Inspiring a whole generation to explore Australia: Mal Leyland (Part 2)

In the 1970s Mal Leyland and his brother Mike hosted several highly successful TV series, including the iconic Ask the Leyland Brothers, which launched in 1976 and drew a weekly audience of 2.5 million people. The duo inspired a whole generation of Australians to get out and explore their vast country and showed it could even be done in a van with the family.

The brothers became national icons but also experienced the dark side of stardom after they lost everything in a failed attempt to build their own theme park.

As well as losing his fortune, Mal lost his brother, and two years ago, after 50 years of marriage, his beloved wife. Both died. His ‘never quit’ attitude, however, has helped him secure a new gig with Network 10 and he’s working on a new TV show too.

This is part one of our conversation with Mal. Make sure to check out part two.

This Episode of Talking Australia is hosted by Chrissie Goldrick (Editor-in-chief at Australian Geographic) and produced by Ben Kanthak (

You can also follow us on Instagram @australiangeographic