A screen test from Colombia

2CC breakfast radio host MARK PARTON can feel a career in reality television coming on…

KEEP an eye on the TV screen because I am set to make my television debut any day now.

I’ve been in electronic media nearly 30 years and never dabbled in television. With a head like mine, I guess that’s understandable, but things are about to change.

It’s not a TV journalism role or presenting a live program. No, I’ve decided to launch into reality TV.

Is it “Master Chef”? No. “Dancing With The Stars”? Nuh. I’m thinking my national television debut will come via Seven’s “Border Security”. That’s the plan, anyway.

As you read this, I’ve departed Australia for my first time overseas. I wanted to go somewhere where I can test my new-found Spanish skills and what better place than Latin America.

I’ve been messing around learning Spanish now for about five months through podcasts, online interaction and just bumbling my way through.

I landed in Buenos Aires without even a “Spanish for Dummies” phrase book. The 17-hour flight gave me a great chance to review my “els” and “las” and my “holas” and “mucho gustos”.

After a night in Argentina, I headed up to Colombia to stay with friends in Bogota. Did you know Bogota, which is a city of eight million, is 2600 metres above sea level? That’s half a kilometre further into the sky than Mt Kosciouszko.

I’ve been looking forward to this trip for a while. That anticipation took a bit of a dent when I discovered how many vaccinations I had to have: Nine needles in total!

I’ll be back mid-June and there awaits my TV debut: “44-year-old man. Virgin passport. First trip overseas, stayed with friends… in Colombia”.  How many red flags for Customs there? If I don’t end up on “Border Security” they’re just not doing their job. See you on the telly soon.

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Mark Parton
Canberra Liberal MLA and former breakfast announcer on 2CC.

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