Julia Zemiro: Homecoming Queen

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Julia Zemiro, Australia’s queen of Eurovision and former host of RockWiz, is returning to the ABC this month with a brand new season of ‘Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery’.

In its third season, this unique interview program will be venturing into the childhood homes, schools and important places of not only beloved comedians but also some of Australia’s best loved personalities who’ve made a name for themselves in the public eye. Media trailblazer Ita Buttrose, chef Matt Moran and host of ‘7.30’ Leigh Sales are just a few of Zemiro’s distinguished guests.

Zemiro explained to OUTinPerth why the show decided to expand its repertoire in the new season. “I think we were just curious. Curious to see who else we might like to talk to.” she said. “I think comedians in general are pretty good at telling stories, even the horror stories of when they were young and telling them to you in a way because they’ve used it in their stand up material, they’ve had a bit of a go at themselves. So when I bring it up for them again it’s not too traumatic, you know. They’ve got ways to talk about it. But really anyone who’s in the public eye, no matter what they do, they’ve had to tell stories before.”

In each episode of ‘Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery’, Zemiro takes her guest on a journey through their early years, visiting the places they once called home. It’s often highly personal and can reveal a new side to the subject of the episode. This was especially true for Olympic champion Ian Thorpe, Zemiro’s first guest of the season, who was interviewed following his highly public discussion of his sexuality with Michael Parkinson.

“No one should ever have to be forced to come out. No one’s ever asked me why I’m straight, or if I’m straight… It’s just bullshit. I think he was 16 when journalists, not even in friends were asking him that question. It’s none of their business. So I suppose that interview with Parkinson was about him doing it on his own terms. And so a year later we were interested to see where he was at and he looks great, he sounds great and he’s really at ease with himself and his new life.”

Another of Zemiro’s guests this season is Matt Lucas of ‘Little Britain’, who recalled a happy childhood despite losing his hair at an early age due to alopecia. Zemiro recalled when their conversation got philosophical. “He said ‘You realise that growing up is about realising that the world isn’t what you imagined it was as a child.’ You know, and it’s a catch 22 because parents want to give their children the best childhood possible but then part of leaving childhood and getting to adulthood is ‘Oh my God, it isn’t beautiful, it is hard, it is difficult.’ I suppose that’s the journey, and how do you get through it? We’ve all got to get through it.’”

It seems that the unique premise of ‘Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery’ is the product of a healthy appetite for adventure on Zemiro’s part. “When the ABC and CJZ who make the show said ‘Oh we’d like you to do an interview show’ the thought of being stuck in the studio with bright lights. I didn’t like that idea because I felt like that’s the sort of show where you have to be a bit confronting. And so Damien Davis our director came up with this idea of taking them through their childhood and it’s such a great idea because we’re always on the move, and I think when people are on the move they relax more. And then we find our moments where we sit down in a classroom and we sit down in a house and we talk a bit more- we ask sort of more direct questions. But just that nice idea of moving, driving, talking, Especially with comedians, some of them do really great physical comedians. So to be able to be physical and do stupid things while you’re walking down the street, I love all that.

“Bill Bailey, somewhere in the notes, in the research we found that he had won- he was quite the sportsman in school and he’d also won a backwards running race. So I put it to him when we were in this cricket oval and we had a backwards running race. Now you can’t do that in studio. Even though Graham Norton tries, Graham Norton will get Mark Ruffalo to get on a unicycle and make him cycle around and do all that. So it absolutely is possible. But I think what I love is that I was able to do that running race with Bill and he beat me, just quietly. Outside, in Bath, where he grew up.”

‘Home Delivery’ is on the ABC on Wednesdays at 9pm.

Sophie Joske

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