Lex and Patricia put cheeky spin on surviving the 21st century

STAYING CONNECTED: Lex Marinos and Patricia Amphlett take radio and podcast listeners on a romp through the perils, pitfalls and precious moments of ageing.
STAYING CONNECTED: Lex Marinos and Patricia Amphlett take radio and podcast listeners on a romp through the perils, pitfalls and precious moments of ageing.

As Boomers, how do we reimagine ageing? After all it's a completely different life and world to what our parents knew as they grew older.

How do we survive ageing in a country like Australia? We have technology our parents wouldn't even have read about in science fiction, and we're expected to master it! Think smart phones, QR codes, Google, email, Facetime, Facebook, Twitter, Zoom, smart houses, online banking... the list goes on.

We can live longer (hopefully), but we're expected to know how to manage our finances, what foods to eat or not to eat, how much exercise to do, and how to exercise our brains to stave off dementia... and the advice changes almost daily.

So not only do we have to contend with the challenges of getting older, but we're doing it in a society that sometimes seems to change faster than you can blink.

Two of Australia's most lovable boomer personalities are putting their own sometimes serious, sometimes irreverent, spin on surviving the challenges of the 21st century, with a quirky national radio program and podcast.

Actor and director Lex Marinos and singer Patricia Amphlett, best known as Little Pattie, are presenters of the Baby Boomers Guide to Life in the 21st Century. The show featureshour-long programs that take a lighter look at life, while examining some of the real issues older people face every day. Lex and Patricia aren't afraid to ask the curly questions we all want answers to.

The Senior caught up with the duo on Zoom between recording shows. The pair are close to completing their second series and are already making plans for a third in the new year.

The camaraderie is obvious, as is their enjoyment in making what they to like to call BBG.

A veritable who's who of the boomer generation have graced the show for a nostalgic romp through their lives - think Jean Kittson, Kathy Lette, Andrew Denton, John Bell and John Hewson. So far, the show has explored everything from sex to scams, technology to voluntary assisted dying, grief and bereavement to elder abuse, health to diversity, and spirituality and religion to managing retirement finances.

The show is the brainchild of healthy ageing specialist Jeff Furolo.

"Our mission is to reimagine ageing in Australia," he said. "To do that, we link with exceptionally insightful guests and share the best and latest advice on matters that can deliver tangible results in all areas of our lives.

"Lex and Patricia's spirited, no-nonsense style makes sure the chats with academics and others are relatable to our listeners and there's always a dose of humour in the mix."

Our mission is to reimagine ageing in Australia. To do that, we link with exceptionally insightful guests and share the best and latest advice on matters that can deliver tangible results in all areas of our lives.

Jeff Furolo

Each show is divided into segments. There's an interview with an expert on some aspect of ageing. In Jeff's Cafe, three older Australians have a conversation about how the issues raised in the interview affect them in their daily lives. Nostalgia Town sees Lex and Patricia speaking with a well-known Australian about their life and what led them to where they are today. Rounding out each show is Your Two Cents Worth, which sees a special guest broaching a topic from the tricky world of finance, economic security and planning.

The show's motto Get connected, stay connected is particularly apt with loneliness and isolation being recognised as one of the major factors affecting the health and wellbeing of older people.

"Lex and I are often able to bring out another side to the people we interview," Patricia said." A broader side, dare I say it, a more human side.

"We really enjoy it. It feels good.

"I never cease to be amazed at how much I learn each week and I'm hoping our listeners feel the same way. I feel I can call myself a mature age student because of how much I'm learning.

"Recently we covered quite a trendy subject - scams - and how scams are eating into our lives. Certainly for seniors, they can be quite frightening; and then there was downsizing and grandparenting and even kindness - but most of the older people I've ever met have been kind.

Lex and I are often able to bring out another side to the people we interview," said Patricia." A broader side, dare I say it, a more human side. We really enjoy it. It feels good.

Patricia Amphlett

"Baby Boomers Guide to Life in the 21st Century is proof that we baby boomers are still young at heart, with a determination to live well and stay that way."

Lex said the program was unapologetically dedicated to a specific demographic.

"It's not trying to be all things to all people. It's targeted at our age group and the issues that concern us," he explained.

I feel that every day is a negotiation between the world I grew up in and the world as it is today.

Lex Marinos

"Ours is an audience that feels it's not well served by mainstream media and that social media and major media often just pay lip service to the senior demographic.

"What our two seasons so far have clearly demonstrated is that the baby boomers are a very special demographic. We grew up very privileged, in a way that it's difficult for subsequent generations to believe - and I understand their resentment towards us in a certain sense.

"We grew up in an era that was much less complicated, there was employment, you could buy a house and many of today's generation don't have that.

"I feel that every day is a negotiation between the world I grew up in and the world as it is today.

Ours is an audience that feels it's not well served by mainstream media and that social media and major media often just pay lip service to the senior demographic.

Lex Marinos

"For me, BBG is an opportunity to do a bit of a stocktake on where we are at, and to try and put some order into the rest of my life.

"Doing this show gives me the opportunity to work with Patricia and Jeff, and to meet a wide range of contemporaries, and continue to learn."

Age Discrimination Commissioner Dr Kay Patterson has been a guest on The Baby Boomers Guide to Life in the 21st Century.

Age Discrimination Commissioner Dr Kay Patterson has been a guest on The Baby Boomers Guide to Life in the 21st Century.

Among the guests during the first two series has been singer Marcia Hines, Daddy Cool front man Ross Wilson, economics commentator Ross Gittens, Age Discrimination Commissioner Dr Kay Patterson, Australian playwright David Williamson, Maggie Beer, Bell Shakespeare Theatre founder John Bell and Australian Energy Regulator chairwoman Clare Savage.

The syndicated Baby Boomers Guide to Life in the 21st Century program can be heard on radio stations in NSW, Tasmania, Queensland and Western Australia through the Community Radio Network. In its pilot year, 2019, it won the NSW Ministerial Advisory Council on Ageing Media Award.

The full catalogue of episodes is available for podcast streaming on babyboomersguide.com.au

This story Radio and podcast show targets older Australians first appeared on The Senior.