Menu
Entertainment

Bundaberg man to have a starring role on History Channel

BUNDABERG's Christopher McRae will play the lead role in a war documentary to be aired on the History Channel internationally, .

Known Unto God , directed by John Schindler, sees 22-year-old McRae play the role of Coogee surf lifesaver turned Z Special unit soldier John Hayes Whitworth, known as Spike, in the 52-minute documentary.

Spike, unknown to all but his immediate military comrades, was a member of the Z Special Unit - the highly secretive forerunners to the Special Air Service (SAS).

Schindler said the elite group conducted dangerous missions in the Pacific deep in enemy territory in the Second World War.

The documentary uncovers the truth about the highly secretive operation and the tragic outcome for Spike whose heroic deeds remained "known unto God" for more than 60 years.

Despite little acting training, Christopher was recruited to the role when Schindler called his father, Michael McRae, a former work colleague and asked if he knew anyone who fit the bill.

"I said to him, I'm looking for a young man, a 20-year-old who looks like the man in our documentary to play the part," Mr Schindler said.

Spike, as he was known by his Coogee Surf Life Saving Club mates, was a 20-year-old tall, bronzed Australian surf lifesaver, the typical Australian male of the 1940s.

"Michael said to me 'Well how about my son Christopher? He's 20 now'," Schindler said.

Schindler said when he found out McRae looked just like Spike and was also a surf lifesaver he knew they'd found their lead.

"That's very important to us. We're documentary makers," Schindler told the NewsMail.

"It all worked perfectly."

Schindler said putting the documentary together was a "labour of love" and said McRae was a delight to work with, even while wearing the replica army attire in 40-degree heat while filming in Toogoom.

"He never complained," he said.

"He was very co-operative, a quiet, nice bloke.

"He did a good job.

"We had technical experts as well showing the boys how to walk as soldiers."

The documentary, which pays tribute to the unsung heroes of the highly secretive Z Special unit, and to fallen Australian surf lifesavers lost in all wars, will be aired on the History Channel on Foxtel.

Topics:  bundaberg history channel local faces television



Burglar wakes Summit couple

COUPLE woken in early hours when they saw a man leave their bedroom.

Car destroyed after it was left on roadside engulfed in fire

CAR FIRE: Firefighters from Sawtell were called to a burning Ford Falcon left on the side of Hulberts Rd, Sawtell on Sunday, February 18, 2018.

WATCH: Firefighters tackle car blaze late last night

Rubbish truck's load catches alight

A J.R. Richards and Sons rubbish truck container caught alight on the Pacific Highway.

Fire in skip bin causes traffic hold ups

Local Partners

Holtznagel: ‘I had to ID Charlotte Dawson’s body’

MODEL Simone Holtznagel described the heartbreaking moment she had to identify the body of Charlotte Dawson and the horrific background to her death.

Elsa Pataky turns snake wrangler

Elsa Pataky isn’t afraid of snakes. Picture: Supplied

Chris Hemsworth’s wife wrangles snake inside Byron Bay home.

Jilted MAFS spouses break silence

MAFS contestants Tracey and Dean break their silence.

Tracey and Ryan break silence after affair is exposed.

Coffs sisters battle it out on My Kitchen Rules

Sisters Georgie, 25, and Alicia, 30 from Coffs Harbour will compete in tonight's episode of My Kitchen Rules

Local sisters bring 'modern take' on Asian cuisine to national TV.

Kate Middleton’s BAFTAs dress slammed

Stars don black in again to show solidarity with the #MeToo and Time's up campaigns...

Date set for Gold Coast Logies

Samuel Johnson with the Best Actor award at the 2018 Logies. Picture: AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy

Nine has finally announced the date for 2018 awards.

Kylie reveals ‘nervous breakdown’ over split

Kylie Minogue and Joshua Sasse split in February last year causing Minogue a ‘nervous breakdown’. Picture: Mark Milan/GC Images

'My physical system was compromised. I think it’s called a nervous breakdown'