Ross Noble’s Australian Trip

Monday 2nd November 11.00pm

Comedian Ross Noble concludes his whistle-stop tour of Australia. In the final instalment, Ross visits the Mackay Show in Queensland, steals bulls’ testicles in Rockhampton and heads to Brisbane for the final gig of his epic trip.

Ross Noble is on a four-month, 85-date tour of Australia. This series mixes clips of Ross’s standup with scenes from his journey, as he travels 26,000km to perform gigs all over the vast country. His trip takes him all around the southeastern corner of Australia before he strikes out on a mammoth journey along the country’s coastline. “I’ll be going everywhere – from the big cities to the tiny outback towns,” he says. “Throwing research out the window, allow me to be your ill-informed tour guide to this amazing country.”

Ross’s trusty steed for his epic trip is a sturdy BMW motorbike. “Riding a motorbike is the best way to see a country,” he affirms. So far, Ross has dodged emus on the road and drunken tourists in Surfers Paradise. He has visited towns that look like they belong in the 1950s, stood inside a giant oyster and paid his respects to Newcastle, “the city of plagiarism”. He has also sampled the joys of Canberra, Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne.

On the final leg of the journey, Ross rides to Karratha, a town where the demand for houses is so high that many people live in shipping containers. Ross travels on to Darwin, where he has a close encounter with a poisonous snake, and then across to Mount Isa, where he has a go at mining.

As Ross enters Queensland the weather changes for the worse, and riding through relentless rain wears his patience very thin. Luckily, the Mackay Show, with its agricultural excitement and family fun, is not far away. Even the suicidal public announcer is not enough to ruin Ross’s mood.

Next stop is Rockhampton, the beef capital of Australia. This small town has a bull statue on every street corner and the local amusement is to steal the bulls’ balls!

It is then time for the last push as Ross heads to Brisbane to perform his final gig and reflect on his extraordinary journey.

Monday 26th October 10.00pm

Comedian Ross Noble continues to tour Australia on his motorbike. In this episode, Ross visits the largest open-cast mine in the world at Kalgoorlie, samples sheep’s brains and pigs’ nipples in Esperance and meets some cheeky dolphins in Bunbury.

Ross Noble is on a four-month, 85-date tour of Australia. This series mixes clips of Ross’s standup with scenes from his journey, as he travels 26,000km to perform gigs all over the vast country. His trip takes him all around the southeastern corner of Australia before he strikes out on a mammoth journey along the country’s coastline. “I’ll be going everywhere – from the big cities to the tiny outback towns,” he says. “Throwing research out the window, allow me to be your ill-informed tour guide to this amazing country.”

Ross’s trusty steed for his epic trip is a sturdy BMW motorbike. “Riding a motorbike is the best way to see a country,” he affirms. So far, Ross has dodged emus on the road and drunken tourists in Surfers Paradise. He has visited towns that look like they belong in the 1950s, stood inside a giant oyster and paid his respects to Newcastle, “the city of plagiarism”. He has also sampled the joys of Canberra, Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne.

On the fifth leg of the journey, Ross crosses the Nullarbor Plain – an immense arid landscape that occupies an area of some 200,000 sq km. After a gruelling two-day ride, he arrives in Kalgoorlie, where he has a blast at the largest open-cast mine in the world and meets the owner of Australia’s only ‘drive-thru’ brothel.

Ross continues on to Esperance and tries the local delicacies, including sheep’s brains and pigs’ nipples. He then visits the diva-like dolphins at Bunbury, who refuse to perform in wet weather. In the small coastal town of Geraldton, Ross encounters the greatest shop front he has ever seen…

Finally, Ross reaches Perth, home of the secondlargest musical instrument in the southern hemisphere – and Hank Marvin!

