The Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Screen Australia have today announced production funding for a new 10-part drama series Les Norton, based on the best-selling novels by Robert G. Barrett. The series is a Roadshow Rough Diamond production with Sonar Entertainment handling international distribution.
Set in 1985, the series will follow the exploits of Les Norton, a country bloke from outback Queensland. On the run from a troubled past, he blows into Sydney where he lands a job as a bouncer at a notorious illegal casino in Kings Cross. A classic fish out of water who’s desperate to get home, he soon finds himself seduced by the city’s illicit charms and dragged into a web of underground criminality.
International comedy star Rebel Wilson (Isn’t It Romantic, Pitch Perfect, Bridesmaids) and audience and critic favourite David Wenham (Romper Stomper, Wake in Fright, Top of the Lake) headline an exciting cast who’ll bring 1980s Kings Cross to life, with the series’ eponymous hero to be played by up-and-coming actor Alexander Bertrand (Australian Gangster, Hyde & Seek).
Les Norton will be directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse (The Dressmaker, Proof), Fadia Abboud (Australian Gangster), David Caesar (Dead Lucky, Underbelly) and Morgan O’Neill (Drift, Solo). It has been created for television by Morgan O’Neill, working alongside writers Christopher Lee (Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo), Samantha Winston (Wentworth), Shanti Gudgeon (Wolf Creek), Malcolm Knox (Romper Stomper), and Jessica Tuckwell.
It will be produced by Daniel Edwards and John Edwards from production company Roadshow Rough Diamond, who produced 2017 drama series Romper Stomper and the upcoming series Australian Gangster. ABC Head of Drama, Comedy & Indigenous Sally Riley will work as Executive Producer with Andrew Gregory; Deeper Water Films’ John Schwarz and Michael Schwarz; and John Singleton and Jack Singleton.
“Les and his reprobate mates are caught up in a Sydney that was at its most debauched in the ’80s, and the show’s blackly hilarious as a consequence,” John Edwards said.
ABC’s Sally Riley says: “We are over the moon that Les Norton has lured such a stellar cast and creative team to bring the novels to life. Les Norton is shaping up to be an enviable addition to the ABC’s 2019 drama slate”.
Head of Content at Screen Australia, Sally Caplan said: “Les Norton is an affable character that has proven popular with audiences in the best-selling book series. What excites me about this TV adaptation is that the creative team have included a slew of new female roles to go head on with the male characters established in the books.”
Create NSW Acting Director of Screen Investment, Engagement & Attraction Sally Regan said, “This adaptation of Robert G. Barrett’s classic Aussie larrikin character will undoubtedly bring a smile to a wide audience across the country. Backed by a strong production team, Robert’s popular books are perfect for screen adaptation and we look forward to seeing Les’ ‘fish out of water’ escapades unfold.”
Les Norton is a Roadshow Rough Diamond production for the ABC. Major production investment from Screen Australia and the ABC, in association with Create NSW. International sales by Sonar Entertainment Distribution.
Kristine Way | Marketing and Communications Specialist | Australian Broadcasting Corporation
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