CDU plays host to Belgian reality TV show 

Tony Jensen inspects Wendy and Maxim's handiwork

Sam Tapp informs Katren and Tom of the task ahead as camera's roll

It’s not every day that you see a Belgian man trying to roll a 500 kilogram hay bale up a hill with his feet log-rolling style while trying to avoid several Brahman bulls.

This was just one of the spectacles on offer at Charles Darwin University’s Katherine Campus last Tuesday, when it became the location for a reality TV show, to be screened on Belgium’s national television network later this year.

The hit series, Wit Down Under (White Down Under) is an elimination program in which Belgian couples face challenges together in the hope of winning a wedding in Australia.

The episode filmed at CDU’s Katherine Campus gave the city contestants a taste of life in a rural setting and called on the University staff to become experts and judges as part of the program.

Beef Cattle lecturer Sam Tapp supervised the hay bale rolling, in which two contestants failed in their task of rolling a 500 kilogram bale for one kilometre up a hill while three Brahman bulls were loose in the laneway with them.

“The bulls were a bit scary for them in the beginning but they soon lost interest in the contestants,” said Brian Heim, the Director of Rural Studies at the Katherine Campus.

Tropical Agriculture lecturer Danie Luttig supervised another couple solving an intellectual puzzle in which they were presented with six sticks and challenged to move them into a particular shape, which they achieved in 12 minutes.

For the third challenge, Horse Production lecturer Tony Jensen introduced one couple to a set of tools completely unfamiliar to them and asked them to create an exact replica of a section of fence.

The failed task proved to be a source of great amusement for the experienced CDU students, who looked on, keen but unable to assist the struggling contestants.

“They definitely thought it was hard work and were glad they didn’t have to do it everyday,” Dr Heim said.

Dr Heim said being involved in the program was an excellent opportunity to gain international exposure for the University as the episode would include background about the training on offer at the campus.