One local cattleman from the back country of Queensland, who has a vague history of playing a relatively high standard of rugby league, is today reminiscing on a possibly exaggerated stint in the big smoke as a young fella.

Noel Ingham (53) says you’d be surprised how bloody accurate the new ABC program Les Norton is, at least for him anyway.

“Mate, it was exactly like that when I was living down there” says Noel.

“We used to be the only blokes wearing RMs at the pub”

“The sheilas used to love the country boys”

Based on the famous Robert G. Barrett novels, Les Norton tells the story of country bloke from outback Queensland who blows into Sydney on the run from a troubled past after leaving a rival footballer ‘proper fucked’. He lands a job as a bouncer at an illegal casino and finds himself dragged into a web of underground criminality and first grade footy of 1980s Sydney.

While Noel Ingham never played first grade, and never worked in the cross, and has a pretty luckless love life until he met his wife of thirty years, and has never been in a blue off the footy field – he says this long-awaited TV show is exactly what it was like for him during his brief stint living in the city.

However, this is not an isolated incident. A recent report by the National Party has found that one in three blokes west of Toowoomba reckon they were a bit of a Les in their day, particularly red nuts.

These particular coulda-beens love telling stories about drinking piss for three days straight at an early opener. Several high-profile coulda-been-Les’s include former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and former pop star Normie Rowe.

With each episode exploring yet another nostalgic adventure of pre-ICAC Sydney, it is expected that Noel’s tall yarns are going to get even taller.

At time of press, he was reportedly telling some of the new ringers that he nearly got a start as an extra in Crocodile Dundee II, but had to turn it down because his old man needed him at home during the drought.


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