Wanted Down Under Makes a Return to the BBC

made the move to australia

Wanted down under Series 3 from the BBC

Wanted down under has been an extremely successful format for the BBC with Series 3 of Wanted down Under being launched in the UK on Monday the 5th of January.

The idea for the program is a simple one; If the job that you do is on the list of those in short supply in Australia and you are under 45 then the Australian government will help to fast track you through the immigration procedure.

The reality is that unfortunately getting down under is not such a simple process and reading some of the posts made by many of our community members would confirm this.

Just like series 1 and series 2 of Wanted down under, the beeb have chosen to show the program at an unhealthy 9:30am which still surprises me despite it’s popularity! The decision to air the series in early January is probably a good one though as post Christmas glumness and the grim British weather make the prospect of a new life down under an even more attractive one.

I’m expecting good things from the BBC although views on previous series have been mixed.

Some folks have commented that the view the Beeb give of life down under needs to be a more realistic one. One member in a forum commented:

We followed the show last year and recorded each programme and watched them twice. Even had the family watching them. Went out to Oz last year. The houses are fantastic, stunning, better than anything here in UK. But what a load of rubbish the programme was. The price’s were wrong, and they didn’t include in the price the cost of the block of land in the first place.

Also keep an eye out for the other inaccuracies they give. For example, as you know the series concentrates on Skilled Migrants Under 45. Last year they said a new migrant can’t start up their own business, when arriving in Australia and would need to go into paid employment. That’s rubbish. I have 2 friends there one set up his own barbers shop within 2 months of arrival, another one opened a coffee shop within a fortnight. This year they have shown one couple with the main applicant not having worked for 2 years. Does that sound right to you cos it doesn’t t to me. Chase the dream by all means but don’t get carried away with this show or your in for a disappointment.

Others have found Wanted Down Under a really useful intro to life down under. A member of our community commented:

The series is really useful, especially as there was an episode that included Brisbane. It shows you the type of house available, the supermarkets and makes comparisons with education.

I guess the moral of the story is; before you start packing your bags do a little homework.

I can’t stress enough the importance of doing some proper research before hand!

There are some great resources on the web and our articles and community forum are a good place to find help and advice from people currently making the big move down under.

One of the articles from our archives you may find of use for example is: Where do I start? The Visa Wizard is here to help (link opens in a new window). We have hundreds more that you can find by simply browsing around our site.

Back to Wanted Down Under, the first episode   ‘stars’ the Williams Family and the blurb on the BBC’s website describes the first episode as:

The Williams family from Leicester has the chance to sample life in Adelaide for a week, before deciding whether to make the massive step to emigrate.

But when policeman Paul meets the South Australia police, he finds the job prospects don’t really stack up. And when he weighs up whether he could leave his 12-year-old daughter in the UK, the whole family feels the unbearable pain of deciding whether they could leave loved ones behind.

Episode 2 follows Zoe Mehra

Zoe Mehra has been dreaming of a new life down under ever since she went travelling there after university. But she has to persuade husband Peel that their future would be brighter if they emigrated. They spend their trial week in Sydney, where painter-decorator Peel finds there is plenty of well paid work. But will that be enough to tempt him?

And Episode 3 follows the Cookson family trying life in Melbourne for a week.You can see details of more episodes as they are released here. (opens in a new window)

Reading the blurbs, the stories seem pretty full on huh? :)

One final thing from me.

Having made the move down under ourselves, I have to say the stress and effort really IS worth it!

I wrote this post a while back after being here for our first year. Three years on it gets better every day.

Please feel free to post a comment if you’ve seen the latest series of Wanted Down Under below.

To Apply for Series 4 of Wanted Down Under see this post.

