Saturday, 31 December 2011

2011: We remember…

geoffraymondGeoff Raymond

soniahumphreySonia Humphrey

noelstanawayNoel Stanaway

jameselliottJames Elliott

bobdavisBob Davis

billhunterBill Hunter

michelefawdonMichele Fawdon

jonblakeJon Blake

rexmossopRex Mossop

godfreyphilippGodfrey Philipp

googiewithersGoogie Withers

raytaylor_0001Ray Taylor

regwhitemanReg Whiteman

paullockyerPaul Lockyer

johnbeanJohn Bean

garyticehurstGary Ticehurst

iancarrollIan Carroll

seanflannerySean Flannery

haroldhopkinsHarold Hopkins

davidfordhamDavid Fordham

davidjullDavid Jull

Another year gone… already…?

december31It doesn’t seem that long since we welcomed 2011!

Australian television reached a number of milestones this year: Ten years of digital TV; 40 years of Sesame Street on the ABC; Mal Walden celebrated 50 years in broadcasting and Tracy Grimshaw reached 30 years at Nine; Play School turned 45; Four Corners turned 50; TV turned 40 in Darwin; David Stratton and Margaret Pomeranz celebrated 25 years together on television; and it was 50 years since the launch of regional stations GLV10, BCV8 and GMV6.

7_2000s Ratings-wise, it was all about Seven, winning their fifth year in a row.  There was little they could do wrong, while at Network Ten there was not much that they could get right – even MasterChef took a battering – with Nine falling somewhere in between.

ABC’s Spicks And Specks made a dignified exit off the stage, while Ten’s Video Hits was pushed off the stage – after 24 years – in a bout of cost cutting.  ABC put the axe to Collectors, The New Inventors and Arts Nation.

Showbiz stalwarts Denise Drysdale and Kerri-Anne Kennerley signed off from their respective daytime programs.

11_hello Network Ten launched its new digital channel Eleven, and attempted to raise the bar in current affairs reporting with 6PM With George Negus (later 6.30).  It was a tumultuous year at a management level for Ten with the dismissal of CEO Grant Blackley and the appointment of interim CEO Lachlan Murdoch before James Warburton, a former Seven Network executive, takes over the role in January.  Under Murdoch’s watch, sports channel One HD was re-worked into a general entertainment and special interest channel, Ten News suffered a number of format changes, budget cuts and staff departures (including Deborah Knight and George Donikian), while Late News and 6.30 With George Negus were both axed.  Newspaper columnist and blogger Andrew Bolt was given his own show, and the network walked away from AFL after ten years.

ytt_aca Nine’s A Current Affair revisited some TV classics during the year, including Young Talent Time (pictured) and Big Brother (coincidentally both programs are to make a comeback in 2012).  ACA also took a trip to Wandin Valley to remember A Country Practice.  Meanwhile, Today Tonight took ‘70s sex symbol Abigail to task for no good reason.

There were cosmetic changes made to ABC1, ABC2 and ABC 4 Kids, and SBS appointed a new Managing Director.

karlstefanovic Karl Stefanovic (pictured) won the TV Week Gold Logie, and veteran political journalist Laurie Oakes was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

After a quiet few years in drama, ABC made a stellar comeback this year with Paper Giants: The Birth Of Cleo and The Slap both receiving critical acclaim and good ratings.  The broadcaster also launched a new legal drama, Crownies.  SBS scored a hit with its reality-documentary series Go Back To Where You Came From, triggering a wave of social commentary on what has always been a controversial topic.

Regional Victoria and Regional Queensland made the final switch from analogue to digital television – while remote area networks Imparja and Southern Cross have only now switched on to digital transmission and Regional WA is now seeing the roll-out of the digital multi-channels from the commercial networks.

Millions watched the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton – it was an event that was hard to miss with saturation coverage on free-to-air and multiple pay-TV channels.

So what will 2012 bring?

ten_2008 Network Ten will hope for a better, more stable year with a new CEO and News Director on board.  Last year the network took a gamble with George Negus and more News bulletins.  This year Ten is taking a gamble with launching a new breakfast show up against Sunrise, Today and ABC News Breakfast – will this risk pay off?  And will the re-named and expanded The Project lead to improvement in Ten’s embattled 6.30 timeslot?

