Ryan Shelton is a comedian, producer and an actor with curly black hair, and a friendly face.
He co-wrote Chris Lilley’s We Can Be Heroes, a skit-based mockumentary about several unusual Australians (all played by Lilley) and their quest to become Australian of the Year. It was nothing short of groundbreaking in the Australian TV scene.
Now, Shelton is an active and founding member of Radio Karate, a TV production company he owns along with school friend Tim Bartley and everyone’s favourite radio duo – Hamish Blake and Andy Lee.
He is also a writer, actor, and producer on Hamish and Andy’s latest television venture, True Story.
“For about four months last year, myself and Tim Bartley worked with a group of six or seven producers, who went through stories that had been sent in either through Hamish and Andy’s website, or from friends we knew, or from friends of family,” Shelton says.
“It was just this massive story hunt, trying to find ten really funny true stories.”
Listen to Ryan Shelton detail the one story producers kept on receiving as a submission and was too risky to use on the show, on The Binge. Post continues after audio.
If you’ve never seen this brilliant TV show, the concept is actually a simple one. An individual sits afront Hamish and Andy, recounting an almost-so-unbelieveable-it-couldn’t-be-true story from their life. It is true, of course. We hope. As they’re recounting the story to Hamish and Andy, the camera periodically cuts to Australian actors, many of them well-known, playing out the true stories.
It works well as a TV show. And for Shelton, a producer on the show who also makes several appearances in the re-enactment scenes, the story-selection process was a gigantic one.
“In the process… we had so many stories that were either too insane to be true and weren’t true, or too insane to be true and, incredibly, were true.”
Therein lies the premise of the show.
Shelton goes on, "The guys who were looking for stories, they're experts in urban myths and legends. There's a story which always came up... either variations on this or this exact story."
The story goes as follows.
A young girl is asked to look after a dog when the dog's owners go away on a holiday. While they're away, the dog dies. The young girl calls the owners to inform them, and they tell her to take the dog to the vet to be buried/cremated/whatever happens when a dog dies.
So. The girl puts the dead dog in a suitcase - it's a heavy dog, and that's the only way she can transport it - and jumps on the bus to the vet. Suitcase in tow.
"It's quite heavy obviously so she's trying to put the suitcase up on the shelf above the seat," Shelton tells The Binge hosts Clare Stephens and Laura Brodnik. "She can't quite do it, so a guy next to her says 'Do you want a hand with that?' He picks it up and he's like 'That's heavy, what's in that?'
"She obviously doesn't want to say 'a dead dog', so she says 'Oh I'm a DJ, it's my DJ equipment'."
A few stops later, the bus doors open. As they're closing, the man steals the suitcase with the dog inside, and runs off.
According to Shelton many, many people sent this story in.
"When we first heard that, we were like 'oh my God... that's an incredible story. And then we tried to find the source of it... but whenever you go down the pathway of trying to find the source, you can never find who it was, because it's not true."
Shelton adds, "Or if it was, it happened long ago and it's been passed down..."
"If anyone's out there, that reads this and actually does know the person it happened to, we would be wrapt to find out."
You can listen to this week's full episode of The Binge, below.
Do you have 'true story'? Let us know in the comments below.