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Tuned in for the first time about a week ago. There is one family I can’t stop thinking about, actually it’s the boy and his name is Sam. If I’m correct they were thinking of living in Darwin (Mom was a hairdresser?). Anyhow, I’m just wondering how that little boy is getting on? Did they move to Australia or stay in the UK? My heart just broke for him, he had me in tears while I was watching the show! He missed his mates, aunties and uncles back in the UK so much that he kept holding back tears everytime… Read more »


Why do all these programmes say its a better lifestyle,I for
one would find going to the beach continually very boring,please
remember you still have to work downunder and they have exactly the same problems we have here,please don’t call your counrty down its made you what you are


Hi there absolutley love the series of wanted down under and hate it when i miss an episode.

Can anyone help or send me contact details on how to appear on the show, as me and other half and our little girl are seriously thinking of making the big step to emigrate to oz but we are really struggling on where to start etc etc.

Look forwards to hearing from everyone x


has anyone had any contact from the BBc for any forthcoming programmes?


Hiya we were the Jones family on the first series of WDU and revisited, my husband was the carpet fitter. I have posted on here before, but here’s a bit about how were getting on. We have now been on the Gold Coast since Aug 07 with our 3 children who have all settled really well and have made lots of friends, we as a family do have more quality time together, although things are hard starting up again and finding new friends, we did not think for one minute this was going to be easy as we said on… Read more »


little update

Mother & father in law moved over in Oct 09, so we are very very lucky to have them here with us.

As I have said on another blog, we will be appearing on the 5th Feb 2010 for Wanted Down Under revisited, so hope you all enjoy it and look forward to your comments.

Sarah x

Dave Marshall

When will you be showing follow ups to the series to see who does go and who stays in the UK. Being 60plus and having spent 7 weeks in Perth a few months ago, I understand the desire to move. Results count.

Nigel Jones

Hi can you help?My son Phillip went to AUS fifteen months ago after touring Aus and New Zealand he settled in Perth and found himself a job,after his probation period he was given a permenant position and sponsorship for his visa.Unfortunatly for himand seven others they were made redundant.He nowhas till the middle of May to find a sponsor or he will have to leave Australia .He has really made ago of it down there made good friends and settled into the Aussie way of life,although we all cried when he left i now worrry how he will manage to… Read more »


My Partner and I are 23years old and work full time in our own professions. We both had the desire to move down under, and therefore are very interested in this programme. As we cant watch the episodes the majority of the time due to work commitments we love to watch them when we are off work. The whole principle of allowing people to, not only visit the region where they would like to live, but also to work in the region. This gives the family a real prospective of how life will pan out, and not just get a… Read more »


im starting to feel like i am on a one women mission here, trying to persude you all that some of us on this series did like aus and are planning on moving there if all goes to plan. If anyone thinks that people have gone for a free weeks holiday they should try filming it was exhausting all day evry day. i have now watched my episode three times not because im vain (honest)but because i miss tas. it was really strange as normally i have no sense of direction but i never got lost and instantly new my… Read more »


Hi Cass, I know there’s a slim chance you’ll see this after so long. They repeated your episode of WDU today and I was wondering if you and your family made it to Tas?

Did you ever start a blog? I did look for you on facebook as you suggested but I couldn’t find you unfortunately.

All the best


I’m at present watching the show only because I am off work sick at the moment otherwise I wouldn’t be able to see it due to being at work. I also agree with much of what has been written that it is amazing how many ‘young adults’ or the families back home seem to influence whether the rest of the family emigrate or not. I’m speaking from experience as I was 13 when my family emigrated to Canada in 1982 when interest rates were 18-20 percent! I honestly can’t remember if I was ever given a choice but at the… Read more »


hi from ireland, i have to agree with most of the comments being made about the current series of wdu. if it wasn’t for the fact that i so badly want a glimpse of what life is like in oz i would not watch this series at all. the second family thing really gets to me , i couldn’t imagine even getting to the stage of actually trying out a week in another country knowing i would have to leave a child behind, so why not give that valuable place to another more worthwhile contestant ? i as offered a… Read more »

