Laughable Ex-PM to take the mickey out of middle aged post-PM life

The ABC have got in with a timely stab in entertainment, launching a new TV series this week that shows a 50 something PM coping with forced retirement.  A show with comedy at its heart and Australia’s best comedian on its frontline, The Ex-PM is set to make many smile.  The show was written completely by Shaun Micallef, and premieres this week in an almost perfectly timed stab at a nation that has seen five Prime Ministers in five years.

The show is scripted around Australia’s third longest-serving Prime Minister Andrew Dugdale and how he copes with losing his status when he loses office of the Prime Minister.

He apparently came up with the idea for the smart-witted show following Kevin Rudd’s succession of John Howard, when we all watched Howard have to move back home.

“I’d heard that Howard was moving back into his old house in his old electorate,” Micallef told the Inquirer. “I wondered what it would be like for him going down to the local shop to buy some milk or having to get the paper off the lawn or fetch the mail; going from being the most powerful man in the country to just being a normal person.”

“Would he miss the Chaser team bothering him when he went on a walk? Would he know how to do anything for himself? What would he and his wife talk about over their cereal? The prospect of living like a regular person struck me as a ‘fish out of water’ idea. I guess that’s what I found funny about it.”

Micallef

And to Micallef, the story is one that touches his heart and the hearts of many others over 50 we imagine. He spoke to Adelaidenow.com.au about the show and his own personal perspective on life in the public eye in your mid 50s.

“To a greater or lesser extent, I work through my own personal problems by making programs about them,” he says. “The Ex-PM is about someone of that age (mid 50s) coping with maybe not having as much to do. That’s something that’s probably not too far off for people of my age.”

“I figure I only have a certain shelf life available to me as a performer and that’ll finish at some point,” he says. “I’ll probably end up directing and writing and producing. The next project, I suspect, I’ll be directing. Whether I’ll be in it, maybe, maybe not.”

Micallef says he feels for the character in The Ex-PM and hates it when he has nothing to do. “I feel like a real loser if I’m not working.”

“That sort of delay between ringing somebody and them ringing back — if they’d ring back at all,” he says. “You feel like you’re on the outside and that muscle memory comes back whenever I’ve got nothing to do.”

Ad. Article continues below.

According to The Australian, Micallef says he conceived of the “fish out of water” idea a few years ago after Kevin Rudd succeeded John Howard, sending the second longest serving PM back to his suburban home.

“I’d heard that Howard was moving back into his old house in his old electorate,” Micallef tells The Inquirer. “I wondered what it would be like for him going down to the local shop to buy some milk or having to get the paper off the lawn or fetch the mail; going from being the most powerful man in the country to just being a normal person.

“Would he miss the Chaser team bothering him when he went on a walk? Would he know how to do anything for himself? What would he and his wife talk about over their cereal? The prospect of living like a regular person struck me as a ‘fish out of water’ idea. I guess that’s what I found funny about it.”

The Ex-PM kicks off on the ABC Wednesday 14th October 2015 at 9pm.  Watch the preview below: