In the lead up to Australia Day – aka Aussie National Day – on the 26 January, Kaye Holland has the low-down on 10 things we love about the Land Down Under
We can’t get Kylie - like Marilyn, she’s famous enough to be known by only her first name - out of our heads… From her sartorial style and sensational singing career to her latest incarnation as TV judge on The Voice - the adorable Aussie has added two million viewers to the show in just two weeks! - the pop princess has got star quality in spades.
Love, lust, tears and tragedies: Aussie soaps such as Neighbours and Home and Away have it all – and often in the same episode! Between them Ramsay Street and Summer Bay have given us the likes of Liam and Chris Hemsworth, Heath Ledger, Isla Fisher, Kylie and Dannii Minogue and Margot Robbie – currently winning plaudits for her performance in performance in the Martin Scorsese film Oscar nominated film, The Wolf of Wall Street.
Launched back in 1922, Vegemite might look dodgy in the jar but the taste is so strong and salty – how could you not love it?! I'm a confirmed vegemite monster (I much prefer the Aussie invention to its stable mate, marmite). Try it - and then tell me I'm wrong.
Whether he is showing off his biceps as Wolverine, his vocal range in Les Misérables or tap dancing skills (the star celebrated his 45th birthday by tap dancing in front of an audience of 4,500 for charity), the Aussie actor never fails to impress. He’s also a hands on Dad to his two adopted children and an adoring husband (“From day one, we were best mates," he says of his 58 year old wife, Deborra-Lee Furness). Oh – and he’s seriously hot too.
When in Britain, the leaves are falling and everyone is succumbing to flu, Australia it’s hot, hot, hot! And the good weather isn’t solely reserved for summer. The Land Down Under enjoys sunshine 360 days of the year. Jealous, me? Not much.
Having been lucky enough to interview Adam last August, I'm slightly obsessed with the easy on the eye triple threat (he can sing, act and dance) Aussie who found fame in the West End revival of Saturday Night Fever, hit Hollywood film Coyote Ugly and his role as a TV judge in Got To Dance. The Sydney boy was most recently seen on the NBC summer series, Camp, and as a judge on Dancing With The Stars – aka Australia’s answer to Strictly Come Dancing. Catch Adam next in Nativity 3 - out in cinemas later this year.
Oz is blessed with beautiful, bounty advert beaches from Sydney’s iconic Bondi Beach to Bryon Bay and the spectacular Whitsunday Islands - where the fine white sand looks like the kind of place you’d see Bond wading ashore in his Speedos – to Western Australia’s lovely Rottnest Island (Western Australia). Pack the t-shirt and sunnies and get going...
While Australians didn’t invent coffee, they have adopted it enthusiastically – a recent survey revealed that more than 1.1 million Australians would prefer to give up their mobile phone for a day rather than miss their morning coffee. But they won’t just drink any cup of Joe... The Aussies take their coffee seriously shunning Starbucks - the Seattle coffee giant closed 61 of its 85 outlets in Oz back in 2008- in favour of specialty coffee (the Flat White is an Australian invention).
Ever tried a Tim Tam? If not, why not?! Trust me: Tim Tams are a one-way ticket to bliss. This chocolate treat (think two chocolate biscuits sandwiched together with – what else - chocolate) is to Australia what Apple pie is to America or the Victoria Sponge is to Britain: one in every two Aussie households contains a packet of Tim Tams and around 35 million packs are sold each year!
Foster’s lager is the second best selling beer in the UK but bizarrely it’s not particularly popular down under. The Aussies love their lager but tend to choose Tooheys New and Victoria Bitter. No matter – this simply means that there are more cans of cold Fosters for us Brits to enjoy this Australia Day. Cheers!