Perth producer making it big with My Life Is Murder

Claire Tonkin has created her own show My Life Is Murder which airs on July 17.
Claire Tonkin has created her own show My Life Is Murder which airs on July 17.

FROM the suburb of Kingsley to Ramsay Street, Claire Tonkin is making it big in the Australian television industry.

As a teen, Tonkin attended Greenwood College until she fell ill and had to complete her last couple of years of school via distance education.

“During this time I watched a lot of TV drama because I was so sick and I couldn’t do anything else,” she said.

This led to her studying media at ECU, where she discovered screenwriting.

She then secured a job with Channel 7 working on All Saints before moving to Ten, where she spent a decade as the network’s drama executive working on scripted shows such as Offspring, The Wrong Girl and Puberty Blues and becoming the executive producer for Neighbours.

In 2017, she became the head of drama at CJZ, which makes Bondi Rescue and Gruen, and has now created her own show, My Life Is Murder.

My Life Is Murder for Lucy Lawless in Melbourne

She said the 10-episode drama series came out of a discussion about “how to make a mystery show with an irreverent lead character who breaks the rules in a cheeky way”.

“What if it wasn’t about gore and bodies on slabs but the people involved,” she said.

“Could we make a show that takes the crimes seriously but not itself?

“Channel 10 was excited and very supportive and wanted to know who our dream cast would be and I said we needed ‘someone like Lucy Lawless’.

“Lucky for me she was in Australia for the Mardi Gras that week and agreed to have lunch with me in the one hour she had free.

“We talked for two hours and she agreed to come on board and in less than a year we’d made the show.”

As the show’s executive producer, producer, writer and even an extra in the first episode, Tonkin said she was excited to share what she had been up to when My Life Is Murder airs on July 17.

“It was one of those really collaborative shows where the cast and crew loved working with each other so I’m hoping the audience will respond to the warmth and heart that gave the series,” she said.

“And I was in Melbourne for six months working crazy long hours so my family will get to see what I was up to.”

My Life Is Murder premieres next Wednesday July 17 on Channel 10.