Press Release: TV's Coast Australia comes to Cape Otway
Issued: 4 February 2013
RENOWNED presenter Neil Oliver, who spent the weekend at Cape Otway Lightstation filming an Australian TV series of Coast, has confessed to a lifelong passion for lighthouses.
And the 1848 Cape Otway lighthouse, perched 80 metres above where Bass Strait and the Southern Ocean meet, lived up to the Scottish TV star’s expectations.
“My abiding memory of Cape Otway has to be the lighthouse, it’s got such an iconic feel,” said Mr Oliver, who is also a patron of the Association of Lighthouse Keepers.
“This is such a fantastic coastline and it’s made better by the lighthouse,” he added.
Mr Oliver, who is hosting the eight part series which will focus on a different stretch of the Australian coast in each hour-long episode, spent Friday and Saturday at the Lightstation filming an hour-long episode about the Great Ocean Road.
“Buildings on the coast are usually a blight, but a lighthouse standing on a cliff somehow always looks good,” said Mr Oliver, who is enjoying his first visit to Australia.
His romantic fascination with lighthouses began as a teenager.
“The life just sounded ideal to me, I thought a lightkeeper’s life would just be about fishing and writing poetry,” he added.
“I had no idea of the grinding routine and boredom, they’re just always in spectacular locations, and they’re the guardians of the seaways.”
Mr Oliver, who is heading up the series to be screened on Foxtel’s History Channel in the second half of 2013, said dramatic stories of shipwrecks along the Cape Otway stretch of coast, the isolation, and hardships faced by early lightkeepers would make good television.
Mr Oliver said, like its British counterpart, Coast Australia was a study of the ancient past through to the present, looking at archaeology, geology and people.
An archaeologist and former journalist, he described presenting the magazine style programme as “quite simply a dream job”.
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Cape Otway Lightstation guide and former lightkeeper Pat Howell with Coast presenter Neil Oliver after filming for the History Channel series on Saturday
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