Also, will MasterChef be able to knock out the few dents it copped in its armour this year?  And how will Young Talent Time fare with its return after 23 years off our screens?  As Hey Hey It’s Saturday and more recently It’s A Knockout have shown, the nostalgia factor can bring high ratings but the novelty can wear off pretty quickly. 

9_logo_2009_2 Nine had something of a late-year resurgence this year with The Block winning ratings in its new 7.00pm timeslot and Celebrity Apprentice also bringing in strong figures.  The success of these will see Nine delve further into the reality genre in 2012 with another series of The Block, the return of Big Brother and an Australian version of singing contest The Voice.

In Aussie drama there will be more Neighbours, Home And Away, Packed To The Rafters, Offspring and Winners And Losers.  Nine will launch a new series, Tricky Business, and is set to present another instalment of the Underbelly franchise as well as its dramatisation of the Beaconsfield mine disaster of 2006.  Nine will also relive former owner Kerry Packer’s 1970s challenge to the cricket establishment with Howzat! – The Kerry Packer Story.  Ten will have a mini-series Bikie Wars: Brothers in Arms as well as an updated adaptation of the book Puberty Blues.  The network is also to launch a new series, Reef Doctors, starring Lisa McCune.

Andrew Denton and Shaun Micallef are set to return to ABC with new programs – and there will be another series of Adam Hills In Gordon Street Tonight.

AFL In sport, Seven becomes the sole free-to-air broadcaster of AFL for the first time since 2001, while sharing the rights with Foxtel – while Nine and Foxtel are off to London for the Olympic Games.  It will be Nine’s first coverage of the Summer Olympics since 1976.

2012 will mark 50 years of television in regional New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania and in Canberra.  Analogue television will be switched off in regional New South Wales and the ACT.

number96_1972 The ground-breaking drama of the 1970s, Number 96 (pictured) will have its 40th anniversary commemorated with another DVD release of episodes – this time revisiting some of the few black-and-white episodes to still be in existence, as well the episodes surrounding the bomb-blast storyline of 1975.

And right here we will be continuing the theme of documenting the TV year of 20 years ago as reported in the pages of TV Week.

Happy New Year to you all and best wishes for the year ahead!

Aggregation anniversaries: NNSW and VIC

NBNIt is twenty years since the final stages of the aggregation of regional markets were launched in the eastern states – finally bringing viewers in those areas the same amount of choice of commercial television as their capital city cousins.

Following implementation in Southern NSW and Canberra (1989) and Regional Queensland (1990) came the aggregation of Northern NSW markets (Newcastle/Hunter Valley, Tamworth/Upper Namoi and Taree, and Coffs Harbour and Lismore/Gold Coast) starting from 31 December 1991.

nrtv_1991The change saw NBN Television (NBN3 Newcastle) align to the Nine Network for program supply, Prime (NEN9 Tamworth, ECN8 Taree) to the Seven Network, and NRTV (NRN11 Coffs Harbour, RTN8 Lismore) to the Ten Network, as they expanded their coverage into each others’ markets.

Prime had a delayed launch in the Coffs Harbour and Lismore/Gold Coast markets – scheduled for completion by May 1992 – while NRTV (now Southern Cross Ten) had delayed its expansion into the Tamworth/Upper Namoi and Taree regions until late January.

southerncrossaggregation And from 1 January 1992 came the first stage in the aggregation of regional Victorian markets Ballarat, Bendigo/Central Victoria, Shepparton/Goulburn Valley, Albury/Upper Murray and Gippsland – with VIC TV (BTV6 Ballarat, GMV6 Shepparton) and Southern Cross Network (BCV8 Bendigo, GLV8 Gippsland) launching their signals in competition across the expanded market.  Aggregation was initially scheduled for 1993 for Regional Victoria but had been brought forward a year. 

VIC TV (now a part of the WIN network) was affiliated to Nine for programming, and Southern Cross Network (now Southern Cross Ten) linked to the Ten Network.


Albury-based Prime (AMV) had a delayed expansion across the remainder of the regional Victorian market, commencing transmission in its new regions by March 1992.  Like its NSW counterparts, Prime was affiliated to the Seven Network.

primevic91 The delayed implementation of Prime across regional Victoria effectively denied viewers outside of Albury any access to Seven Network programs for two months.  With Seven having telecast rights to major sporting events the Australian Open tennis and the Australian Masters golf over those two months, Southern Cross came to a special arrangement to broadcast those events across the aggregated market despite them being a Ten Network affiliate – but Prime ensured it was up and running across Victoria in time to cover the AFL season!

