ABC announces that the two-part documentary series Howard on Menzies: Building Modern Australia will premiere on Sunday September 18 at 7.40pm on ABC and iview.
Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard is adamant that Robert Menzies, Australia's longest-serving PM, deserves more credit for the positive part he played in shaping modern Australia.
'No other Australian Prime Minister met and navigated such a range of challenges as did Menzies." - Former Australian Prime Minister, John Howard
In this unique two-part series, Howard examines Menzies' career and legacy and takes us through the Menzies era to set the record straight.
'I was conscious of the fact that there had been no dedicated documentary about Menzies' time in power and there had been several on Gough Whitlam." - John Howard
His exploration of the times captures the drama and ruthlessness of politics; the far-reaching impact of international conflicts; and the way migration, bold trading initiatives and an emphasis on education transformed the nation.
Beyond his own recollections and research, Howard invites historians, academics, journalists and former politicians from the left and the right, including Bob Hawke, to challenge him on his beliefs.
He also seeks input from his contemporaries in the creative industries, including Clive James, Barry Humphries and Thomas Keneally.
Howard undertook nearly all of the 30 interviews featured in the series, which were recorded over 15 months mostly in Australia.
'Having been interviewed all my life, it was a fascinating and entirely new experience to be interviewing others. Exciting and enjoyable." - John Howard
Told with the insight that only the ultimate insider can bring to the great events of the era, Howard on Menzies invites us to think again about Australia's longest serving Prime Minister and the nation he helped to build.
Howard on Menzies: Building Modern Australia features interviews with: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and former Prime Minister Bob Hawke, media mogul Rupert Murdoch, historians Geoffrey Blainey and Henry Reynolds, economist Bob Gregory, academics Professor Judith Brett and Dr Stephen Mills, journalists Paul Kelly and Greg Sheridan, former politicians Barry Jones and Alexander Downer, creative industry legends Barry Humphries, Clive James and Thomas Keneally and many more.
Howard on Menzies: Building Modern Australia (2 X 60 minutes factual series) production credits: Screen Australia and Australian Broadcasting Corporation present a Smith&Nasht production, in association with Screen NSW. Written and directed by Simon Nasht. Produced by Ruth Cross. Executive Producers Stuart Menzies and Simon Nasht. ABC Commissioning Editor Anita Brown. ABC Head of Factual, Steve Bibb.