Melbourne’s 1980s finishing schools for men — where blokes went to try to get a leg up
By Lara Lauth for RetroFocus
The internet has spoken: we must find out what happened to Gavin Pearce.
Young Gavin has had his 15 minutes of fame at least twice over so far, taking centre stage in a 1987 episode of 7.30 about men’s finishing schools, and now, in a Retrofocus revival on YouTube.
“I want to go places and I’m willing to change a little bit,” Gav the plumber said 31 years ago.
He stumped up $400 (just under a grand in today’s money) for a seven-week course in Melbourne to do just that, in the hopes of emulating the success of idols Paul Hogan and Pat Cash.
He got a full head of blonde tips (to the delight of his finishing school teacher), swapped ‘G’day’ for ‘How do you do’, endured a manicure and even took a turn down the catwalk.
By the end of the show he had transitioned from plumbing coveralls and work boots to a sharp suit and aftershave.
“They say you’ve either got it or you haven’t. Gavin Pearce is a young man who really wants it,” the reporter says as the episode starts to roll.
So did this dapper chap get it? We’d love to know.
And judging from the comments on our Facebook post, so would you.
“Look him up ABC dammit … if you please,” Anthony Nolan demanded.