Upcoming British/Australian comedy Queen of Oz is about to have its UK debut on BBC One.
The series stars Catherine Tate as Princess Georgiana, the reserve to the British throne whose party-girl lifestyle and constant public scandals threaten the future of the monarchy.
In an effort to get her as far away from London as possible, and at the same time hoping to keep Australia from leaving the Commonwealth, Georgie’s parents send her to Australia to become their queen, along with her new staff, the director of communications. Zoe, the private secretary Bernard, the security manager Marc, the personal assistant Matthew, the lady in waiting Anabel, the landlord Weiwei.
“She’s a reluctant queen because she really thought she was going to live her life going to parties, not doing much or having any responsibilities,” Tate says.
“Then she’s in for a rude awakening when she’s shipped off to Australia as their newly crowned queen. It’s very difficult, it’s very difficult to work for her and she doesn’t make it easy for anyone. She’s spoiled and entitled and deeply nasty, which obviously makes her a great character to play. She evolves somewhat throughout the series, but deep down she’s funny and she’s anarchic. I think when you play someone like that, you don’t need people to like her, you don’t even need anyone to like her, you just need them to laugh at her.
“Georgie’s attitude towards Australia was formed when she was sent to Canberra to go to boarding school when she was 13 and was bullied relentlessly, so she doesn’t come here with a whole host of fond memories. However, as with all shows, it’s obviously going to evolve and we wanted to make Australia itself a character. Her relationship with Australia really takes the place of the usual rom-com, they start hating each other and eventually as it progresses she has to fall in love with him because she is queen to her… She is queen to her… Australia is a female. “
The Swifts’ historic Darling Point mansion is used as the primary filming location.
“Macquarie House, as we call it on the show, was a coup! Entering that place for the first time, we were blown away because it really felt like we were filming The crown! Absolutely sumptuous and I think this historic gem in central Sydney works fantastically on screen.’
The cast also includes Rob Collins, Anthony Brandon-Wong, Robert Coleby and Daniel Lapaine.
Of filming in Australia, he added: “I always think it can feel a little strange when you’re clearly not where you’re supposed to be, so there was never a doubt that it wasn’t all going to be there.
“I enjoyed being there for sure. We meet so many amazing people and it’s always nice to have new friends in far away places. I miss the acai bowls too!
The series written by Tate and Jeff Gutheim is produced by Lingo Pictures in association with The Development Partnership.
ABC has yet to announce an Australian premiere date.