Actor Wayne Jarratt tells: 'My Love for the Prisoners'
TV Week - July 31, 1982
WAYNE JARRAT was intimidated by the Prisoner cast when he signed on with the Ten
Network TV series nearly a year ago.
He had little TV experience, was in awe of his veteran colleagues and was the only man
in the cast. Now, after eight months as cheeky prison officer Steve Fawkner, Jarrat has
developed a remarkable rapport, bordering on love, with his co-stars.
"At first it did worry me being surrounded by these great actresses, and it got to
the stage where I used to take in photographs of myself in plays that Id appeared
in," Jarrat said.
"I found myself telling the actresses what plays Id done and who Id
worked with. But then I woke up to myself."
"The women have been terrific in giving me advice. Val Lehman has been a godsend
because she knows her craft extremely well and gives very good advice."
Initially Jarrat was to be in Prisoner only for six weeks, but the contract was
extended. He said, "That was a bit of a disadvantage because when I started I only
had two paragraphs telling me about my character, and after the initial six weeks I
didnt know what to do with Steve.
"Most actors who come into Prisoner are given thorough backgrounds on their
character, so they know where theyre heading. I came through the back door."
Jarrat now relishes being surrounded by the Prisoner women but there have been
"I hear about so many womens problems all day that some topics of
conversation would make any male blush," he laughed.
"In the beginning I had few minor run-ins with some of the girls, but we sorted
them out very quickly."
"One instance was when one of the ladies was struggling to fill the café bar with
water. I asked her if she needed a help but she said no. So I continued reading my book
until one of the actresses came up and yelled the hell out of me for letting this lady
Jarrat is a third cousin to John Jarrat who won a Logie for his
portrayal of Ned Kelly in the mini-series The Last Outlaw.
"I dont see much of John and weve never worked
together," he said.
"No one of my immediate family acts. My father is a lecturer in
photography for Nikon, my mother is a brilliant housewife and my sister is working for an
import export firm."
Now Jarrat has decided to leave the series. He said: "Ive
never played a character for eight months and I just feel I need some more theatre
With episodes filmed well in advance of screening, his character will be
seen on air until the end of the year.
"I certainly hope this is not the last time I work in TV, and I
dont think its the one opportunity Im throwing away," Jarrat said.