David McWilliams: global production

With his easily accessible economics he made a fortune telling us about DIY Declan, GI Jane and Breakfast Roll Man. But now Ireland's best-known economist David McWilliams has had enough of the pope's children and gone down under to shoot a TV series for ABC TV Australia.

Addicted to Money began shooting in the US last week and according to McWilliams. "It's the flipside of The Pope's Children, which was optimistic and upbeat. This will be about the global crash. How it's going to affect the world and particularly the Aussies."

In a truly global production, McWilliams (43) will travel four continents to film the new series and speak to political heavyweights such as former Australian PM Paul Keating and Robert Reich, Bill Clinton's former secretary of labour and now Barack Obama's economic guru.

However, asked if Taoiseach Brian Cowen would be included in the interviews, McWilliams was scathing.

"Brian Cowen? Are you joking? You must realise that the top brass in Fianna Fáil knows nothing. There's no point in interviewing them. They know less than your average bus driver. Fianna Fáil is a family business: Cowen and Lenihan, their dads were politicians.

"Fianna Fáil created this mess because they decided to gamble this generation's prosperity on their friends in the construction industry.

"It's that simple and no amount of spin or massaging is going to change that. Who was the minister of finance who had the responsibility for our financial sector? Brian Cowen."

McWilliams plans to talk to workers made redundant from SR Technics and Waterford Glass when the filming comes to Ireland.

"This is a recession for real people, not politicians, and I want to talk to real people about how they're going to get themselves out of this."

Although RTé has contributed funding to the series along with the BBC and CBC Canada and will broadcast it later this year, the former investment banker admits he signed up to make the series with Australian TV because there was nothing being made in Ireland.

"There is only so much happening at home. You work where you get the work and if the Aussies are prepared to employ you, you take it," he added.

Taking a break from filming, McWilliams returns to Ireland on 18 March to host the live discussion event Leviathan: Political Cabaret, with a panel including Labour leader Eamon Gilmore, in the Button Factory, Temple Bar, Dublin.