Sunday, 29 March 2009

1979: March 31-April 6

tvtimes_310379 TV’s Yorkshire terrier
British TV host Michael Parkinson (pictured) has conducted more than 500 interviews with some of the world’s most famous people and created many memorable moments – he once got stuck into Hollywood actor John Wayne over his political persuasions, almost got a thumping by an outraged Muhammed Ali, and had his belly-button tickled by Shirley MacLaine.  Now the famed TV interviewer is coming to Australia to host a series of seven shows for ABC.  Some of Parkinson’s guests set to appear over the coming weeks include Ita Buttrose, Mike Willesee, Don Lane, Bob Hawke, Mary Hardy, Phillip Adams and Kerry Packer

Julie’s back with a song in her heart
Just weeks ago, singer Julie Anthony was yet to know if a recurring throat problem would end her singing career for good.  A trip to Germany to visit throat specialist Dr Oscar Kleinasser resulted in micro-surgery using lasers.  Although Anthony could speak after the operation, she was told not to sing for several weeks.  However when she and her husband and manager, Eddie Natt, were travelling in a cable car up the tallest mountain in Germany, with a misty view of the Alps, Anthony was so awestruck by the view that she spontaneously burst into singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.  It was music to her husband’s ears as it was the first time she’d sung since the operation.  The performer is now back in Australia and taking voice exercises in preparation for a TV special to begin production in just over a month.

gwenplumb Flower power
TV Times asked five TV celebrities about their gardens and for their personal gardening tips.  Bernard King’s advice: “The secret of growing plants in pots is to have some empathy with the plants.  You need to think of the places in the world where the plants grow naturally and try to provide them with as near as possible to those conditions.”  Actress Gwen Plumb’s (pictured) garden is a semi-tropical retreat overlooking Sydney’s northern beaches and, she says, “I talk to my plants, apologise to them if I have to prune them, and encourage them to grow.”  Fellow The Young Doctors actor Michael Beecher says that plants take care of themselves: “Apart from watering, you shouldn’t have to spend more than an hour a week in a garden.  That’s plenty of time.”  ABC gardening expert, Sow What host Kevin Heinze, says that the most simple, cheapest and most effective way to add to your stock of plants is to grow from cuttings.  And Cop Shop actor George Mallaby, a keen vegetable grower, is in the process of renovating his new Melbourne home and is working on rejuvenating its very neglected backyard. 

Briefly…
The Sullivans’ actress Susan Hannaford has been busy working on plans for the launch of her new winter fashion collection.  Already a Melbourne boutique has expressed plans to stock her designs for the upcoming season.

Popular British poet Pam Ayres is about to begin her second Australian tour and ABC is expected to screen a new series What’s On Next?, which features Ayres, next month.

Muhammad Ali, in Australia for the TV Week Logie Awards, has recently spent a day reciting poems for a series of commercials for a new throat lozenge.  It is not known how much he was paid for the commercials though it is known that his minimum price for any job or appearance is $100,000.

Viewpoint: Letters to the Editor
”I was watching Family Feud and one of the questions was ‘how many animals can be identified to have cloven feet?’  The answer ‘horse’ drew the highest score.  A horse has not got cloven feet – it is a foot or a hoof – not divided into two parts as ox, sheep, etc.  It’s rather hard on the contestants when the answers are wrong.” A. Hannon, NSW.

“I have just been watching The Mike Walsh Show and it has only increased my belief that there is no comparison between him and Steve Raymond.  Raymond may be a good interviewer, but that is where it stops – he asks only the questions to get the answers that he wants to hear, or thinks the viewers want to hear.” L. Skinner, QLD.

“I agree with G. Beaton (TV Times, 24 February 1979) on the lack of show-jumping coverage.  Show-jumping is a popular sport in Australia and it certainly is a difference after having to watch the same old cricket and tennis.” C. Erpel, NSW.

What’s On (March 31-April 6):
Weekend sport includes athletics from Olympic Park, Melbourne, live on ABC, followed by Sydney Rugby League’s Match Of The Day.

HSV7’s Saturday night football replays return for 1979 as the Victorian Football League makes a premature return with a game between Essendon and Carlton, originally scheduled for Round 3, played a week before Round 1 due to conflicts with regards to playing at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.  Meanwhile, Richmond and Geelong compete on Tuesday night’s Australian Football Championships, live from VFL Park.

mikewillesee The first episode of Parkinson In Australia (ABC, Saturday) features Ita Buttrose, Mike Willesee (pictured) and Sir Robert Helpmann.  Guest stars on HSV7’s Saturday Night Live include Ron Barassi, Shirley Strachan, Joan McInnes and Ronnie Burns.

Neil Inall hosts the premiere edition of ABC’s rural affairs program Countrywide, screening on Sunday afternoon, followed by a re-run of the previous week’s Sow What? with Kevin Heinze.

This Fabulous Century (HSV7, Sunday) looks at crimes of the century, including the Pyjama Girl murder mystery and the kidnapping of Graeme Thorne, the son of a couple who had just won the Opera House Lottery.  The program also looks at the life of Melbourne’s 1920s gangster Squizzy Taylor.

HSV7’s afternoon children’s program Shirl’s Neighbourhood, hosted by Shirley Strachan, makes its debut.

colettemann In The Restless Years (ATV0, Tuesday and Wednesday), Tim (Jamie Gleeson) makes a shock announcement regarding his future.  While in Prisoner (ATV0, Tuesday and Wednesday), Franky (Carol Burns) talks Lizzie (Sheila Florance) and Doreen (Colette Mann, pictured) into attempting an escape.

Sunday night movies: Rogue Male (HSV7), The Glass House (GTV9) and Mame (ATV0).

Source: TV Times (Melbourne edition), 31 March 1979.  ABC/ACP

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