Monday 19th October 10.00pm

Comedian Ross Noble continues to tour Australia on his motorbike. In this episode, Ross pays a visit to Kryal Castle, a mock medieval tourist attraction that was built in the 1970s and has changed little since then. Ross hangs out with the knights and even gets to meet ‘King’ Ralph. After that, he travels through Geelong and Horsham and ends up in Port Pirie, where the mayor offers him the keys to the city.

Ross Noble is on a four-month, 85-date tour of Australia. This series mixes clips of Ross’s standup with scenes from his journey, as he travels 26,000km to perform gigs all over the vast country. His trip takes him all around the southeastern corner of Australia before he strikes out on a mammoth journey along the country’s coastline. “I’ll be going everywhere – from the big cities to the tiny outback towns,” he says. “Throwing research out the window, allow me to be your ill-informed tour guide to this amazing country.”

Ross’s trusty steed for his epic trip is a sturdy BMW motorbike. “Riding a motorbike is the best way to see a country,” he affirms. So far, Ross has dodged emus on the road and drunken tourists in Surfers Paradise. He has visited towns that look like they belong in the 1950s, stood inside a giant oyster and paid his respects to Newcastle, “the city of plagiarism”. He has also sampled the joys of Canberra, Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne.

On the fourth leg of Ross’s epic journey, he stops off at Kryal Castle, a self-styled ‘medieval’ tourist attraction in the town of Ballarat, Victoria. This somewhat dated mock castle boasts re-enactments, a ‘Sleeping Beauty’ tower and a maze. Ross hangs out with the knights, watches the flogging of wenches and even gets to meet ‘King’ Ralph. He also has a chance to indulge his role-play fantasies as he tries his hand at falconry.

Leaving medieval times firmly in the past, Ross travels on through the cities of Geelong and Horsham. His final stop is Port Pirie, where the town mayor comes to the show and offers him the keys to the city.

Monday 12th October 10.00pm

Comedian Ross Noble continues to tour Australia on his motorbike. In this episode, Ross zigzags across the south-east of the country, from Bathurst to Sydney, over to Adelaide and then down to Melbourne. Along the way, he spots a winery at the top of a race track, annoys a number of Japanese tourists and slaps a statue.

The third leg of Ross’s epic journey begins in the New South Wales town of Bathurst, the oldest inland settlement in Australia. Just outside the town centre, Ross finds a large statue known as ‘the big gold-panning man’. On this occasion, the statue has been dressed in a tartan kilt and bonnet in honour of a Scottish celebration taking place in the area. “He looks like the big transvestite,” observes Ross. He also notices a bowling green, home to local team the Bathurst Panthers. “They’re a bit like the Black Panthers but less militant,” he explains.

Hoping for a chance to put his foot down, Ross drives up the Mount Panorama race track. Unfortunately, a speed limit of 60km/h is in place whenever the roads are open to the public. Ross also finds that riding with a camera mounted on his bike makes him look like a police officer, thus causing all drivers nearby to slow down. At the top of the track, Ross is surprised to find a winery. “I can’t think of a more ill-placed winery,” he tells the audience at his Bathurst gig.

After so much time spent in small towns, Ross’s arrival in Sydney is something of a culture shock for the weary biker. Ever the conscientious travel journalist, he describes this major city in typically lyrical fashion. “They’ve got a bit of a bridge over there and that thing,” he says, pointing to the opera house. “Job done.” Steering clear of Sydney’s many restaurants and bars and avoiding the more traditional tourist pursuits, Ross decides to hassle Japanese tourists. After some time spent trying to sneak his way into a number of photographs and pretending to steal the odd camera, he heads to his gig in Newtown. “Once you’ve annoyed the Japanese, it’s time to head off,” he says.

The next morning, Ross is up early to travel to Adelaide, the state capital of Southern Australia. He stops briefly on the way to look at an enormous orange by the side of the road – though does not have the time to investigate properly. “It’s a f**king big orange!” he concludes. Upon arrival in the heart of Adelaide, he visits a volleyball beach, which he describes as “the greatest litter tray ever built.” Ross explains that along with the friendly people, beautiful gardens and good eateries, Adelaide also has the highest per capita rate of serial killers in the whole country.

