The Real Thing - ABC

ABC Radio National

The Real Thing celebrates unique Australian characters.
Looking for recently uploaded episodes
#4: Backyard lion safari

19:12 | Sep 19th, 2016

After the closure of the African Lion Safari in Sydney’s far west, wildlife remained living inside its boundaries. The exotic animal park sat next to suburban houses and kids played near its fences. Despite several barriers, in 1995 a lioness escap...Show More
#36: Nico's last ride

22:13 | May 19th, 2018

After cycling the world, Nicolás Marino set off to cross his adopted homeland using pedal power alone. He discovered knowing Australia would require knowing himself. In this last episode of The Real Thing we're on our bikes, as lunch cooks in the d...Show More
#35: Follow the Lita

20:51 | Apr 9th, 2018

As a teenager, Lita Lewis was expected to set the example for her siblings. So much so, that she wanted out. In an adult life far from her home and tribe, she’d battle pride and heartbreak alone. By sharing her rebuild of physical and mental health...Show More
#34: Shoal Attack!

33:19 | Mar 19th, 2018

A school of fish help the Australian netball team win a Commonwealth gold medal. An introduction to Sum Of All Parts - a podcast that shares extraordinary stories from the world of numbers. Subscribe to SOAP: More
#33: Khadija's stolen itch

24:00 | Mar 6th, 2018

For International Women's Day, a story about feeling incomplete. Khadija Gbla’s repressed memory of female genital mutilation would surface during puberty. Being an outsider to a ‘clitero-centric’ culture, was a decision made for her. Khadija is up...Show More
#32: Monkey in Mirani (live from Woodford)

15:41 | Feb 19th, 2018

The Real Thing perform live at Woodfolk Folk Festival, Queensland. In between music and magic tricks, Timothy and Mike risk it all by attempting to tell a story they’ve never heard before - live on stage, with improvised music, script, and sound eff...Show More
#31: Picnic Tropicana

31:57 | Feb 9th, 2018

It started as an idea in a Darlinghurst cafe and became the world’s largest short film festival. Tropfest has helped kickstart generations of Australian film careers throughout its 25 year history. While controversy and financial hardship has threa...Show More
#30: The woman who lived in a tree

24:31 | Jan 23rd, 2018

Miranda Gibson was an unlikely candidate to break the record for Australia’s longest tree-sit. The shy Queenslander had never seen a forest until her early twenties. In 2011 she vowed to live in a tree in the Tyenna Valley until it was protected fr...Show More
#29: Elvis town

23:03 | Jan 9th, 2018

Improbable hairdos, gyrating hips, overstretched jumpsuits, way too many rhinestones, and a whole lot of community spirit. You can't help falling in love with the NSW town of Parkes, where Elvis never left the building.
#28: Bruce Lee of the sea

20:18 | Dec 25th, 2017

When Robbie Page discovered surfing it consumed him. The former Pipeline Master views the sport as a martial art. It led him on a global adventure, with stopovers in a Japanese prison, the French President’s home, and now he's tracing his Indigenou...Show More
#27: The nightmare before Christmas

13:53 | Dec 11th, 2017

Christmas; family, food, anticipation. The stakes are high. There's extra pressure for the Williams family, who are only able to get together every second year. But when a tradition goes wrong, the best day of the year turns into a horror show.
#26: It's not about Steph

21:46 | Nov 28th, 2017

A bike ride and a book inspired Stephanie Lorenzo to cut her corporate career short and start a charity. Her passion to end human trafficking helped change young Australians' view on giving. When a crisis threatens everything she’d been working tow...Show More
#10: Freedom is a goat (tribute to Gary)

36:34 | Nov 17th, 2017

Gary the goat, an internet sensation, and friend of The Real Thing, has died on tour in Queensland. There's a reason Gary's episode is our most downloaded ever. Gary was a uniquely Australian larrikin and his antics made people laugh worldwide. We...Show More
#25: Campsite Panorama

