Kirk Docker is one of Australia’s finest interviewers and storytellers. He is the co-creator and director of the ABC program You Can’t Ask That, now in its 7th season. The show has been awarded Rose d’Or, AACTA and Walkley awards and is the most successful format in ABC history, selling to 32 territories, and broadcast in 9 different languages world wide. When it comes to the content he creates, no subject is off-topic. Kirk’s interviewees range from ex-politicians to ice users to sexual assault survivors. He has a deep curiosity, compassion and playfulness that elicits honesty from his participants, many of whom have never sat in front of a camera before. Through thousands of hours of open dialogue, what’s become absolutely clear to Kirk is that every human, no matter what they believe or how high their stature, share a core value: the desire to be understood.
STORYFEST — Coming 15-18 June I will be moderating a couple of sessions at StoryFest 2023, the writers festival in Ulladulla, on the south coast of NSW. Should be fantastic.
The first session is called You Must Ask That, featuring Zaheda Ghani, Kirli Saunders and Michael Mohammed. This session will explore the importance of giving voice to stories that need to be told. Right up my alley. Tix and info here.
The second is called Only In Australia, featuring Michael Winkler, Chris Hammer and Holly Wainright. The session delves into the world of character and caricature in our nation’s storytelling. Again, an area I’m fascinated by. Tix and info here.
Tix and more info here
TEDx — Speaking at TEDx PERTH was a rewarding challenge. My talk — You can’t ask that! How a question can lead to deeper interaction — will be available to watch in approx 6 weeks. Stay tuned.
PODCAST — I spoke to Andrew Horsfield on his podcast The Messy Middle about the interview process and other stuff. Includes many references to fetish (don’t know what I was on that day).
TEDx — Yep, I’m one of those guys now. I will be speaking at TEDx PERTH on April 1 2023, not a joke. Click here for more details.
BEST IVs OF 2022 — My yearly attempt at compiling the best of the craft in 2022.
YOU CAN'T ASK THAT
For the last 7 years I’ve been making a show for ABC called You Can’t Ask That. There are 65 episodes over 7 seasons of the show. It is the most successful format in ABC history, with 35 seasons around the world in 9 languages.
For those that don’t know the show I’d describe it as an interview show, where each episode we focus on a misunderstood or marginalised group of Australians – it could be Muslims or people living with Schizophrenia or Bogans. All our participants live with a label. What we’re trying to do is go past this label and understand who they truly are. We do that by asking the questions you shouldn’t ask. Maybe you’d like to, but the questions are too rude or too insensitive or maybe you don’t have access to that person to ask it. Each person then gets to answer these questions however they like. The show only features people with first hand experience, so no experts or family speaking on anyone else’s behalf. Just a group of people with a label, talking about what it’s like to be them.