Mildura, in north west Victoria, was excluded from the aggregation scheme, with its local channel STV8 part of the VIC TV network, therefore gaining access predominantly to Nine Network programming only.  Some exceptions were made for major sporting events and other special telecasts from the Seven and Ten networks to be broadcast into Mildura via VIC TV.

southerncrossnetwork With aggregation then completed in the major regional markets of New South Wales (including ACT), Queensland and Victoria the next step was to consider options for additional choice of commercial television in other regional markets and smaller capital cities.  Aggregation was then introduced into Tasmania in April 1994, with Hobart-based TAS TV (TVT6) and Launceston-based Southern Cross Network (TNT9) expanding into each others’ markets in competition with each other – while Darwin, Mildura and Regional Western Australia would each be assigned a second commercial licence in the late ‘90s. 

The satellite-based remote commercial television services of Imparja (primarily covering central Australia but also isolated regions of Victoria and NSW) and Ten Satellite (remote Queensland) were permitted to expand into each others’ coverage areas in competition from 1999 – with Imparja aligned to the Nine and Ten networks for programming, and Ten Satellite re-branded as Seven Central (now Southern Cross) for its new affiliation to the Seven Network.

It was to be the early 2000s before the regional South Australian markets of Mount Gambier, Riverland and Spencer Gulf (including Broken Hill) would get a choice of commercial TV channels with their existing monopoly broadcasters permitted to open a second channel.

The advent of digital television has since seen the launch of a third commercial signal in Tasmania, Darwin, Mildura, Regional Western Australia, regional South Australian markets and central Australia.

More on aggregation at Television.AU

Obituary: David Jull

davidjull A belated obituary for former Queensland MP and media identity David Jull, who died in September this year following a battle with cancer.  He was 66.

Jull was a radio journalist and presenter in his early career, working at Brisbane radio stations 4BH and 4IP, before moving to television.  He was the first person to appear on Brisbane channel TVQ0 when it debuted in July 1965 and he continued to serve at the channel, both on screen and in management roles, for over a decade.

Jull then went on to a career in politics as the federal member for Queensland seats Bowman (1975-83) and Fadden (1984-2007).  He was also a former Minister for Administrative Affairs in the Howard government in the late 1990s and had been a shadow tourism minister for five years.

He retired from politics at the 2007 election, two years after losing a lung due to the cancer.

During his time in politics and in retirement Jull maintained his association with the media as a presenter, patron and president of Brisbane-based community radio station 101FM.

David Jull was farewelled with a state funeral on 23 September.  He is survived by sons Stephen and Andrew, stepsons Mike and Jay Goldman, and grandsons Declan and Griffin.

Source: The Australian; Albert & Logan News; 4BH
YouTube: malmcp85

Friday, 30 December 2011

1991: December 28-January 3

tvweek_281291 The doctor’s lusty bedside manner!
Viewers of The Flying Doctors may be shocked by a lusty bedroom scene coming up in a future episode between Dr Guy Reid (David Reyne) and Penny Wellings (Sophie Lee).  The “fling” is the result of Penny’s boyfriend Steve (Paul Kelman) getting a local schoolteacher pregnant.  Penny turns to Guy for comfort and he exploits a “golden opportunity”.  “He’s the sort of man who lusts after all women, really,” Reyne told TV Week.  “Although he is in a relationship with Nurse Jackie Crane (Nikki Coghill), Guy has a wandering eye for Penny.”  Lee was initially surprised when she was presented with the script but feels the situation is a realistic one.  “It’s a daring episode but it’s the reality of what could happen in this situation in an outback town,” she said.  But with the future of The Flying Doctors in doubt the long-term repercussions of the affair may not be seen.  The episode is scheduled to go to air in February.

‘I’m fighting fit!’
Sale Of The Century co-host Jo Bailey has a bold announcement to make.  “I want people to know that I’m not about to drop dead,” she says.  The statement came after a recent magazine interview where she revealed that her family has a history of bowel cancer.  “People read the headline that went with the story and think I’ve got cancer.  I’d just like to clarify that I’m fighting fit… apart from being a bit stiff from water-skiing.” 