27:04 | Sep 27th, 2017

Ford vs Holden. Blue vs red. Mate vs mate. There's no sitting on the fence when it comes to motoring's great rivalry. But factory closures are forcing fans to rethink a homegrown passion. The Ford-Holden passion is at a crossroads.
#24: Balloons for Harper

18:24 | Sep 14th, 2017

Alison and David Homer were ecstatic when they fell pregnant in 2005. "Finally, I feel part of something of consequence," Dave said. But at 32 weeks, Harper's heart unexpectedly stopped. How they coped with the grief that followed changed their li...Show More
#23: Up up MC Hammerhead

26:04 | Sep 1st, 2017

David Ninness is one of the Cronulla Shark's biggest fans, despite living nowhere near Sydney's Sutherland Shire. When the NRL club was in turmoil he volunteered to resurrect their second mascot, MC Hammerhead. But before he could help cheer his te...Show More
#22: Lizard of Oz

26:09 | Aug 7th, 2017

Sleepy lizards keep popping up in the life of Off Track producer, Ann Jones. So she was curious to speak with Professor Michael Bull. He devoted over 35 years to studying them, in one of the longest running lizard surveys in the world. But just wee...Show More
#21: Love and courage in Wilcannia

18:43 | Jul 13th, 2017

Positively Wilcannia, part 6: stop recording, start feeling. Robert Clayton broke his leg three years ago. The injury set off a chain of events that resulted in depression and drug use. For the 28-year-old to become a stronger member of his famil...Show More
#20: Wilcannia dreaming

20:47 | Jul 11th, 2017

Positively Wilcannia, part 5: a tenacious Barkindji woman grabs every opportunity. Bobbi Murray loves her river, the Boomerangs football club, and the entire Wilcannia family. From a young age she followed her ambition to give back to the town. Wh...Show More
#19: Still down river

28:06 | Jul 7th, 2017

Positively Wilcannia, part 4: how The Wilcannia Mob took their river to the world. The Wilcannia Mob's Down River gave us a unique view into life growing up in Wilcannia. Band members, and the town, continue to see positive effects, fifteen years a...Show More
#18: You had me at Ngaayi

23:45 | Jul 7th, 2017

Positively Wilcannia, part 3: taking anxiety out of health checks, and Barkindji for beginners. Rugby league is being used to improve men's health in more ways that one. When the town travels to Menindee to support their teams, The Real Thing hitch...Show More
#17: The Shakeathon

28:07 | Jul 6th, 2017

Positively Wilcannia, part 2: Mike and Timothy race to shake up Wilcannia. Timothy and Mike compete in a race to shake as many Wilcannia hands as possible. Along the way they gather a snapshot of the town; learn the Wilcannia shake, meet Barkindji ...Show More
#16: Positively Wilcannia

13:00 | Jul 5th, 2017

Positively Wilcannia, part 1: The Real Thing is helping put Wilcannia on the map. Wilcannia locals are fighting for the town's reputation, despite numerous social challenges and a complicated relationship with the media. But a recent BBC documentar...Show More
#15: Now we're flying

28:04 | Jun 12th, 2017

Brad Guy went skydiving and his parachute failed. Incredibly, he survived. Although he recovered from the physical injuries, what followed almost flattened him.
#14: Lizzy, queen of costumes

26:40 | May 29th, 2017

Lizzy Gardiner's early life included minimal supervision, late nights at the Dubbo drive-in and a stint in Papua New Guinea. Her unusual experiences made her a perfect fit for the turbulent film industry, where she won an Oscar for the costumes in ...Show More
Darren Hanlon feels things

05:13 | May 24th, 2017

Hey, it's Mike and Timothy. The car's fuelled up, the thermos is hot and there's lots of characters to meet. Make sure you subscribe to the podcast so you can join us on the search for the real Australia. But before we get stuck into season two, f...Show More
#13: A kangaroo has three ears