At his gig that night, Ross meets a fan from his home town of Newcastle. “Why the hell have I bothered coming all this way?” he asks. He then informs all the backpackers in the audience that they will soon be murdered. “You will be killed,” he says. “It’s an Aussie tradition.”

On the way to Melbourne, Ross stops in the city of Mount Gambier, 450km south of Adelaide. With no tourists to annoy, he visits Blue Lake, a picturesque crater lake in the centre of an extinct volcano. “That’s possibly the best blue wet thing I’ve ever seen,” he reflects. “But then again, I’ve never seen a damp smurf.” He then enjoys a ride on the Great Ocean Road – a long, winding route offering outstanding views of the Bass Strait and the Southern Ocean. In the small town of Bendigo, he spends some time with the many statues scattered throughout the streets. He particularly likes one of Queen Victoria holding a pigeon, and another of a semi-naked woman. As he passes the latter, he cannot help but slap the statue’s exposed behind.

Ross has a whistle-stop tour of Melbourne – which he describes as “an incredibly beautiful city with amazing architecture” – before heading to the town of Warrnambool. Here, he sees posters for a special laser show telling the story of a shipwreck in the harbour. Unfortunately, he is unable to make the display because he has his own gig. “There’s nothing I like more than going down to a harbour and celebrating shipping tragedies with music and lasers,” he tells his audience.

Monday 5th October 10.00pm

Comedian Ross Noble continues to tour Australia on his motorbike. In this episode, Ross travels across New South Wales, through the towns of Wagga, Woollongong and Taree. He stops off to look at the world’s second largest playable guitar, a giant oyster above a car showroom and a service-station replica of Ayres Rock. After a trip to the familiar-sounding city of Newcastle, he visits the Australian parliament in Canberra.

Ross takes a break from the dusty roads of New South Wales to stop off in a shop boasting the southern hemisphere’s largest playable guitar. “It slightly scares me,” he says. “You get the feeling that an angry giant busker is gonna come and smash his way through here.” Ross pushes on to the small town of Albury, where the shops shut early and the streets are suddenly deserted.

Further up the road is Wagga, “a town with very low self-esteem”, according to Ross. The advice of the first local he meets is to keep on driving. Ross marvels at a decommissioned tank parked on the main street and borrows a mobility scooter to zip about town. Everything in Wagga seems to be broken – including the algae-stricken lagoon. “It’s a lovely bit of wetland that will essentially kill you,” he says.

At Ross’s gig in Woollongong, the audience tells him that the town’s name means “mountain by the sea”. Ross prefers his own translation of “knitwear dinner warning”. His favourite store in town is the ‘Catholic Supplies’ bookshop. “What a great name – implying that a load of priests are going on some sort of special forces-type mission,” he says.

Ross is able to indulge his love of all things giant at his next destination. The town of Taree features a building with a huge, glass-fronted oyster on the roof. Standing inside the empty oyster, Ross likens it to the lair of a James Bond villain. “Normally, a big oyster – I’m just guessing – would be on top of a seafood restaurant,” he tells his audience. Instead, this oyster sits atop a car showroom. “It’s not even like the bloke that owns the place is called Barry Oyster!” he cries.

At Taree’s radio station, Ross is invited to read out the town notices, including the bizarre message that the Rotary Club is running a bowel-screening drive. “The Rotary Club are checking people’s bums??” an astonished Ross asks his audience. Nearby, he is impressed by a service station built to resemble Uluru, or Ayres Rock. “Sometimes man can improve on nature,” he reflects. “The one thing lacking in large geographical landmarks is the ability to open them and use the inside for commercial shopping.”

