Why ‘Ten Pound Poms’ Stars Can Relate to Homesick Brits in 1960s Australia



On Tuesday, Danny Brocklehurst’s “Ten Pound Poms” won the Golden Nymph award for best series at the Monte-Carlo Television Festival. Lead actors Faye Marsay and Warren Brown sat down with Variety during the festival to discuss the show.

The co-production between the U.K.’s BBC and the Australian streaming service Stan follows a group of Brits as they leave dreary post-war Britain in 1956 to embark on a life-altering adventure on the other side of the world. For only 10 British pounds, they have been promised a better house, better job prospects, and a better quality of life by the sea in sun-soaked Australia. But life down under isn’t exactly the idyllic dream the new arrivals have been promised.

Actor Faye Marsay, who was in “McMafia” and is in “Star Wars” spin-off “Andor,” said that this episode in recent British history has rarely been explored there. “It’s actually not well known in the U.K., which is surprising to everybody, surprising to us. It was a story that we were never taught about in our history lessons. We all knew very little about it when we first got the part, so we had to do a lot of research.”

Marsay’s co-star Warren Brown, whose credits include “Luther” and “Strike Back,” discovered a personal connection to the era. “I actually learned once we were shooting this that my mom’s family in the 60s, her parents, had sold up and they were all set to go to Australia,” he said. “And at the very last minute my great grandmother said to my gran, ‘Please don’t go because I will never see you again.’ So, they didn’t go. So, it could have been very different for me if my mum would have gone to Australia in the 60s.”

During the production, Marsay and Brown, who portray a married couple on screen, traveled to Australia for the first time for a five-month shoot.

Marsay could relate to her character’s experience, as an actor far away from her home. “It’s like 27 hours on a plane from London to get there via Dubai. So, I could definitely relate to the distance and the time difference.”

The crew on set consisted predominantly of Australians with the exception of one of the two directors, Jamie Magnus Stone, who hails from Scotland. Stone co-directed the show alongside Australian director Ana Kokkinos, who has Greek roots.

The recognition obtained from the Golden Nymph and growing demand from fans on social media may serve to secure a second season of the show, further exploring this lesser-known episode in the relationship between the U.K. and Australia.

Marsay and Brown are enthusiastic about the prospect of more seasons. Brown said: “Three seasons feel like you’ve had a good run of exploring that [story], and then it’s great to move on to the next one.”


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