Fenech: Tassie should secede to be its own bogan nation

PAULY Fenech reckons if the swagman of Waltzing Matilda folklore were alive today, then he'd be a bogan.

The star and creator of 7MATE's surprise ratings hit Bogan Hunters reckons bogans are our modern "classic Aussie characters".

"It scares me to think people live in Australia but don't know any bogans," Fenech told The Guide.

"If Banjo Paterson was around today, he'd be talking to Nana Shazza.

"The jolly swagman must have been a bogan. He had a beard, he was stealing sheep and he was pissed. Tell me that's not bogan activity."

In the show, which is equal parts comedy and cultural documentary, the self-proclaimed "boganologist" and his sidekicks travel the country in search of Australia's "greatest" bogan.

The nation-wide search has involved a log of Ugg boots, mullets, burn-outs and alcohol.

"The main bogan quality we discovered is there is no pretence," he said.

"Bogans are happy to be themselves. They're completely comfortable in any situation. They won't fake it for anyone."

The show certainly earns its 9.30pm timeslot thanks to some colourful language, drug use, and a fair few nudie runs.

But Fenech admits a bit of the bogan culture has rubbed off on him. Working-class Australians have been the subject of his previous shows, including Housos, Swift and Shift Couriers and Fat Pizza.

"For nearly 15 years we've been speaking to Aussie battlers, the working class, and to me they're the real Australia," he said.

"I'm becoming more bogan by the minute. I find myself drinking a lot of bourbon on a Saturday night for no reason."

But his hunt for the quintessential bogan hasn't been without its risks and injuries.

"I had another guy set a car on fire a few metres from me," he said.

"You don't want to end up on the bad end of a bogan."

For better or worse, Fenech said Queensland missed out on the biggest bogan state title to Tasmania.

"The grand final (of the show) will be interesting. I say there will be a few more Tasmanians than I'd like to have seen," he said.

"They're in high abundance there. I think Tassie should secede from the rest of Australia and become its own bogan state."

In next week's episode, Pauly and the team meet a crazy Western Australian bogan who lives in a Holden vehicle, and Shazza travels to a chocolate wrestling competition in Ipswich.

Bogan Hunters - 7MATE - Tuesdays at 9.30pm