Overseas viewers lap up Kelly
Skippy may have been a popular television export but she looks like being trumped by an ex-police dog called Kelly.  Kelly is a six-year-old german shepherd and the title character from Network Ten children’s series, Kelly.  The first series of thirteen episodes has been sold to 31 countries and a second series is nearing completion.  Execute producer Jonathon Shiff says it’s a major triumph for children’s television in Australia.  “I’m thrilled about the reception the show has received overseas,” he said.  “One of our targets is to deliver high-quality shows for children.  There is still plenty of room for shows of Disney quality which has positive storylines and characters for children to model themselves on.”  The series also features child actors Charmaine Gorman and Alexander Kemp.

georgekapiniaris Briefly…
Fans of sitcom Acropolis Now will notice some changes with the fourth series of the show that is set to screen early in the new year – with the focus changing from “wog comedy” to broad family sitcom.  “We don’t want to do a show that’s just directed at a wog audience – we want to include everybody,” says George Kapiniaris (pictured), who plays Memo in the show.  “I’m sure it’s the best series we’ve made – and it’s the most mainstream one of all.  The jokes are broader and the characters are funnier.  Everyone is really keen to show Seven we’re serious about keeping the show going.” 

jonconcannon A new policeman is about to make an entrance into A Country Practice’s Wandin Valley.  Senior Constable Tom Newman (Jon Concannon, pictured) comes into town as the heir apparent to Frank Gilroy (Brian Wenzel) – and while producers won’t give much away, it appears that the new policeman’s arrival creates some resentment on Frank’s part.  Concannon has previously starred in mini-series Nancy Wake and All The Rivers Run II and in the ABC series House Rules.

jackimacdonald_0001 Lawrie Masterson’s Sound Off
”While there is not a lot that’s worth watching on the small screen at the moment, other activities within the commercial networks have been almost frenzied.  It seems every other day brings an announcement of a new program or the demise of one, someone switching networks or being axed, or someone making a comeback.  In the past month we’ve had Nine planning its 5.30pm current affairs program in each city, and there’s a new frontman on Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show.  The network has been less forthcoming about its future participation in the Crawfords Australia series The Flying DoctorsDerryn Hinch was dropped abruptly by Seven and picked up just as quickly by Ten.  Bert Newton and Jacki MacDonald (pictured) also will be at Ten in 1992 and the network is about to move the bulk of its Melbourne operations from Nunawading to South Yarra – much more accessible, upmarket and convenient for Ten’s owner, Westpac.  And Seven has been preparing for Real Life and the move of Home And Away to 7.00pm.  One rumour doing the rounds is that Nine has given the go-ahead to a new Saturday morning show called Saturday At Rick’s, two hours of music and madness to be made at Rick’s Cafe American at Warner Bros Movie World on the Gold Coast.”

alltogethernow John Laws says…
”It was a triumphant year for comedy.  Fast Forward slipped into another gear and proved itself, again, the most inventive and funniest Australian comedy product, leaving more experimental black comedy such as The Big Gig and DAAS Kapital in its wake.  All Together Now (pictured) and Hey Dad! were other comedy successes for the year.  Hey Dad! displays an amazing resilience, the standard of its scripts rarely flagging despite having been around for a long time by TV standards.  All Together Now struggled to establish itself, but it always had the look of a program that would manage to survive.  It has a strong, professional cast and its scripts and plots got better as the year wore on.”

Program Highlights (Melbourne, December 28-January 3):
  Seven crosses to Burswood Superdome, Perth, to start its live coverage of the Hopman Cup tennis.  ABC presents golf with live coverage of the Australian Ladies’ Masters from Palm Meadows, Gold Coast, and Nine has live coverage of the afternoon session of play in the cricket Second Test from the MCG.  Music video show Video Hits (Ten) presents the first part of its Top 100 songs of 1991 special.  In the evening, Seven presents a one-hour special, 1991: The Big Picture, covering the major news and sporting events that have taken place over the past year.

Sunday:  There’s more women’s golf on ABC, tennis on Seven and cricket on Nine, plus the second half of Video Hits’ Top 100 special.  After the news, Nine screens a World Vision special, The Silent Tragedy, featuring Bryan Brown, Rachel Ward, Liz Burch and Ian Leslie as they visit World Vision projects and disaster areas in the Third World.  Sunday night movies are The Sting (Seven) and Sweet Liberty (Ten), while Nine presents the first part of a repeat screening of mini-series The Lancaster Miller Affair, starring Nicholas Eadie and Kerry Mack.

