Tony Armstrong’s Extra-Ordinary Things

A five-part series for the ABC, Tony Armstrong’s Extra-Ordinary Things follows Tony in this very personal documentary series, as he goes on the road to learn about the untold history of Australia through everyday Aussies and their not so ordinary objects.

Tony’s on a mission to build his very own exhibition for the National Museum of Australia that tells the untold history of our country, through ordinary objects that reveal extraordinary stories. The series will see sentimental possessions placed front and centre as we unravel some of Australia’s most defining moments, one object at a time.

From FremantleMedia Australia, Tony Armstrong’s Extra-Ordinary Things is directed and produced by Hayden Guppy (Get Krack!n, Luke Warm Sex), produced by Ash Gibb and executive produced by Josie Mason Campbell (This is Going to be Big) and Sophie Meyrick (Life on the Outside). It is financed by the ABC.

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Great that Tony is getting a lot of opportunities at the ABC, must be hoping that keeping him busy with projects outside of News Breakfast will keep him from wandering from the network.

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Wonder if ABC will give him a contract renewal, he’s made a joke about it to Justin Stevens two years running now publicly at the Logies on-stage.

Yeah, I saw that. A bit unprofessional really. I didn’t find it funny.

It’s a joke, dweebs.

Yeah, and I didn’t find it funny. Comedy is subjective.

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Did you find Sonia Kruger’s joke funny? The one about her agent supposedly telling her “well Sonia, I think people are a little over Hamish”.
No laughs from the audience. Just gasps and people yelling at her.

She surprisingly kept going, “and frankly I’m secretly hoping he’ll leave the agency so I can concentrateall my efforts on you”. The audience was silent until thr camera was on Hamish Blake and he joked about feeling defeated by those comments, which was only then that anyone laughed.

She tried to say she was “only joking” but she really didn’t read the room at all. I noticed that Seven posted her acceptance speech on social media but edited that whole bit out.

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Upfronts:

In this five-part series, Tony Armstrong unfolds his bike and goes on the road to learn about the untold history of Australia. Meeting everyday Aussies with ordinary things that hold extra-ordinary stories, he hears of natural disasters, of homelands far away, of sports, music and protests. Tony’s

on a mission to build his very own exhibition for the National Museum of Australia that tells a little-known history of our country. Tony Armstrong’s Extra-Ordinary Things will see sentimental possessions placed front and centre as we unravel some of Australia’s most defining moments, one thing at a time.

PRODUCTION CREDITS

A Fremantle Australia production for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Major production investment from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Screen Australia. Executive Producer Sophie Meyrick. Director and Producer Hayden Guppy. Producer Ash Gibb. ABC Commissioning Editor Julie Hanna. ABC Head of Factual Susie Jones. International Sales: Fremantle Media International

From Tuesday 21 May

Join Tony Armstrong on an extra-ordinary mission across Australia to unravel some of the country’s most defining moments, one thing at a time.

In this five-part series, much-loved presenter and host Tony Armstrong hits the road on his bike to learn about the untold history of Australia. He travels the length and breadth of the country to meet everyday Aussies with ordinary things that hold extra-ordinary stories.

Tony’s ultimate mission is to become a first-time curator and build his very own exhibition for the National Museum of Australia in Canberra that tells the little-known history of our country.

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Episode 1

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Tuesday 21 May 8.00pm

Tony travels to the remote town of Birdsville to meet the president of the Birdsville races. He discovers a leather satchel that contains the history of an Outback horse racing obsession.

On a beach in Sydney, he finds out how a female surfer’s novelty cheque has become a symbol of gender equality in sport.

He travels to Perth where he learns how to make (and eat) a sandwich from an Italian migrant family that brings two continents together.

He meets a talented young rapper with a substantial online following, whose lyric book expresses what it’s like to grow up within Australia’s indigenous community.

And he hears how a commemorative pin shows a man’s little-known bravery during the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. By bringing two families together, he helps to finally get this hero’s name into the history books.