Oberon Keatley

Hi everyone, We’re actually thinking of moving to the USA, but Aus is on our list as well. I’ve been watching the programme as more of a general overview of moving overseas, and I certainly have a few issues with it! The DVD is just evil. I mean, it’s not going to be a surprise to the families back home that the ‘stars’ are thinking of moving abroad. So the downright emotional blackmail that you get just makes me so mad. It’s obvious Grandma isn’t going to want the kids to move, but they show it to the children and… Read more »

P Sansom

How I agree with the “emotional” blackmail part of the programme – especially where children are concerned. Still it makes for “good” television for some (not me I’m afraid – completely turns me off) Surely if you are thinking of moving so far away and there is not the money for regular visits your first consideration should be “can we leave family/friends behind”. I just cannot see how a week away can help you to form an opinion one way or the other. Surely the purpose of the programme should to look at the practical issues There are many families… Read more »


just watched ‘wanted down under- revisited ‘ and guess what it was from perth.
i was dissapointed in this series as it did feature anyone going to perth, probably too expensive for the BBC.

anyway if it comes back next year hopefully it will feature more of the west side.


Yet again another miserable family from Scotland and a kid who is dictating. I’m turning it off :(


I would just like to say that I have enjoyed watching the two previous series of Wanted Down Under, however, this current series ( 3 ) is so infuriating, the families are on the whole miserable and their children are dreadful, they seem to moan about everything and the families backhome have also become very self centred with their ” we don’t want you to go ” whereas in the past series the families would say that they would also reiterate that they wouldn’t stand in their childrens way if they wanted to go. Please if you bring back a… Read more »


hi Audrey im going to stick up a little for the families involved in the 3rd series of WDU, we were the family who went to tasmania. the whole process is 8 days of filming from early till late so you can imagine the hours of tape they have to edit and make it into the programme that they want so much is left out for eg after watching our family and friends Vid we said that it was nice to know what people said but it didnt affect our decision this of course was left out not emotional enough… Read more »


Hi mel

im glad you liked our programme, we had both done a lot of research before we went as we had planned to do it anyway. We are just in the process of getting altogether the info we need for the trade assessment and if that comes back ok which im sure it will full steam ahead with the visa process and then hopefully Tasmania in about 18months .



Cass, Thanks for replying. Good luck with it all, I hope it goes smoothly. Are you thinking about blogging or writing about your journey and experience, especially once you reach Tasmania? I do a bit of creative writing and would love to read about your experiences on settling in to your new life (possible research). I’d also be interested hearing about your impressions of Tasmania.

All the best, Mel.



i had not thought of doing a blog but maybe i will are you on face book as i have some photos on there and i can fill you in all bout tas


Hi Cass

I watched WDU (recorded) today. I thought you and Matt came across very well. You both seemed enthusiastic but also realistic. It’s my favourite one of the series.

I was excited to see they were doing Tasmania, I’ve day-dreamed about living there for years but unfortunately I wouldn’t qualify for a visa due to health.

What are your plans for the future? Are you definitely moving to Tas?



hi stephen Overall it was a really good experience really worth while doing although it is alot of hard work you are filming everyday 8-5 at least, the only free time i had that week was when mat went to talk about his job. you just have to throw yourself into it and just enjoy the expeience. The bbc decided on the city option for us you are not given the chioce like on previous series, but we always new that the city would be the better job option anyway and being in Tas you can be in the countryside… Read more »

Stephen Kerrigan

Well done Cass, Just watched your WDU and it was good to see that someone genuinely likes it down under, I was beginning to dislike watching it as it always shows grumpy youngsters and members of the family who can’t bear to leave the UK.
Can you let us know how you enjoyed WDU, filming, choice of coast, city, country and the houses you viewed.
We have applied for series 4 so who knows, I will have to practice the crying bit though.boo hoo hoo.


Why has Perth been completely missed out?
Very disappointing!!!


