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Cameron Daddo’s faith in humanity was put to the test filming Filthy Rich & Homeless

'I was often awake and in fight-or-flight mode'

For Cameron Daddo to lose his cool takes a lot. The 53-year-old actor and broadcaster is usually a quiet man; someone likely to find the best in any situation.
SBS docu-series Filthy Rich & Homeless, however, pushed him over the edge. Suddenly, he was confronted with a side to society he'd previously been protected from.
Cameron is one of the five high-profile Australians who gave up their privileged lifestyles to spend 10 days on the streets of Sydney, living as one of the city's hundreds of homeless people.
As he sifted through a bin in Bondi in search of cardboard to construct a makeshift bed, a group of passers-by heckled him, calling him "bin boy".
"That was like a bunch of arrows in the back," Cameron tells TV WEEK. "I was furious at them for being so ignorant and unkind.
I wanted to chase them down and ask, 'How can you be so ignorant? You have no clue about my life!'"
Over the course of the experiment, he and his four fellow participants slept rough in parks, under bridges – wherever they felt remotely comfortable.
At times, it was terrifying, Cameron says, and utterly exhausting because he was too scared to sleep.
"The darkness brings the danger. So, at night-time, I was often awake and in fight-or-flight mode," he says.
And then there were moments that restored Cameron's faith in humanity.
"There are individuals out there – a lot of people – who are doing what they can," he says.
"And it's often people who have the least who are the most humane. They'll give you their last bit of food, they'll give you the last change out of their pocket, because they know what it's like and how much it means to someone in that position."
For all the ups and downs, Cameron says he's grateful he had the chance to participate in the immersive experience of Filthy Rich & Homeless.
"Just because you stop going to school doesn't mean you stop learning," he says. "For me, at 50, it's like I realise there's so much I don't know and I feel there's so much more I can participate in."
And he is. He's established Men's Team (mensteam.com.au), an online platform dedicated to men who are in crisis.
Cameron is hoping others are inspired – as he was – by the stories in Filthy Rich & Homeless.
"I truly hope people take something away from it," he says.
"The five people in this show have all come from our own lives and privileges. Through them, you see how much good there is in the world – and how much more we can do for each other."
Filthy Rich & Homeless airs Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 8:30pm on SBS, premiering August 14th.

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