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Episode 2

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Tuesday 28 May 8.00pm

From a paint tray, a firefighter’s signet ring to a 100-year-old restored motorbike, Tony Armstrong discovers the story of Australia, one thing at a time.

This week, Tony travels out to the suburbs of Sydney and discovers an avid motorbike enthusiast whose passion for restoration has led him to a rare 1914 racing motorbike. There he introduces him to the grandsons of the original record-breaking motorbike owner.

Tony ventures into an area in country Victoria once ravaged by fire, to meet the owner of a signet ring that holds the emotional story of a firefighter’s extraordinary sacrifice during the 1983 Ash Wednesday bushfires.

In Sydney’s Redfern, he finds a young indigenous boxer who has become the first woman to win a coveted boxing trophy. He finds an award-winning disability advocate and learns how a letter from a prime minister changed the course of her life as a young girl.

And he hears how an ordinary paint tray has become the symbol of a daring anti-war protest on the sails of Sydney Opera House.

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1, Episode 3

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Tuesday 4 June 8.00pm

From a zinc pan to a shearing ribbon, a theatre pamphlet to a blanket, Tony Armstrong discovers the story of Australia, one thing at a time.

This week, Tony discovers how ribbons won by a champion sheep shearer in a remote outback town, show how one woman fought her way into the history books. And not one to back down from a challenge, Tony reluctantly tries his hand in the shearing shed.

In Melbourne, he finds a piece of barbed wire from an unusual and eye-popping sport that brings a community together.

He hears of a cafe owner’s seemingly ordinary cooking pans that tell an extraordinary story of freedom from and oppressive regime.

He finds a theatre pamphlet from the 1970s, that reveals how dance became a source of expression and empowerment for First Nations performers.

And in a town that’s experienced more than its fair share of hardship, he comes across a hand-knitted blanket rescued from the Lismore floods, that reveal the threads of a woman’s identity.

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I’ll be shocked if this doesn’t win awards.

Great show and great presenter.

Tony shines in human interest stories like these.

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Episode 4

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Tuesday 11 June 8.00pm

From an airstrip in the Outback to a refugee’s photo, from a gum leaf to a women’s soccer trophy, Tony Armstrong discovers the story of Australia, one thing at a time.

This week, Tony heads to regional New South Wales and discovers why a son who found a rusty old ute in the shed, decides to restore it and then manages to fulfill his father’s lifelong dream.

He meets a woman with an amazing black and white photo that captures an eleven-year-old refugee’s perilous journey to Australia by sea.

And in Adelaide, Tony finds an end-of-season soccer trophy that symbolises one woman’s courage to express her sexuality at a time when it was dangerous to be Out and Proud.

In Melbourne, a lifelong musician shows how a simple leaf can reveal a surprising and little-known part of indigenous history.

And in one of the most remote places in the country, Tony learns of a life-threatening accident and how an airstrip proves a lifeline for an Outback cattle station.

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Episode 5 - season final

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Tuesday 18 June 8.00pm

From silk sashes to a dictionary, from a trunk to a photo, Tony Armstrong discovers the story of Australia, one thing at a time.

This week, Tony finds a couple of silk sashes that transport Pageant royalty back in time to 1968 the Grafton Jacaranda Queen Quest and sees history being made in this year’s Quest.

He learns how a photo of a jazz musician points to a ground-breaking dance club for Perth’s aboriginal community. He hears the harrowing story of how a trunk became the symbol of survival in the face of Darwin’s devastating Cyclone Tracy.

And rummaging through boxes of memorabilia, he learns why a tough music man is softened by a dogeared old dictionary.

And he finds out how one man’s passion to restore a pub brings a community back to an Outback ghost town.
After pedalling across the country, Tony finishes his journey with his heart and satchel full, just in time to unveil his exhibition of seemingly ordinary things from extraordinary everyday Aussies, at Canberra’s National Museum of Australia

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The exhibition opens at National Museum of Australia this Friday (June 21).

On Thursday evening (June 20), Tony will host a conversation with Dan Bourchier, Dr Martha Sear and some of the remarkable people from the TV series at the museum. Tickets at Eventbrite website