From Taree Ross heads to the seaside city of Newcastle. “Or as I like to call it, the city of plagiarism,” he remarks. A number of buildings were damaged in an earthquake several years ago. One structure that is still standing erect is a curiously phallic tower by the harbour. Ross is intrigued to learn that the ‘big penis’ was built for a visit by the Queen, and wonders if this is an appropriate way to greet the head of state.

Ross’s final stop this week is the Australian capital Canberra. “It’s a strange place, Canberra,” he says. “The people are great… but the place itself is a little bit lacking in pizzazz.” Australia’s modern parliament building is constructed from gleaming white marble. The roof is carpeted with lush grass, which puts Ross in mind of a big hobbit house. He is particularly struck by the visitors’ dress code, which permits shirts, shorts and footwear. “Essentially what they’re saying is, ‘you’re not allowed in if you’re nude’,” he says.

Comedian Ross Noble tours Australia on his motorbike in this entertaining new series for Five. The show mixes clips of Ross’s standup with scenes from his journey, as he travels 26,000km to perform gigs all over Australia. In the first episode, Ross leaves Brisbane and passes through the tourist trap of Surfers Paradise. He then heads to the remote settlement of Silverton, the location for numerous Australian films, before fetching up in the quaint towns of Mildura and Echuca.

Ross Noble begins his four-month, 85-date tour of Australia in the sunny city of Brisbane. Ross’s trip will take him all around the south-eastern corner of Australia before he strikes out on a mammoth journey along the country’s coastline. “I’ll be going everywhere – from the big cities to the tiny outback towns,” he says. “Throwing research out the window, allow me to be your ill-informed tour guide to this amazing country.”

Ross’s trusty steed for his epic trip is a sturdy BMW motorbike. “Riding a motorbike is the best way to see a country,” he affirms. It is not without its risks, however, as Ross must watch out for the enormous ‘road trains’ that hog Australia’s roads. On a break by the side of the highway, Ross marvels at the quiet of the bush. “Nothing breaks the silence, until one of those giant trucks comes rumbling past,” he says.

Ross’s trip almost comes to a premature end when he is sideswiped by an emu. At his first gig, he reflects on his near miss. “Bloody emus. Who thought they were a good idea as a concept?” he asks. “Six-foot feather dusters with suicide on their minds.” Putting his feathered friends behind him, Ross takes a night-time stroll around the “relentless tourist trap” of Surfers Paradise, where drunken revellers are keen to shake his hand. “It’s the Ibiza of Australia,” reflects Ross ruefully.

The next stop on the journey is Lismore, after a brief visit to Macadamia Castle – a nut-themed medieval-style fortress with mini-golf and a barbecue. On the open road, Ross struggles with the heat. “It’s like sitting on a hairdryer,” he says of his riding experience. He reaches the outback town of Silverton, the setting for many Australian films – including ‘Mad Max 2’. A couple of friendly folk treat him to a trip around the local cemetery on a motorbike with a sidecar that has been converted into a hearse.

Arriving in the quaint town of Mildura after a long stretch of desert, Ross wonders if he has driven through a time warp. “To be honest with you, I thought I’d travelled back to the 50s,” he tells his audience. “I thought, ‘Jesus, how fast was I going?’” Mildura is famous for its citrus industry and boasts the curious tourist attraction of Orange World. Ross sticks his arms and legs through a giant orange to have his picture taken. “These are actually orange stocks,” he explains. “They place people in here who have committed crimes involving oranges or against the oranges.”

Several hundred kilometres down the road, the settlement of Echuca resembles a frontier town. “Last night I was in Mildura and when I rode in, it was all 1950s… Now I’m in Echuca and it’s all 1850s,” Ross remarks. He speculates that he will continue to travel back in time if he continues down the same road. Fortunately, his destination is in fact the local cinema, to perform his next gig. Afterwards, he thanks bemused cinema patrons for coming to the show, little realising they have been to see a film in the screen next door. Ross overcomes his embarrassment by convincing the staff to screen a film for him all on his own. It is a well-earned break from life on the road.

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