If you were a nineties kid, you would have grown up watching Pete, Linda and Bronson Twist encounter vikings, tree spirits, terrifying scarecrows and so many ghosts that you may start to wonder how they could ever feel fear again.
The cult Aussie show Round the Twist is a cultural touchstone, and despite it’s wacky themes, it’s incredibly relatable.
Penis-inhabiting fish aside, the show was underpinned with universal themes of family drama, bullying and unrequited love.
Plus, if you grew up in Australia in the nineties, you probably can’t use an outdoor toilet without thinking of the skeleton on the dunny, or eat spaghetti without picturing it coming out in reverse.
But as etched in our collective memories as the show is, there were a few surprising facts that I had no idea about.
- Andrew Daddo played a ghost
On the This Glorious Mess podcast this week, Andrew Daddo confessed to a little know fact about his past career: he once appeared as a guest star in season two of Round the Twist.
Yep, the podcast host and children's book author was painted white to play a Scottish ghost named Matthew who was trying to reunite the victims of a shipwreck, 100 years later.
Listen to Andrew talk about the role of a lifetime on our parenting podcast This Glorious Mess.
"The kids ended up having to have Scottish accents at some point. So luckily I became the Scottish accent coach for the kids as well," he said.
He also reminded us that the show is almost 30 years old! You wouldn't think it, given the series wrapped it's fourth season in 2001, but it's true. Round the Twist was created in 1989. Yep, it's older than I am.
Guess who else played a ghost?
Andrew Daddo wasn't the only children's author to appear on the show.
The one and only Paul Jennings made a cameo appearance as the ghost of Ben Byron in ‘Without My Pants’.
Jennings penned the book series that seasons one and two were based on. The 'un collection' contained books Unreal! Uncanny! and Unbelievable! which gave life to brilliant story lines like the pair of jocks that gave the wearer superhuman strength. Classic.
Watch the video playing above to see an interview with Paul Jennings, courtesy of SBS.
The show took an eight year hiatus
Here is the answer to the question you've all been wondering - how did the show begin in 1989 and end in 2001, yet only have four seasons?
After season two, there was an eight year break when Paul Jennings left the show, taking his book material with him. When the show returned for season three, the scripts were based on all original material and unfortunately the show never had the success it had under Jennings.
There were three Bronsons
Yes, three! Count them.
Thanks to the eight year gap between seasons two and three, all the kids on the show had to be replaced. What would the show be if lovable, naive Bronson was a teenager? The podcast The Real Thing recently tracked down the original Bronson, and it's definitely worth a listen.
Each of the Twist children were played by multiple actors, as were the Gribble crew.
While the transition between Bronsons was fairly subtle, the change in actresses playing Pete's love interest Fiona was much more obvious.
In season two, Aboriginal actress Zeta Briggs was cast as Fiona. By season three, the character had returned to her white roots.
The lighthouse really exists and you can go there
Port Niranda may be a fictional town but the lighthouse where Tony Twist and his family lived is a real lighthouse that you can visit.
Situated at Airey's Inlet on the Great Ocean Road, the Split Point Lighthouse offers guided tours. It's definitely worth a stop on your way to the 12 Apostles (although you may learn more about the local maritime history than Round the Twist!)
Listen to the full episode of This Glorious Mess here:
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