Delvene Delaney says she was always ‘in on the joke’ as she laments our uptight culture’s move away from a larrikinism that helped define us.
Delvene Delaney says she was always ‘in on the joke’ as she laments our uptight culture’s move away from a larrikinism that helped define us.

‘I never felt exploited’ says Australian 1970s sex symbol

Seventies pin-up Delvene Delaney has lamented the loss of Australian larrikinism, saying she never felt exploited in her work on The Paul Hogan Show.

Reflecting on suggestions traditional larrikin humour was sexist, exploitative and bullying in forthcoming Sky News TV special, The Death of the Aussie Larrikin, the 68-year-old former beauty queen and weather presenter said she was always in on the joke.

Delvene Delaney as a Gold Coast Golden Girl in 1971.
Delvene Delaney as a Gold Coast Golden Girl in 1971.

"I was quite happy to be the resident sex symbol," Delaney said in the special that will air on June 16 at 8pm.

"I enjoyed being sexy … why not? I never ever felt disempowered and on reflection still don't."

Delaney was often portrayed as the ditzy blonde on The Paul Hogan Show and went on to marry Hogan's creative partner, John 'Strop' Cornell.

She subsequently appeared as an actor in television shows including The Young Doctors and The Box. 

"I never ever felt exploited … at least it was honest back in the day … we are a bit afraid to express our real opinions now because everything is so judgmental. Everything is out there on Facebook and people have a go at you and you can't actually say what you feel without fear of being attacked."

Delvene Delaney says she never felt …
Delvene Delaney says she never felt …

Others to appear in the Sky News special hosted by Rowan Dean include Kerri-Anne Kennerley, Vince Sorrenti, Paul Fenech and James Valentine.

A larrikin by definition is "a boisterous, often badly behaved young man" or "a person with apparent disregard for convention".

"The thing about larrikinism was that it was never malicious. It was good natured, and good humoured, and it was a send-up of things, it was meant to make us laugh at ourselves more than at each other," Delaney explained.

 

"Hoges (Paul Hogan) was a larrikin but he was a classy larrikin, and he had a very healthy sense of disregard for people that we probably all had a healthy sense of disregard for, and so I think it was welcomed at the time.

"Australia was emerging as adopting its own identity in politics and advertising … and he just happened to be in the right place at the right time and honest enough to own it.

"We (have) kind of lost that 'take a check on yourself', because we don't want to be disliked. Everybody wants to be liked, it's all about the likes."

Delvene Delaney, now 68, appears on the Sky News special The Death of the Aussie Larrikin.
Delvene Delaney, now 68, appears on the Sky News special The Death of the Aussie Larrikin.

Originally published as 'I never felt exploited': Australian '70s sex symbol

exploited during her time on television.
exploited during her time on television.


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