ABC telemovie, Cliffy, set to begin production in April

23 January, 2012 by Fay Al Janabi

The Victorian farmer who became famous after breaking world records in the 1983 Sydney to Melbourne marathon, Cliff Young, will be immortalised in an ABC TV telemovie.

Set against the backdrop of the early eighties, Cliffy will retrace Young’s journey from his days training in cow paddocks on his farm, to the epic six-day marathon run he won at 61-years of age. Cliffy has been picked up by ABC1, with filming due to start in mid-April across Albury-Wodonga and regional Victoria.


The telemovie was written by Robert B. Taylor (Muggers) and will be produced by Clock End Films. Dean Murphy (Charlie & Boots, Strange Bedfellows) will be directing the telemovie with Nigel Odell (Strange Bedfellows, Long Weekend) as producer.

Carole Sklan, ABC TV’s head of fiction said in a statement: “Few stories capture the public imagination like that of Cliff Young. Nearly 30 years after famously shuffling from Sydney to Melbourne and into Australian folklore, Cliffy continues to fascinate and inspire. We are delighted to be partnering with such an accomplished creative team to bring this iconic tale to ABC TV.”

It was his age and lack of formal training that made Young’s unexpected win so memorable. Young’s slow, casual running style initially left him lagging behind the experienced runners, however he was able to catch up and overtake them by continuing to run throughout the night while they slept.

Producer Nigel Odell said, “Dean and I are thrilled to be working with ABC TV to bring to life the story of this Aussie legend… He embodies everything we value in Australia and it’s fantastic that ABC TV is giving Australian audiences another chance to celebrate this amazing man and his incredible achievements.”