Radio and TV star Gus Worland.
Radio and TV star Gus Worland.

Me, Hugh Jackman and Lionel Richie

GUS Worland has had some memorable journeys during his time as a television presenter and radio host.

There was the mad dash through the Delhi traffic in a tuk-tuk - his driver chose the wrong side of the road because it was quicker.

Then there were the motorbike rides through the Caribbean, avoiding slow-moving drivers who'd had too much of the "whacky baccy" and the two-day jaunt over the Nullarbor in a Winnebago with several inebriated members of the Barmy Army.

But the trip he remembers best was his first solo drive as a P-plater. After failing with his first three attempts at getting his learner permit, Worland managed to ace his driving test first time and his mum handed him the keys to her Honda Civic Shuttle wagon.

"I drove back to school because the test was in the middle of the day. Of course there were no mobile phones back then so I had to wait to see my mates face-to-face. I told them that I'd passed and don't worry about getting on the train because I'd drop everyone home," he said.

One of his first passengers that day was Hugh Jackman, a lifelong mate from school.

"I think he was in the back. He was down the pecking order with my mates. He was probably shoved in the boot, or the hatch," he says.

It wasn't until he'd dropped off his carload of mates that he really cut loose, though.

"I remember when I was learning I never wanted to put the music on because I didn't want to be distracted but I thought, 'Nup. I can do this now, I've got my Ps', so I turned the music on and I remember listening to Lionel Richie's All Night Long. It was the best feeling in the whole world," he says.

A couple of years later his dad bought him his first car, a ragtop Suzuki Sierra that became his accommodation on a "coming of age" trip to Brisbane with Jackman.

First car: Suzuki Sierra
First car: Suzuki Sierra

"We ended up having to sleep in it because we lost money at the casino and we didn't want to use up the rest of our money for food and drink on accommodation so we found beaches and just slept in the car," he says.

It was a thrill getting his first company car, a Toyota Corolla Seca. "I wasn't very high up the pecking order at work so I was happy to get anything and I remember getting a petrol card and thinking that was so awesome," he says.

Company car: Toyota Corolla Seca
Company car: Toyota Corolla Seca

His next experience with the company car wasn't that awesome. He graduated to a brand new Mitsubishi Lancer wagon but disaster struck soon after he picked it up.

"I crashed it at the 27-kilometre mark. I had to ring the boss on the mobile, which was one of the old ones - phonebook-sized - and I just remember how kind he was. He said, 'As long as you're OK, all will be fine, the car's insured.' He even gave me the rest of the day off," he says.

There was another silver lining. "It was a write-off so I got two new cars in three weeks," he says.

After years of driving, he didn't buy his first car until recently, when he splashed out on a new Land Rover Discovery. "The Discovery was very much an emotional decision because I wanted to treat myself. I didn't need it but I thought, 'Bugger it, I'm going to go for it.' "

Dream car: Range Rover Vogue
Dream car: Range Rover Vogue


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