TV Week: “Peter sails through life” Water Rats 7th June 1997

PETER BENSLEY has a cat named Sinbad, but this feline is definitely a landlubber unlike its master.

Peter, who stars as Chief Insp. Jeff Hawker in the Nine Network’s Water Rats, Is an old salt whose preferred mode of transport is the 7m yacht Shalay. which bobs on a mooring outside his Sydney Harbourside home.

“I bought it a couple of years ago.” he savs. “I go whizzing around the harbour in her and down to the fish markets.

“I’ve always loved the water I grew up in the middle of New South Wales where there was no water so my dad built me a canoe and I used to go to the local dam and go for a bit of a row.

Then moved to Sydney and lived for a while on Scotland island and bought a yacht with some friends. We sailed up to the Great Barrier Reef which was fantastic.

“Coming back to inner Sydney, I’ve bought this little yacht, and it’s the most wonderful way to see the harbour. It’s cheap, makes you feel relaxed and it’s a fabulous thing to do.”

Much to Peter’s chagrin, he can’t sail to work on Goat Island where Water Rats is filmed, because the producers have a pick-up service.

Water Rats, this year’s TV WEEK Logie Award winner for Most Outstanding Achievement In Drama, has rejuvenated the career of this 42-year-old, who was one of the stars of The Young Doctors in the early Eighties and has worked solidly ever since.

“Its been kind of interesting, rediscovering things. I’ve been doing quite well over the years, though Water Rats, I would say, has made me more high profile because its a prime-time television slot rather than children’s television, which I (also) love doing.

“In The Young Doctors, I was just a member of the cast the same as an now, but I’ve kept working.

I’ve never done anything else, and I don’t know anything else I could do.

“The wonderful thing about Water Rats is, because I’m the boss of the station I’m not there all the time, and I don’t do a lot of the location stuff. This enables me to continue writing my novel, which I’m really enjoying.”

Story: Di Stanley

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