Tell me about the free holiday people! I’m always excited to watch this programme but everytime (bar the odd programme) it annoys me. Me and my partner actually tried to apply for this series to go to New Zealand – but heard nothing back. Having now seen this series we have come to the conclusion that we were not appropriate because we don’t have crying families, we aren’t unrealistic about trying to have a better quality of life AND more money and we have actually done some homework beforehand! The best ones are the families that say they want to… Read more »


there has been too much of sydney so far in thus series, and no perth yet!!
i hope there are some of perth as that is where we would go if we got the chance, also my sister lives there .
the properties they have been to seem to be older ones and in need of renovations.


Well done Cass, Good to see that someone genuinely likes it down under, I was beginning to dislike watching it as it always shows grumpy youngsters and members of the family who can’t bear to leave the UK.
Can you let us know how you enjoyed WDU, filming, choice of coast, city, country and the houses you viewed.
We have applied for series 4 so who knows, I will have to practice the crying bit though.boo hoo hoo.


Well done Cass, it’s good to hear that someone wants to stay! I switch on to watch everyday but usually turn off within 10 minutes when some 11yr old oik says they don’t want to be there or the Dad has another family somewhere in England who they can’t bear to leave. The family who went all the way to New Zealand last week didn’t even know it rained over there!!!Do they not have internet to check the weather over there? Honestly , I was beginning to think they just picked people on the street to offer them a free… Read more »


hi guys

we are on the series of WDU we are on on friday 23rd we visited tasmania and really fell in love with it, we also stayed on for three weekls at a cost to ourselves so we could get a proper feel for the place i hope you will see that we really tried to fit in and make a real effort. As for the family and friends DVD i never really get all the tears hopefully you will see that our family and friends are more encouraging of our plans.


Ps will hope you like our show


I agree with the previous comments. They have Country; Coast and City and the families don’t have the choice, that is done by the programme Producers. The Families have their property budgets but they are not taken to three properties within that budget but at least two that exceed it. The only point being to advertise to those at home what THEY can get for substantially more $A. I think it has been created for showing on channels with the obvious commercial breaks. No doubt the prime advertisers will be Tissue companies? As the DVD from the relatives is made… Read more »

Barry Bishop

Watching the new series of WDU. It seems that the BBC have chosen the majority of families who just wanted an all expenses paid trip down under. The family from Liverpool have so far been the odd one out (they really do want to go) Hope the remainder of the families in the series are more willing to make the move and not just have a free holiday. Surely the BBC can sort out the families who have no worries about leaving the UK (there must be quite a few these days)and leaving the other members of their families behind.… Read more »

Sharon Dale

I totally agree with the last two comments.
We have watched all the series so far and would love to go but we are too old at 46 and 51 (even though I lived there for 7 years).
This series is nowhere as good as the last 2 and the famalies don’t seem to have done any research about house prices, jobs etc.
We would love the chance to go especially with our children being 11 and 13 – a great way of life with all the prospects for the future they could wish for.


re. the new series of wanted down under, i find it a bit disapointing compared to the previous series..

this one seems to be more negative and patronising, especially todays episode with the family who want to open a coffee shop.
did they not realise what is involved in running your own business??

i thought the family from liverpool were the best ones so far, they seem to really want to make the move to oz, so good luck to them.

and finally bring back Nadia, the show is not the same with Nicki Chapman.

john copsey

Just watched & do enjoy wanted down under on the bbc .However i am aware about the load of bull dust & emotional blackmail going on. I have a number of issues with the tv producers fast becoming the most scummy profession in the world cheating lying & worst of all making children cry.A lovely family from Liverpool wanted to try out darwin,and part of the show forces the family to sit in front of a dvd from all there loved ones back home which is very cruel for the children. I have never been to australia but please dont… Read more »


Hi im trying to find out the name of the music that was in todays episode, does anyone know?

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