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No froth: an Aussie flat white, thanks

Food: Chicken kiev or lobster burger?

Australia 1983-2013: Aussies were the world’s biggest meat and sugar consumers, with the humble roast the pinnacle of home treats. Though there was a growing embrace for the flavours of the huge immigrant populations from Italy and the Med. At the poncey end of town, nouvelle cuisine was getting its run.

More significantly, Lavazza coffee et al were making their mark and curating Aussies into a bunch of coffee snobs. Flat white? You’re welcome. The influx of new Aussies from Asia means stir fries are bigger than spag bol now, but “Aussie” food can really mean anything these days.

London 1983-2013: Chicken kiev and black forest gateau were the dog’s bollocks before the fine dining revolution struck (loads of foreign chefs rocked up). There were no Prets or sushi chains yet, but L’Escargot was flying, the place to be seen if you were a banker. Nouvelle cuisine hit pockets hard as the ‘Modern British’ concept was emerging. The world basically thought Brits just ate roast beef and cooked the crap out of veg. No more.

One of the best places in the world to eat, super steakhouses (Gaucho, Hawksmoor) are acclaimed, while Heston Blumenthal’s (Dinner) molecular gastronomy is copied globally with varying success. The gastropub remains, but trendier is lining up for innovative pop-ups and the fab oxymoron of deluxe fast food outlets (Burger And Lobster, Bubbledogs). Roast dinner still rules.

Sons And Daughters: made the first leap over the pond

Television: Variety and drama will never last

Australia 1983-2013: The most popular shows on TV in Oz were made in Oz. The Sullivans and Young Doctors ended in ‘83 as Cop Shop and A Country Practice hit their stride – the best of the lot was Sons And Daughters, ‘cos it won the Logie. Racist Irreverent Aussie sitcom Kingswood Country was also smashing the one-liners. Variety was huge too, with Daryl Somers’ Hey Hey It’s Saturday a weekend institution and Don Lane handing the reins over to Bert Newton.

Now, home products Winners And Losers and the ending Packed To The Rafters carry the drama baton, but when the modern day answers to New Faces and perving in your neighbours window (The X Factor, The Voice, The Block, Big Brother, The Biggest Loser and more) aren’t on, CSI and NCIS dominate the schedules.

In ‘83, the best imports were Danger Mouse, Astro Boy and Days Of Our Lives, which ended its 45-year run on Aussie TV in April this year.

London 1983-2013: Comedy on UK TV was a battle between the smarty pants Cambridge Footlights (Fry, Laurie, Atkinson) with Blackadder and The Comic Strip’s alternative types (Edmondson, French, Mayall, Sayle). The precursor to schmaltzy breakfast TV made its first appearance with Breakfast Time and TV-AM, while Brits were captivated by Coronation Street and Sons And Daughters, which leaped over the pond.

These days it’s all about panel shows (8 Out Of 10 Cats), reality shows and, wait for it, Coronation St. The Brits’ inexplicable love of Home And Away and Neighbours (the latter doesn’t even air on a main channel in Oz now) continues too, while Jim Bowen’s dart-based gameshow Bullseye remains the best dart-based game show ever. 


Photos: Getty; AAP; YouTube


1983 - 2013, what's the difference? As TNT turns 30, we look at Aussie and London culture then and now
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