Monday:  Seven debuts a new pre-schoolers program, The Book Place, produced from SAS7 in Adelaide. 

Tuesday (New Year’s Eve):  ABC screens the 1951 musical Show Boat before presenting Backchat – The Year In Review, followed by late news and then American football with Don Lane which sees ABC through into 1992.  Ten presents a special New Year’s Eve edition of Video Hits, starting at 10.35pm and continuing through to 1.50am, including a midnight countdown.  SBS continues its New Year’s Eve tradition of screening the German-made comedy skit, Dinner For One.

Wednesday:  Aussie ex-pat Clive James presents his review of the year, Clive James On ‘91, on ABC.

Thursday:  Nine’s telecast of the Third Test begins from Sydney.  Seven has live coverage of the evening session of the Hopman Cup, and Ten has a news special, Russia In Crisis, presented by Sydney newsreader Katrina Lee.

Friday:  A full day of tennis on Seven with live coverage of the Australian Men’s Hardcourt Championships from Adelaide during the day and the finals of the Hopman Cup from Perth in the evening. 

Source: TV Week (Victoria edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide.  28 December 1991.  Southdown Press

Thursday, 29 December 2011

1991: December 21-27

tvweek_211291 Two secret showbiz weddings
Secrecy was the key word surrounding two recent celebrity weddings.  Actor Cameron Daddo has married model Alison Brahe at the Garrison Church in Sydney’s historic Rocks area – while E Street star Marianne Howard married dancer Drew Anthony at the secluded Holy Trinity Anglican Church at Berrima, NSW.  Both weddings were shrouded in secrecy as the couples sought to escape mass media coverage.

Ray seizes the day again
Despite persistent rumours that he was headed to the Seven Network to front the new current affairs program, unofficially dubbed ‘Project X’, Midday host Ray Martin says he will be with Nine in the new year and insists it was never going to be any other way.  “I’ve never spoken to (producer) Gerald Stone about ‘Project X’,” Martin told TV Week.  “My understanding is that he has a real commitment not to poach people from Channel Nine.  The rumour regarding me isn’t, and wasn’t, true.”  Martin has also revealed that due to his wife giving birth to their second child he has pulled the pin on a planned night-time interview show that was set to screen on Friday nights that had been given the go-ahead by Nine.  “We were going to be on air for 90 minutes after Burke’s Backyard,” Martin said.  “So the bottom line is I will definitely do Midday next year and other specials.  I’ll also fill in for Jana Wendt (on A Current Affair), which I’m delighted to do as long as it’s for short stints.”  Martin is also looking forward to next year as it marks the 20th year for Midday – having started as The Mike Walsh Show on the 0-10 Network in 1973 before moving across to Nine in 1977.  Mike Walsh then made the controversial, and short-lived, move to prime-time while Martin took over the re-named Midday in 1985.  “We are looking to get a special show up, with me and Mike Walsh co-hosting,” Martin said.  “We have a lot of television under our belts.”

brucerobertsdeesmart ‘Let me out of here!’
Home And Away actress Dee Smart (pictured with co-star Bruce Roberts) has likened her two-year contract to the Seven Network series to a prison sentence as she is desperate for “release” after eight months.  “It feels like I’ve been here for years,” she told TV Week.  After studying acting for two-and-a-half years, the 25-year-old says the constant turnaround of episode production is what is most frustrating.  “There is no time to develop.  It is almost impossible to do a good job with the amount of time you have,” she told TV Week.  “I used to bag the soapies.  I used to say, ‘That actor is so bad.  How can they be on this show? It’s awful’.  Now I have nothing but admiration for these guys because of the amount of time they have.  I’m amazed they even get the words out, let alone try to act at all.  There is just no time to think about things.  And this Lucinda character goes on and on and on.  It is kind of abnormal for a character to last this long.”  But despite her frustration, Smart says Home And Away has been an invaluable learning experience.  “I’m learning and being stretched in my acting,” she says.  “If you can justify the ups and downs of soap, you can justify anything.  One thing is certain, I won’t go racing into another long-term contract.”

michaeltunn Briefly…
ABC’s The Afternoon Show host Michael Tunn (pictured) has scored a coup with an exclusive interview with US boy band New Kids On The Block when they tour Australia next month.  “We do requests on The Afternoon Show, and at least half are for New Kids On The Block,” 17-year-old Tunn told TV Week.  “We thought, as they’d be touring Australia – and because our audience loves them so much – we would look at the behind-the-scenes as well as out front.  The boys have agreed to an extensive interview with us backstage during the tour.”  The interview and behind-the-scenes special is expected to go to air in February.

