Mike Whitney and Sydney Weekender in Jamberoo

IT was lights-camera-action all round on Tuesday when popular Channel 7 lifestyle show Sydney Weekender visited Jamberoo Valley Farm to film an upcoming episode.

Now in its 20th year, the show hosted by former Test cricketer Mike Whitney, has passed its 850th episode.

During filming at Jamberoo this week Whitney said he never gets tired on working on the show.

“We are immensely proud of what we have achieved with the show and have an enormous following of dedicated viewers who have helped us keep the show’s popularity,” Whitney said.

“With the incredible increase of tourism over the years, there is always somewhere different and interesting to see and do – NSW is such an amazing and diverse state - we tape between 40 and 45 shows a year and every place is different in its own way.”

When asked about how much longer he wants to keep hosting the show, the 55-year-old smiled.

“I have a year to run on my current contract and there’s nothing better than getting out of bed at 6am and looking forward to going to work, so hopefully there might even be a further two years after that which will take me to 58 and maybe even the 1000th show.”

He was typically frank when asked about his starring roles in two other reality shows, Who Dares Wins and as a referee on Gladiator.

“I really enjoyed both, in fact I think Who Dares was probably the first taste of reality show – we were nominated for a Logie and they didn’t even have ‘reality’ category.

“To be honest it was quite scary at times on the show and I really don’t think you would be able to get insurance these days, but it was a lot of fun – except when the contestants wouldn’t do the challenge and either Tania Zaetta, myself or the stuntman would have to do it.”

The episode on Jamberoo Valley Farm will screen on Channel 7 at the regular time of 5.30pm on Saturdays, over the next few weeks.

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