Thu, Dec 20, 11:15am by Staff Writer
Best-selling Robert G. Barrett fictional character Les Norton, will get the TV series treatment following the announcement of Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and Screen Australia funding for a new 10-part drama series – Les Norton.
The series will be a Roadshow Rough Diamond production with Sonar Entertainment handling international distribution.
The Les Norton series of 20 novels is set in 1985, following the activities of Les Norton, a man from outback Queensland.
On the run from a troubled past, he heads to Sydney landing a job as a bouncer at a notorious illegal Kings Cross casino.
Uncomfortable and desperate to get home, he soon finds himself caught in the illicit activity of his surroundings and in a web of misdemeanour.
International comedy star Rebel Wilson and David Wenham headline an exciting cast to bring a 1980s set Kings Cross to life.
Les Norton will be played by up-and-coming actor Alexander Bertrand, according to Mirage News.
The series will be directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse, Fadia Abboud, David Caesar and Morgan O’Neill.
It has been created for television by Morgan O’Neill with writers Christopher Lee, Samantha Winston, Shanti Gudgeon, Malcolm Knox and Jessica Tuckwell.
The series will be produced by Daniel Edwards and John Edwards from production company Roadshow Rough Diamond.
The production house is known for producing 2017 drama series Romper Stomper.
ABC Head of Drama, Comedy & Indigenous Sally Riley will work as Executive Producer with Andrew Gregory, John Schwarz and Michael Schwarz and John Singleton and Jack Singleton.
“Les and his reprobate mates are caught up in a Sydney that was at its most debauched in the ’80s, and the show’s blackly hilarious as a consequence,” John Edwards said.
ABC’s Sally Riley says: “We are over the moon that Les Norton has lured such a stellar cast and creative team to bring the novels to life. Les Norton is shaping up to be an enviable addition to the ABC’s 2019 drama slate”.
Big news! Client Alexander Bertrand is set to star as the titular character in LES NORTON, a ten-part series based on Robert G. Barrett’s novels, alongside Rebel Wilson and @WenhamDavid!
— Circle of Confusion (@ofConfusion) December 19, 2018
Head of Content at Screen Australia, Sally Caplan said: “Les Norton is an affable character that has proven popular with audiences in the best-selling book series. What excites me about this TV adaptation is that the creative team have included a slew of new female roles to go head on with the male characters established in the books.”
Create NSW Acting Director of Screen Investment, Engagement & Attraction Sally Regan states “this adaptation of Robert G. Barrett’s classic Aussie larrikin character will undoubtedly bring a smile to a wide audience across the country. Backed by a strong production team, Robert’s popular books are perfect for screen adaptation and we look forward to seeing Les’ ‘fish out of water’ escapades unfold.”
With a high profile cast and riveting storyline, the series is expected to be a hit with both Australian and International viewers.
The character “Les Norton” was based on two larrikinidentities from Sydney, “Ken Wills,” (Willsy), a poly-athlete who was a retired water police officer, deep sea diver, first grade rugby league player for South Sydney in the mid 70s, a professional boxer and a skiing gold medalist.
The other character was an amateur boxer turned seaman/waterfront worker “William (Doogza) Davis”, an underworld hard man.
Rebel Wilson has been in the headlines in recent times for her defamation law suit with Bauer Media. In November she was ordered to repay her history-making payout from the case. She was able to retain $600,000 from her original $4.7 million sum before accounting for legal expenses. Her presence in Les Norton brings substantial Hollywood star power to the series.
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