Sale Of The Century host Glenn Ridge, whose career started in radio in the late 1970s, is set to present the breakfast shift on Melbourne radio station TTFM while its regular hosts Darren James and Jane Holmes are on holiday.

gerrysont After two years studying acting in the US, former Double Dare host and Home And Away star Gerry Sont (pictured) is back in Australia and has signed a one-year contract with the Nine Network’s Chances.  Sont plays the role of Cal Lawrence, a bit of a loner who lets chance decide what he does and ends up having an affair with Barbara (Brenda Addie).  “Chances is a real challenge for me,” Sont told TV Week.  “It’s challenging people’s view of drama.  It doesn’t follow the simple formula of Neighbours or The Flying Doctors.  It’s new and it’s fun.”

With the future of The Flying Doctors in limbo, actor Paul Kelman is excited to have picked up a role in another Crawfords Australia production, the upcoming children’s series Halfway Across The Galaxy And Turn Left.  “I’m rapt because this is so different to anything I’ve done before,” he told TV Week.  “I’m playing a character from another planet so it’s a big challenge to make something like this believable to the audience.”  Halfway Around The Galaxy And Turn Left co-stars Kerry Armstrong, Bruce Spence, Colleen Hewett, Sandy Gore, Jan Freidl and Lauren Hewett and is expected to screen on the Seven Network in 1992.

Lawrie Masterson‘s Sound Off
It was under wraps longer than the identity of Who Shot JR (does anyone remember?), but the Seven Network finally has loosened up on some of the details of Gerald Stone’s so-called ‘Project X’.  In about four weeks, Seven will unveil a new 6.30pm program which, considering it’s television, has been given the unreal title of Real Life.  Consequently – and as has been expected for ages – the soap Home And Away will be thrust into head-to-head combat with Network Ten’s Neighbours at 7.00pm.  The intrigue continues about how some names and faces out of left-field – notably the program’s host, former ABC man Stan Grant – will fare at taking on the almost death-defying challenge of trying to topple Jana Wendt’s A Current Affair on the Nine Network.  And will Grant sign off with the line: “That’s real life?”  Questions also continue about the effects of the two soaps having to battle each other.  Could it be that the biggest beneficiaries of that little scrap will be Nine’s Sale Of The Century or ABC News?

Program Highlights (Melbourne, December 21-27):
  Nine presents a one-hour special, Spirit Of Australia, documenting Australia’s entrant in the Americas Cup and their challenge to bring the cup back to Australia.  Barry Crocker and Jackie Love host Seven’s Carols In The Domain, featuring performances by Judith Durham, David Hobson, Suzanne Clachair and The Australian Girls Choir.

Sunday:  Seven’s afternoon is dominated by Christmas movies and specials, while Ten crosses to New Zealand for the Ironman Super Series.  Sunday night movies are Ernest Saves Christmas (Seven), Going In Style (Nine) and Prancer (Ten).

carolsbycandlelight Tuesday:  The highlight of Christmas Eve is the traditional Carols By Candlelight, live from the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne, hosted by Ray Martin and featuring performances by John Farnham, Marina Prior (pictured with Martin), James Blundell, Julie Anthony, Denis Walter, John Bowles, Anthony Warlow, Debbie Byrne and Tommy Emmanuel.  Seven screens the movie Scrooge, while ABC presents the 1956 musical comedy High Society.  Later in the evening, Ten presents the traditional Midnight Mass For You At Home.

Wednesday (Christmas Day):  ABC’s broadcast day begins with Christmas Mass, celebrated by Pope John Paul II at St Peter’s Basilica, Rome.  Christmas morning on Seven is predominantly cartoons followed by delayed broadcast of Adelaide’s John Martin’s Christmas Pageant and the 1983 movie Bush Christmas, starring John Ewart, John Howard and Nicole Kidman.  Nine presents a replay of last night’s Carols By Candlelight, and Ten presents Christmas specials and movies throughout the day.  SBS screens a one-hour Christmas Carols concert, recorded by the SBS Youth Orchestra.  ABC, Seven and Ten include the Queen’s Christmas Message in their evening news bulletins, while Nine broadcasts it later in the evening.  Seven presents a one-hour special Darling Harbour Christmas Parade, hosted by Kathryn Greiner and Rev Dr Gordon Moyes – while ABC’s That’s Dancin’ presents a special Christmas edition featuring guest stars Marina Prior, Rhonda Burchmore, Tony Fenelon and The Barbara Lynch Dance Group.

