|Race Around the World|
|Created by||Michael Rubbo|
|Directed by||John Lander|
|Presented by||Richard Fidler|
|Country of origin||Australia|
|No. of series||2|
|No. of episodes||21|
|Executive producers||David Leonard (series 1)|
David Jowsey (series 2)
|Producers||Paige Livingston (series 1)|
Deborah Boerne (series 2)
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Production company||ABC TV|
|Budget||$1,217,837 (series 1)|
|Original release||2 June 1997 –|
26 October 1998
|Race Around the Corner (1998)|
Race Around Oz (2000)
Race Around the World was an Australian travel documentary and competition series produced by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in 1997 and 1998. The series was brought to the ABC by filmmaker Michael Rubbo, and was based on the Canadian television series Course destination monde (1988–1999).
Both seasons were hosted by Richard Fidler, a former member of the Doug Anthony All Stars comedy group.
For each series, eight "racers" were selected from video auditions from the Australian general public. The only stipulation for the video auditions was a lead in of ten seconds of black. John Safran submitted his audition with ten seconds of yellow. The successful applicants undertook a brief course in documentary film-making, before deciding on an itinerary for their journey around the world. They were then given a digital video camera, and sent to their first destination.
Over the next 100 days, the racers were required to devise, arrange and film a series of ten four-minute documentary films, as well as a stand-by documentary and five "postcards". This gave them ten days to travel to their next destination, film the video, and send it back to the ABC in Sydney with detailed editing instructions.
The series was broadcast as a weekly half-hour program, with four films shown per episode. Each film was then judged by a panel of three media and film experts including David Caesar, Sarah Macdonald, Tony Squires and Sigrid Thornton, as well as being put to a popular viewer vote. Points were deducted for late submissions.
Olivia Rousset was the winner of the first series.
Tony Wilson was the winner of the second series.
Although receiving fairly high ratings for its timeslot, Race Around the World was a considerable logistical and financial drain on the publicly funded ABC. In 2000, the series, now entitled Race Around Oz, was restricted to the Australian continent because it was the Olympic year and the producers wished to focus on Australia.
A youth-oriented program titled Race Around the Corner was produced by ABC Children's Unit with students (14–16 years of age) making low-budget local productions in the same style as Race Around the World.
Host Richard Fidler undertook a few more television hosting gigs, including the short-lived ABC art and culture chat program Vulture. He then became a radio presenter and host of the popular Conversations radio show and podcast.
Most of the racers from the series went on to pursue careers in media and film-making: