National Living Treasure Ernie Dingo is reprising a role he first played 30 years ago.

Dingo first played the wily Uncle Tadpole in the original 1990 tour of Bran Nue Dae and again in the 2009 film adaptation of the musical.

And the best thing?

“The script hasn’t changed,” Dingo told Botica’s Bunch on Tuesday, agreeing with Lisa that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Thing is, Bran Nue Dae is more WA than WA.

Set in the 1960s, it’s a coming-of-age comedy musical about family, Broome, a road trip… and some of the most feel-good mash-up of music including rock-and-roll, gospel, country and blues.

He put it pretty simply: Bran Nue Dae is the Aboriginal version of the old musicals like South Pacific and Oklahoma.


Dingo stuck around with Botica’s Bunch for a good ol’ yarn about the show, but also how it was he who discovered Aaron Pedersen, the Pigram Brothers ‘jukebox’ and the one person who “works her butt off”, Deborah Mailman.

He also harked back to a time in Aussie TV that “it was just me and Kamahl”.

Hit PLAY to hear the chat!

Missed The Bunch with Clairsy & Lisa? Catch up by clicking play below!