Thursday: From midday Ten presents 90 minutes of live coverage of the Sydney-Hobart Yacht Race, with updates through the afternoon.  With the cricket Second Test being played at the MCG, Nine in Melbourne picks up coverage only from 3.40pm until close of play at 6.00pm, with half an hour of highlights from 11.40pm.  At 5.30pm, Ten crosses to Perth for live coverage of the Australian Derby horse racing.  In The Flying Doctors (Nine), Rowie’s (Sarah Chadwick) seriously ill father is admitted to hospital and pleads with Guy (David Reyne) not to tell Rowie of the severity of his illness.

Friday:  ABC presents a new series of Aboriginal affairs program Blackout.

Source: TV Week (Victoria edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide.  21 December 1991.  Southdown Press

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

The forecast is still fine for Ilona

ilonakomesaroff In the late 1970s and early 1980s Ilona Komesaroff (pictured) was the face of the weeknight weather report on the then top-rating Seven National News at Melbourne’s HSV7

After almost a decade presenting weather forecasts the former model with the exotic name – in an era before the days of multiculturalism on mainstream TV she was often referred to on screen and in TV listings only as ‘Ilona’ – moved into reading the news at the channel but then virtually disappeared from our screens without a trace.  One of her last TV appearances was presenting an educational segment on schools program TV Ed on SBS.

But in an interview published yesterday in The Age, Komesaroff had moved on from the bright lights of television in the 1980s to make a fortune by inventing “moving sand” pictures – sands that move between glass to create colourful patterns and landscape-type images – with consultation from the CSIRO.  It was an invention that sparked a number of imitators, some of which she sued for copying her patented idea.

She then became an editor and photographer for Australian Hair and Beauty Magazine, published by her husband Russell Smith.  Her photographic experience then led to her starting her own business venture, Melbourne Photo Repair, specialising in restoration and altering of photographs.

The full article by Lawrence Money can be found at The Age website, and following is a video featuring a Seven National News update with Komesaroff:

YouTube: tramman82mk2

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Magazine covers from Christmases past

Television.AU wishes everyone a very Merry Christmas and takes a trip down memory lane to some of the TV magazine covers that have marked this very special day…


George Mallaby and Rowena Wallace (Cop Shop), pictured with Mallaby’s son Guy and co-star Greg Ross’ son, Simon.  TV Week, 1978


Humphrey B. Bear (Here’s Humphrey).  TV Times, 1978.


(Clockwise from bottom left) Marcia Hines (Marcia’s Music), Mike Walsh (The Mike Walsh Show), Susan Hannaford (The Sullivans), John Orcsik (Cop Shop), June Salter (The Restless Years), Peter Lochran (The Young Doctors).  TV Times, 1979


Tony Barber and Alyce Platt (Sale Of The Century).  TV Week, 1986.


Kylie Minogue (Neighbours).  TV Week, 1987.


Kerrie Friend and Cameron Daddo (Perfect Match). 
Scene On TV (The Sunday Mail, Brisbane), 1987.


(Clockwise from top left) Graeme Goodings, Jane Doyle, Max Stevens and Anne Wills (Seven Nightly News, Adelaide).
Sunday Mail TV Plus (Adelaide), 1993.


None Hazlehurst and John Jarratt (Better Homes And Gardens) with Bree Desborough, Kristy Wright and Lynne McGranger (Home And Away). 
TV Week, 1998.


Carla Bonner, Madeleine West, Kym Valentine (Neighbours). 
TV Week, 2000.


Kate Ritchie (Home And Away).  TV Week, 2006.

Some other TV memories of Christmases past as presented on this blog:

Merry Christmas, ‘76 style
Merry Christmas from QTQ9 (1967)
TV Week’s Strictly Christmas (1992)
Christmas cheer from SBS (1983)
’Twas the night before Christmas…