Thomas Kunkel from Yeppoon.
Thomas Kunkel from Yeppoon.

‘Best feeling I’ve ever had’: CQ tradie a national TV star

Central Queenslanders might have noticed a familiar face on TV recently.

Born and raised in Yeppoon, Thomas Kunkel is a finalist on Channel 7’s Holey Moley program, a mini-golf crossed with an obstacle course competition.

“I was sitting at home and I’ve seen an ad come on TV,” he said.

“I was just watching it with my family and they all saw it and thought it was a good idea for me to apply, so I said, ‘Righto’.”

After sending in a video application, Mr Kunkel found himself in Brisbane alongside his competition and in front of the cameras.

“Honestly for me, growing up in Yeppoon you’re not used to anything like that,” he said.

“It took probably two days from when I got there for it to all sink in and for me to go, ‘I’m going to be on TV’.”

The experience, he said, was one of the best he’d ever had.

Nicknamed ‘Yeppoon Mudflap’ on the show, Mr Kunkel’s approach was to “grab the bull by the horns and get ready to give it a red hot rip”.

“Honestly, I would not take it back for the world,” he said.

“Going down there, doing that, competing there, putting my body on the line on a few of them things there, trying to go full tilt.”

With filming of the show wrapped up, Mr Kunkel is back to his construction job, but he is already being recognised around town.

“I’ve never really had that feeling where I’ve had a whole town getting behind me,” he said.

“I walk into a shop and I get asked by people, ‘Are you that guy from Holey Moley?’ and it just instantly puts a cracking smile on your face.”

“I’ve seen probably four or five posts on Facebook, people I didn’t know, saying, ‘How good’s this bloke from Yeppoon?’

“To see the comments on there was probably the best feeling I’ve ever had in my life.”



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