Besides, they rate well! As a history buff, I'm one of the millions who loves watching this stuff. My friend Rathin asked me last night, "Are there any of these shows you wouldn't watch?" Of course! (What does he think I am? A TV addict?) If What a Year talks about a really boring year, I wouldn't watch it. I believe that 1369 was an incredibly dull time to be alive, so there's no way I'd watch that one.I suppose that they'd probably avoid going any further than 1966 or thereabouts, in case they're afraid of unrolling papyrus scrolls or translating ancient dialects. Funny how pop history only seems to have a 40-year time span...