Australia’s most senior public servant is to quit his post immediately to take up a career in acting.
The Bug understands Philip Gaetjens, secretary to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, will take up a starring role in a new ABC television mini-series, Yes Australian Prime Minister.
Although Mr Gaetjens will play himself in the six-part series, his character clearly pays homage to Sir Humphrey Appleby, played brilliantly by the late Nigel Hawthorne in the original British series 34 years ago.
And Mr Gaetjens can thank his stunning career change to Brisbane musician and playwright Vince Agorol (right).
“I’ve been at a bit of a loose end waiting for the final go-ahead for my rock musical based on Brisbane’s notorious ‘poo jogger’ who terrorised inner-southern suburbs by defecating on driveways until being caught in 2018,” Vince explained.
“So, just biding my time, I took in this past week’s Senate hearings in Canberra on Wednesday where Mr Gaetjens defended his investigations into the so-called Sports Rorts affair.
“I mean, deadset, the bloke’s a natural. As was the other senior public servant sheila who also gave evidence.
“I practically fell off my Jason recliner listening to them stumble on and prevaricate about what they knew of the scheme and whether any caretaker conventions were breached and why only poor old Bridget McKenzie ended up being the sacrificial lamb.
“When Mr Gaetgens insisted the scope of the investigation was only to check if Senator McKenzie breached ministerial standards, I deadset pissed my pants.
“And when he said the only thing he found was that Bridget had failed to disclose a gun club membership, I shat my pants as well. Again.
“It was all brilliant stuff so I opened up a new bottle of McWilliams cream sherry and spent all night penning a television six-parter, a genre I’ve never tried before.
“I then sent it on Friday morning to a mate in ABC creative.”
The Bug understands the ABC saw comedy gold in the project immediately and within an hour had contacted Mr Gaetjens with the offer of the series role.
The Bug also understands the ABC has already approached John Howard to play the prime minister in the series.
That’s the former prime minister, not the actor.