Samuel Johnson stars as Ian "Molly"Meldrum in the highly anticipated miniseries, Molly.

Johnson will play the Australian music icon for Channel 7's new miniseries Molly.

The Secret Life of Us star was hand-picked by Meldrum himself, who championed him through the entire casting process.

'I really cannot think of anyone else who could even try to play me,' Meldrum said.

As well as the trademark cowboy hat and loud '80s fashion, Johnson is doing himself a favour and has watched old Countdown episodes to get Meldrum's mumbling and fumbling down pat.

'To be honest and to put it simply, this is the holy grail, both creatively and personally,' Johnson said.

'He is a character. As an actor this is the best role you could ever hope to find. You spend your whole career dreaming of a role like this. I'm typically terrified but the panic is convincingly overshadowed by my excitement about the opportunity.'

Molly is based on Meldrum's hit book The Never, Um ... Ever Ending Story, released last October, which was written with acclaimed journalist Jeff Jenkins.

Actors will play musicians involved with Meldrum and Countdown including Elton John, Kiss, Madonna, Renee Geyer and John Paul Young and will recrate iconic interviews and episodes from the influential ABC TV show.

The miniseries will also showcase the glamorous parties, international trips, behind the scenes politics, rock star feuds and even Meldrum's hometown of Quambatook in regional Victoria.
Filming started this month and Molly is expected to air later this year.
Meldrum's long-term mate, promoter Michael Gudinski, is acting as executive producer.
While Meldrum is currently on holiday in Thailand, he has no plans to visit the set of Molly.
'I've already lived it once,' Meldrum said.

'Writing the book and then promoting it was bad enough, even I got sick of Molly. The last thing I want to do is hang around the set and watch it all happen again. They'll do a brilliant job, it's a great team working on it. I'm sure Samuel doesn't want me there on set, but I've spoken to him and he can call me any time if he needs me.'

The success of the INXS miniseries has seen Channel 7 explore more stories involving Australian musicians, with Molly's book seen to be a goldmine of music, celebrities and drama.



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