Warren Brown interview: ‘Luther’ star chats filming ‘Ten Pound Poms’ in Australia

Warren Brown is back on our screens in Ten Pound Poms!

BBC One’s new six-part drama follows a group of Brits as they depart post-war Britain in 1956 for a life-altering adventure on the other side of the world.

Best known for his roles in Luther and Strike Back, the English actor is currently starring in Ten Pound Poms as Terry.

Watch the trailer here:

“For only a tenner, they have been promised a better house, better job prospects and a better quality of life by the sea in sun-soaked Australia,” the official synopsis reads.

“But life down under isn’t exactly the idyllic dream the new arrivals have been promised. Struggling with their new identity as immigrants, we follow their triumphs and pitfalls as they adapt to a new life in a new country, far from Britain and familiarity.”

Ten Pound Poms is airing on Sunday nights on BBC One in the UK, and all six episodes are streaming on BBC iPlayer.

Over in Australia, the series is available on Stan as an Original Series.

Warren Brown started out in Hollyoaks and Shameless, before finding fame as the ill-fated DS Justin Ripley in hit BBC crime drama Luther.

Recent roles have included Trigger Point, The Responder, Doctor Who, and Liar.

Here the 45-year-old TV star chats about his latest role in Ten Pound Poms:


Who do you play and what sort of a person is he?

“We meet Terry and his family in Manchester in 1956, more than a decade after the end of World War II. We learn that Terry is still suffering, badly affected by those experiences and using alcohol to numb the pain.

“This has led to a tumultuous home life. When Annie sees an advert for the Assisted Migration scheme they decide to move to Australia in the hope of a better life.

“You know, affordable housing, great job opportunities and a more optimistic way of life. But the reality is that when they arrive there they found themselves living in hostels and the job opportunities weren’t necessarily what they’d been led to believe.

“One of the brilliant things about playing this character is that Terry goes on such a rollercoaster of emotions, from start to finish. I got to go on a journey too, working with all these different actors in a different country.”


What do you think it was like for them to arrive on the other side of the world?

“It must have been a massive culture shock for the real Ten Pound Poms.

“I think we take for granted how easy it is to travel from one side of the world to the other nowadays, but these people were on a ship for more than six weeks with no outside contact, no social media, no instant means of communication.

“I mean, I was on the phone to family and friends every day when I was out there.”


What drew you to the scripts?

“I didn’t know much about the Ten Pound Poms scheme. Danny Brocklehurst’s scripts were brilliant and the character was really interesting. It’s heart-breaking to see what Terry is going through and how determined he is to get away from his troubles.

“But the reality is that they’re not made to feel welcome because they’re immigrants out in Australia. Terry does manage to get a job to try and provide for his family, ultimately to get their own house, but that isn’t plain sailing either.”


What were the challenges of filming?

“Some of the most challenging scenes were ones we shot in a place called Carcoar in New South Wales which is about three and a half hours outside Sydney, over the Blue Mountains.

“This is where you get to see Terry’s struggles, his efforts to fit in with the workforce around him. The Roberts family have come to Australia in the heat of the summer, it’s baking hot – but it was actually p*****g it down.

“I mean there was snow on a couple of the days that we were filming. I was wearing very little in freezing temperatures and it was pretty hard.

“But you know, going to locations like that and getting the work done is only possible because absolutely everyone, cast and crew alike, are working in pretty challenging conditions but still no one complained – well, I probably complained quite a bit – everyone pulled together.

“So it’s been one of the hardest jobs, but also one of the most rewarding and enjoyable, to be on the other side of the world doing the job that you love, it’s all about the experience, the people you meet and the connections that you make and we’re all in this weird and wonderful circus, so many people away from home.”


You discovered you had a personal story relating to the real Ten Pound Poms?

“It transpired that I have a family link to the real Ten Pound Poms.

“Back in the sixties my mother’s family were living in Manchester and were all set to move out to Australia; they’d packed up and sold everything, but at the very last minute my grandmother panicked and bottled out.

“So it could have been a very different story if they had gone through with that.”


What do you think audiences will learn from the series?

“The Ten Pound Poms scheme is a big part of British and Australian history that a lot of people haven’t heard about, certainly not the younger generation, and the series is a kind of fictional retelling shedding a light on what would have been some of those people’s stories.

“It’s been a privilege and a joy to work with everyone out in Australia – it’s a wonderful place.”


Ten Pound Poms: A Life History of British Post-war Emigration to Australia is available on Amazon.