52:34 | May 11th, 2017

Mark Colvin like you've never heard him. In 1978 the ABC’s renegade youth broadcaster Double Jay premiered an audio experiment called, What's Rangoon to you is Grafton to me. Almost 40 years later, we got back on the Pacific Highway to make a tribu...Show More
#12: Thanks for screaming

25:45 | Apr 27th, 2017

Deni Gordon's long and varied career includes musical theatre, television and film. While she no longer works in showbiz, an unlikely ten minute voice-over job in 1987 continues to blast out of Australian televisions. Deni is the voice of the iconi...Show More
#11: Rage 'til you puke

30:44 | Apr 12th, 2017

Nothing on television compares to Rage. For 30 years the biggest artists have beamed weird and wonderful music videos to your living room, and Australia's psyche. Settle into the red couch as The Real Thing explains the history of your favourite mu...Show More
#10: Freedom is a goat

33:46 | Dec 12th, 2016

One man, one goat and a wide open road. Gary the goat is famous. Millions of fans have watched videos of the farm-animal-cum-cultural icon. Guided by best mate, comedian Jimbo Bazoobi, Gary has crisscrossed the country seeking adventure and making ...Show More
#9: Samantha and the secret

20:50 | Dec 5th, 2016

Samantha Beranic was 12 when her Mother told her a secret. This information quickly became a burden that would shadow Sam's life. Eventually the secret would be set free, but its consequences would change her family for good.
See The Real Thing Live!

01:22 | Nov 21st, 2016

Timothy and Mike are performing the podcast on stage. And you're invited! The Real Thing's 10th instalment of their search for the "real" Australia will be performed in front of audiences in Melbourne and Sydney. Mike and Timothy will bring music, ...Show More
#8: Nineteen

36:48 | Nov 8th, 2016

Redgum’s ‘I was only 19’ united the Vietnam veteran’s movement in Australia. The song tells the true story of an Australian soldier’s experience fighting in the Vietnam jungle. But before Redgum could create an anthem that changed the national conv...Show More
#7: Yadu's fair go

22:57 | Oct 25th, 2016

Yadu Singh was ‘numb’ when he found out his application for permanent residency was unexpectedly cancelled. The young cardiologist from a small Indian village had fallen in love with his adopted country’s values and people. But what happened next w...Show More
#6: Halfway and home

20:14 | Oct 11th, 2016

The small village of Tarcutta, NSW is sacred to the Australian truck driving industry. Every year since 1994, families, colleagues and mates have gathered here for a memorial service that commemorates those who have died. As storm clouds engulf th...Show More
#5: There's something about Mary Leunig

24:58 | Sep 27th, 2016

Mary Leunig is an artist and self-described recluse living in regional Victoria. She comes from a creative family; her brother is cartoonist, Michael Leunig. In the 1980s she had books published. For many that was the last they heard from her. Howe...Show More
#3: Run like a cheetah

18:42 | Sep 6th, 2016

Lisa Llorens is one of Australia’s most decorated Paralympians with six medals across track and field events. She was dubbed ‘the cheetah’ because she loves cats and was fast on the track. But everything changed after the Sydney 2000 games when the...Show More
#2: Eastbound Anton

18:01 | Aug 29th, 2016

Anton McMillan is a role model for younger residents in a uniquely structured household called Boys from the Bush. During the project he's worked his way up through the ranks at a meat processing factory in Junee, NSW. But his success has come with...Show More
#1: The original Bronson

25:35 | Aug 22nd, 2016

'Bronson' was the youngest member of the Round the Twist family. He loved food, had smelly feet and was often the easy target of his older siblings. Over four series of the iconic kid’s TV show, three actors played the character. The second and thir...Show More
Introducing The Real Thing!

00:59 | Aug 3rd, 2016

Welcome to The Real Thing, a new podcast in search of the real Australia. Each episode we'll venture into the corners to discover the characters, scenes and stories that make this country unique. Radio documentary makers, and best mates, Timothy Ni...Show More