Ray Martin: The Last Goodbye to be produced by BBC for SBS

Martin will plan his own funeral, uncovering how Australia is choosing to say goodbye to its dead.

BBC Studios’ Australian production arm is to produce the new series Ray Martin: The Last Goodbye for SBS.

In the three-part series, set to be broadcast on SBS next year, acclaimed journalist Martin plans his own funeral, uncovering how Australia is choosing to say goodbye to its dead. Ray will discover the trends, cultural rituals, methods and emerging tech around the way we lay ourselves and our loved ones to rest.

A spokesperson for the production described it as a ‘poignant, revealing and, at times, humorous quest that will see Ray challenge his own expectations while going down the rabbit hole into some unusual emerging practices such as cryonics, upright burial and body composting’.

This is the second original series from BBC Studios Productions Australia for SBS following The Matchmakers, which will also air in 2024.

Kylie Washington, General Manager and Creative Director of BBC Studios Productions Australia said: ‘This is a fascinating exploration of Australians’ relationship with death – there are so many different ways that we choose to farewell life, from the deeply spiritual to the wholly pragmatic and this series gives an insight into what draws people to those choices.’

The Last Goodbye is the latest in agrowing line-up of shows from BBC Studios Productions Australia. Recent commissions include Top Gear Australia for Paramount+, another series of Dancing With the Stars – hosted by Chris Brown alongside Sonia Kruger – and a second series of hit quiz show The 1% Club for the Seven Network and The Office Australia co-produced with Bunya Entertainment for Prime Video.

Paul Dalgarno is author of the novels A Country of Eternal Light (2023) and Poly (2020); the memoir And You May Find Yourself (2015); and the creative non-fiction book Prudish Nation (2023). He was formerly Deputy Editor of The Conversation and joined ScreenHub as Managing Editor in 2022. X: @pauldalgarno. Insta: @dalgarnowrites