The Newsreader creator teases ‘sex, sequins, and Kylie Minogue’ as series returns

Drugs, politics and Princess Diana drive the headlines in the second season of 80s-set Australian series The Newsreader – but it’s the broadcasters’ private lives that bring the drama.

The power struggle continues between News At Six’s Helen Norville and her junior-reporter-turned-boyfriend Dale Jennings.

Creator Michael Lucas is an expert at relationship dramas – having also produced the romcom Offspring and comedy-drama Five Bedrooms – so it’s no surprise that Dale (Sam Reid) and Helen (Anna Torv) went from professional to romantic before you could say “And this just in…”!

The pair are now established as the golden couple of news, despite Dale’s admission about his sexuality in series one.

“Dale confesses all these complex things about his sexuality,” Michael says. “Where we’d seen it as an admission of queerness, that love between Dale and Helen was still a huge part of their lives.

"So we were interested in seeing how they navigated as a couple staying together.”

The second series picks up in July 1987, a year after the events of the series one finale.

As a show that mixes fact with fiction, Michael says they weren’t short of juicy stories.

“We’re keeping on track of all of those big news events of the era,” he explains. “Like the stock market crash, a federal election, the heroin crisis, some uniquely Australian events, but big global events – Princess Diana and Prince Charles – come into it.

“We’ve also got Helen and Dale interviewing Kylie Minogue when she was 19 about Neighbours and The Locomotion. We had to write for Kylie’s permission to use it and she wrote a little message to us giving her blessing.”

There are some new faces and bold fashion choices, too.

“We have a variety show host, Gerry, played by Rory Fleck Byrne, and that was a licence for a lot more sequins and sparkles,” says Michael.

“In the first scene, Helen and Dale are on a big variety show, so we have Anna in this amazing, sparkly creation."

“Then there’s Cheryl, the make-up artist – we always thought of her as in tune with the latest 80s fashion, so we were constantly seeing what Madonna was wearing.”

The Newsreader begins on Thursday 9th November, 9pm, BBC Two

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