Tony Armstrong

“I think [my] public persona is actually not too different to my private persona,” says Tony Armstrong. “I dunno – I’m pretty excitable. And I tend to be pretty relaxed about most things.” That said, the man adores a Chiko Roll – so much so, he made a TV show about them, and other unique symbols of Australian culture. “Personally, I love that weird shit,” he says. “[It] binds people together through their unique experience to it.”

With his latest series Great Australian Stuff now screening on ABC TV, we spoke to the irrepressible footballer-turned-presenter about gaffes, goals, and why meat pies are important to the national consciousness.

More highlights in our edition:

  • Not just a pixelated plumber, Super Mario is the face of the world’s highest-selling video game franchise. With plunger in hand and stars in our eyes, we trace the ups and downs of the little guy’s inventive, artistic, multiplatform career.
  • With the new Super Mario Bros. Movie now in cinemas, actor Chris Pratt – who lends his pipes to voice the titular handyman – reveals his lifelong love of Nintendo magic.
  • Lifelong gamer Anna Spargo-Ryan fires up the PlayStation and finds paths to adventure in virtual worlds.
  • Y2K survivor Louise Cain recalls the digital haunting of noughties PC game Saddle Club: Willowbrook Stables.
  • In The Big Picture, photographer Franck Bohbot discovers California’s secret network of pinball speakeasies, which double as portals to a more playful past.
  • The fun uncles of Australian comedy, the Aunty Donna blokes toast a cup o’ joe to cafe culture in their new ABC TV show, Aunty Donna’s Coffee Cafe.
  • Indigenous reggae-rockers No Fixed Address discuss their upcoming national tour and imminent authorised biography.
  • Queensland author Kay Kerr reveals why she declined a publisher’s invite to pen a traditional memoir – and, instead, wrote the neuro-affirming non-fiction book Love & Autism.
  • Writer Wilfred Brandt offers a crash course in the life lessons he gleaned while skating grocery store carparks in suburban Ohio.
  • Plus, Skye McAlpine shares with – a pastel-pink sweet treat fit for Princess Peach herself – in Tastes Like Home.

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The Beautiful Game

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Leah Purcell

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