‘Have you ever, ever felt like this, When strange things happen, Are you going round the twist?’ You just sang those lyrics, didn’t you? And you’ll probably have them stuck in your head for the rest of the day because if you were an Australian kid in the ’90s, then you watched Round the Twist.
In case you’ve forgotten, let’s rewind for a second to the plot. Based on the short stories by Australian author Paul Jennings, Round the Twist tells the story of widowed father Tony Twist and his three children who live in a lighthouse and encounter a number of peculiar occurrences. Here’s what you need to know about it.
1. The theme song ‘Round the Twist’ was written by Andrew Duffield and sung by Tamsin West, who played the judo fighting, feminist teenager Linda Twist in the show’s first season.
2. After Round the Twist, Tamsin went on to star in Neighbours as Emma Gordon between 1987-1988 and reprised the role in 1991 before giving up acting in 1995.
3. Just like his on-screen sister, the original Pete Twist played by Sam Vandenberg gave up acting in 1995 and formed an ’80’s cover band called 80s Enuff and now plays in the band Doughboy Trio.
4. Did you know that the original Round the Twist website is still functional? Last updated in 2001, the website features flashing text, a number of fonts and speech bubbles, and is packed with cast and episode information.
5. In season two, Joelene Crnogorac took over the role of Linda Twist, and she has since starred in Blue Heelers and Neighbours. She continues to act today.
6. The youngest sibling, Bronson Twist, was first portrayed by Rodney McLennan who supposedly joined the Australian army in 1997.
7. The second actor to star as Bronson Twist was Jeffrey Walker, who turned his attention to directing. His directorial credits include Neighbours, Home and Away, and Modern Family.
8. Exterior shots of the lighthouse were filmed at Split Point Lighthouse, which is located in Airey’s Inlet, on the Great Ocean Road. The lighthouse dates back to 1891, and you can take guided and express tours to the top. There are even specialised Round the Twist tours on the school holidays.
9. Other filming locations include Williamstown Primary School, Point Lonsdale, and Queenscliff.
10. Writer Paul Jennings appeared in season one episode 12 ‘Without My Pants’ as the ghost of Ben Byron – a boy who died trying to save his dog.
11. Every episode in the first two seasons, with the exception of the season two finale ‘Seeing The Light’, were based on short stories by Paul Jennings. The third and fourth seasons had no connection to the work of Jennings, and this led to poor reviews and ultimately the show’s cancellation.