Saturday, 28 April 2007

Rosemary Margan signs off after 42 years

For 42 years, Rosemary Margan has been a consistent, if not understated, voice on Melbourne radio and television - presenting weather forecasts and commercials and was also a long-standing presenter at TV Week Logie Awards nights in the 1970s. But now, just short of her 70th birthday, the gentle voice of Rosemary is being retired from the airwaves with her final live-to-air appearance on radio 3AW.

A former water-ski champion, Rosemary's television career began at GTV9 in 1965 presenting the nightly weather forecast - causing a storm of her own when one night she appeared on-air in a fur coat which was removed to reveal her wearing no more than a bikini. A decade later, Rosemary was presenting a live-to-air commercial on The Graham Kennedy Show when her spiel was interrupted by Graham's suspect "crow call" which created headlines and got him banned from appearing on live television.

For almost 20 years, Rosemary has been the voice of live-to-air commercials on Neil Mitchell's morning program on 3AW.

(Pictured: Rosemary Margan, guest Edward Woodward and host Bert Newton at the 1975 TV Week Logie Awards. Picture: TV WEEK)

Monday, 16 April 2007

Justine Saunders

Justine Saunders, one of Australia's most prominent indigenous actresses of the 1970s and 1980s, has died in Sydney after a battle with cancer.
Born in Queensland in 1953, Saunders came to prominence in the 1970s in the Nine Network series Luke's Kingdom before scoring an ongoing role as Rhonda in Number 96 in 1976. Later TV roles followed in Against The Wind, Prisoner and Women Of The Sun.

Movie roles included The Chant Of Jimmie Blacksmith and The Fringe Dwellers.

Saunders was also involved in theatre, helping to establish the Aboriginal National Theatre Trust and the Black Theatre, as well as a number of stage roles.

In more recent years, Saunders appeared in television series such as Farscape and MDA.

(Picture: TV Week, 5 June 1976)

Thursday, 5 April 2007

The Royal Children's Hospital Good Friday Appeal

In most parts of the country the telethon is only a fading memory - there was a time when each city, and even some regional areas, had at least one telethon aired during the year. A lot of these have long gone but a few still remain.

Perth's TVW7 still produces an annual telethon - raising funds for local children's charities since 1968. The TVW appeal has raised over $73 million since its inception.

In Melbourne, the Royal Children's Hospital Good Friday Appeal has been an annual tradition since 1931. The appeal began as a sports carnival hosted by newspaper The Sporting Globe (published by the Herald and Weekly Times). Just over a decade later, radio station 3DB (also of the Herald Weekly Times group) joined the appeal.

Television arrived in Melbourne in 1956, and the new Herald and Weekly Times television station HSV7 conducted its first telethon in 1957 in association with 3DB and The Sporting Globe.

Even when all three media outlets were split up to separate owners in 1987, the Good Friday Appeal continued between them. It is only in 2007 that the first major change in the partnership has occurred with Southern Cross Broadcasting (radio stations 3AW and Magic) taking on the radio component of the Appeal, effectively ending a 65-year relationship between the Good Friday Appeal and 3DB (then 3TT, TTFM and Mix 101.1) The telethon also has the support of regional Victoria through the co-operation of Prime Television relaying and contributing to the HSV7 broadcast.

The appeal has continued with overwhelming support - usually breaking record totals every year. In 1968, the Appeal raised $400,000. Less than a decade later, the first $1 million final total was reached. In 2006, over $10 million was raised to fund research and major projects at the hospital. In total, since 1931, over $160 million has been raised for the hospital - enabling it to maintain its reputation as a leading paediatric hospital.

(Pictured: HSV7 weathergirl Debbie Phin and a young patient, promoting the 1976 Good Friday Appeal on the cover of Listener In-TV)

Update @ 12.05am 7.4.07: The 2007 Royal Children's Hospital Good Friday Appeal has signed off with a record total of $11,788,970.87 - exceeding last year's total by over $1.5 million.

Monday, 2 April 2007

TV Week Logie Awards announce nominations

TV Week has announced its nominations for the upcoming 2007 TV Week Logie Awards.

While a lot of the popular-voted categories might bring groans of "Who?" from anyone over the age of 18 - there are a couple of surprises particularly in the Gold Logie nominations:

Bert Newton - host of 18 Logie Awards presentations, and winner of 5 Gold Logies including a Hall Of Fame in 1988 - is nominated for Gold this year. This follows his return to the Nine Network last year and a return to prime time TV after 20 years (14 of those doing Good Morning Australia on Ten) as presenter of 20 To 01 as well as the early evening Bert's Family Feud.

John Wood, after being nominated 11 times for the Gold Logie before finally winning in 2006, is also nominated this year. A surprising nomination given that Wood appeared on TV only briefly during 2006 as Blue Heelers came to a low-key end. His only other appearances on TV were some Melbourne-only productions for Seven and Nine.

John Howard - no not the Prime Minister but rather the actor of All Saints fame. All Saints has enjoyed strong popularity in recent times, helped by the massive lead-in from hit show Dancing With The Stars (whose host Daryl Somers has been a noteable exclusion from the nominees list this year), and Howard has been a key player in the series for several years. He is also known from strong performances in Always Greener and Seachange.

The full list of nominations can be found at The Age online.

The 2007 TV Week Logie Awards will be presented from Crown Casino, Melbourne, on Sunday 6 May and telecast nationally through the Nine Network.

(Pictured: Bert Newton winning the 1982 TV Week Gold Logie, with guest presenters Olivia Newton-John and Britt Ekland)