Waleed Aly’s high-profile academic wife Susan Carland is set to star in a new show set to air during Channel Ten’s pilot season. Susan, a respected writer and Melbourne academic, is appearing on talk show-style program Dinner Guest alongside MasterChef’s Melissa Leong.
The show is the brainchild of Studio Ten star Narelda Jacobs and will see the women discuss society, culture and politics. ‘When the amazing Narelda Jacobs has an idea for a TV show that is fresh, interesting, and smart, you pay attention,’ Susan wrote as she announced the exciting news on Sunday.
‘When she says she wants you to be on that show with her and the absolutely brilliant Melissa Leong, you nearly spit out your coffee, but you play it cool.’‘On Dinner Guest, we’ll discuss our society, culture, politics, work, families, beliefs – everything that makes us human,’ she added.
‘What do we disagree on and so can learn from each other? What do we agree on and so can find our common humanity? What voices do we not get to hear on TV as often as we should?’
ABC star Patricia Karvelas will star as the first guest on the series. Susan has become almost as famous as her The Project star husband as she uses her platform to provide commentary on social issues.
Back in 2016, Susan spoke about her decision to convert from Christianity to Islam at the age of 19, saying it ‘felt like coming home’. The sociologist admitted she originally thought Islam was a ‘barbaric, outdated and sexist religion’, but after detailed research she realised this was not the case.
She told The Australian Women’s Weekly these misconceptions still permeate society, with many still believing ‘Muslims are all terrorists and kill people’. Susan, who attended the Uniting Church in Sydney as a child before switching to the Baptist Church as a teenager, said her mother had initially opposed her decision to convert to Islam.
But she was determined, saying: ‘Becoming Muslim felt like coming home. It felt like a natural fit for me as a person.’ The university academic shares two children with Waleed, who describes himself as a ‘moderate Muslim’.
She has previously said she didn’t change religion for her husband, as her faith journey had actually started long before they met. Speaking at an RTi Talk, Susan said that when people in the Muslim community suggested they would make a good couple, she would tell them: ‘I wouldn’t marry him if he was the last man on earth.’