After Tahir’s recent shows in Perth for Fringe Festival, I got to catch up with him briefly to talk about his up-and-coming new series on channel 9 ! HERE COME THE HABIBS
What inspired you to come up with the idea for this show?
I love performing arts and love coming up and creating ideas. So this idea popped into my head about a Lebanese family winning lotto and moving to a wealthy suburb and having an impact on that suburb with their “ethnic” ways. Teaming up with Rob Shehadie and Matt Ryan Garnsey as my co-creators we started working on this project and we were on our way. I am still greatly humbled that an idea in my head can eventually lead to a show on television.
Its been a while since we have seen a ‘wog’ show on a commercial network, do you think we are ready for this one?
I really believe that in this country we are starved of multicultural shows. We are such a diverse nation yet this is not reflected with our television shows. This is the first time a narrative comedy has been commissioned by a commercial network in over 15 years. It is a tough genre but I think we really are ready for a show like “Here Come The Habibs”.
“Here Come The Habibs” might contain a Lebanese family but it will represent all families of different cultures. The show is about neighbourly differences, culture clashes and also making fun of rich white people and their pre-conceived ideas on society.
How much effort goes into making a show like this?
The show took several years to make. We had numerous meetings and even after it was commissioned the writing process took 6 to 8 months alone. People don’t really have an understanding of how long and complicated the whole process is and what is involved.
Was the show really filmed in one of the ‘richest’ suburbs of Sydney?
The show was filmed in the Sydney suburb of Woolwich (right near the water and its also close to where they film The Bachelor and Bachelorette).
Do you think today’s audiences will be able to relate to the characters in the show?
I hope audiences can really relate to all our characters who are funny and down to earth. We all have neighbours and whilst we might not be at war with them … we can still have points of difference. There is a truth to all the characters in this show.
How supportive were Channel 9 ?
Channel 9 should be commended for being brave and taking a chance on this show. This is a local production made in Australia keeping people working in the industry so at the very least I hope Australia can support and celebrate such a show.
It is so easy to buy sit coms from overseas but we should be encouraging more Australian made content !
We look forward to Here Come the Habibs airing on Channel 9, Tuesday 830pm
For more information on the characters etc… click here