Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery

Julia bounced onto the stage and captured the hearts of the tittering tent full of festival attendees with one smile. I was on the very outskirts of an overflowing tent at Byron Bay Bluesfest this year, where she hosted a live version of the cult classic RocKwiz with her trademark overabundance of quick wit, accents and audience participation based humour.

Julia Zemiro brings that exuberance and authenticity to her new somewhat self-titled ABC show Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery. The ABC has funded Zemiro to play private tour guide alongside a comedian as they visit said comedian’s home town. Why comedians? Julia shared with ABC News Breakfast that comedians just made sense… they have already mined their childhood for their own shows and are great storytellers.

The first great storyteller to be mined is Alan Brough, of Spicks and Specks fame.

Alan as a nun with guns...

Alan clearly had a normal Catholic upbringing


Julia takes the drivers seat, literally driving Alan to his childhood home in Hawera, New Zealand, where he recalls being a looker, toasting crumpets on the open fire and deep philosophy.

I am also arrested, as Alan is at the moment, by the idea that we want everything about ourselves to be important and yet, in reality, things move on. We grow past the things we thought were important.

Weirdly, I also relate to Alan’s top button situation… I also did up my top button because it wasn’t what was done. (If you don’t understand, why not watch the first episode on ABC iView?)


Zemiro demonstrates beautiful active listening. She re-interprets Alan’s comments and relays them back to him (and us), providing a depth of personal clarity.

The cinematography is naturally unsteady, like the hand of reality is guiding the camera through this intimate documentary. I get the complete sense I am following these two around, like a fan girl, listening into their actual conversation. I appreciate the immediacy of the conversation; the honesty of the memories.

Alan asks an interesting question, which I’d love to discuss with Hugh later: Do we set archetypal friends in our teens?

I feel the show ends abruptly, as though setting a time limit on recapturing youth is a safety measure put in place by the producers (including Zemiro herself) to prevent drifting into the melodramatic template of “This Is Your Life”.

I find myself wanting to know more and yet at the same time being completely satisfied with the introspective reflection that is Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery.

If you haven’t watched the first episode yet, I’d recommend it with a cup of tea and a wash of memories.

1 comment

  1. Wow, how is it that I didn’t even know this new series was airing? It sounds fascinating, like anything Julia puts her name to I suppose.

    And by archetypal, do you mean that we set ourselves a mould for the type of people we get on well with? God I hope not! Adolescence is a period of trial and error – we still have a fairly immature understanding of ourselves, the world and other people. We make a few good friends and a lot of shitty ones, because those mistakes teach us about adult constructs such as empathy, compromise and betrayal.

    I think most of us could count on one hand the amount of high school friends with whom we are still in regular contact, and that’s simply because we’re not the same people as adults that we were as children.

    Also, I feel an unusual urge to write a story about desperado nuns who fight organised crime.

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