Previously published in New Zealand TV Weekly 29 April, 1968.
People who have played in episodes of popular TV series seem to be common visitors these days. Take Auckland-horn Scott Tyler, for example-now heading back for a film job in Rome, with a Riptide episode to do for Australian TV on the way. Scott, seen while on holiday here in The Late Show has had parts in The Avengers, The Saint, The Forsythe Saga, F.B.I. and The Wild, Wild West, apart from playing important roles in London‘s West End theatre productions... And if you're wondering where you have seen Max Adrian's face before. the answer is again, "in the square box." Max was Fagin in the BBC adaptation of Oliver Twist, seen here a year or so back. He was also excellent as the melancholy Jacques in the BBC three-parter of As You Like It, on our screens a few weeks back. Max is coming to do a one-man show based on George Bernard Shaw's writings - a presentation he introduced at the Edinburgh Festival in 1966... Ramon Novarro, Hollywood's "Great Lover" of the '20's, came as a stranger to most folk during his brief call on a Pacific tour. Maybe his films have long gone, but you may have spotted him in Bonanza episodes. He only takes a part when it really appeals to him as he is a wealthy man.
Television technique is the same as for movies, he said,
but they haven't time to rehearse everything the way we used to do. It is too much hurry, hurry, hurry and you can't do a good job... Feature movies should give a much needed boost to Saturday evening viewing, but why keep that dreary formula-show, The Monroes, in the peak viewing spot for the evening? The programme people seem to have some strange ideas on appropriate times and grouping of varied entertainment.... Liked the comment of one chap who wrote to a local paper during the Peyton Place controversy.
By all means move Peyton Place to an earlier slot, he said.
Say, 3 a.m.? Let's hope the programme folk don't yield to the moaners and move this maudlin rubbish into a peak viewing time.
The NZBC appears to have a never-ending source of good interviewers it can tap. Latest find is undoubtedly David Beatson who, during the Seato conference, did some first-class work. His interview of the Australian Prime Minister, Mr Gorton, was very effective. Mr Gorton came across as a strong Television personality. David needs only to develop the ability to follow up answers to elicit information in detail. He probably learned a good deal from watching such outstanding journalists as Marvin Kalb (CBS), who came from Washington for the Seato conference. NZBC's news stall covered the big week in Wellington well. The only gap was the interpretative work where the NZBC did not appear to be venturesome enough in trying to explain what Seato and Anzus are all about. Perhaps the fear of having to do the same for the rival conference being held in Wellington at the same time deterred the corporation. The purchasing department has bought a whole raft of new programmes but some of the gloss is taken off when viewers see that several of these series have been axed in the United States. Tarzan, He and She, and Accidental Family, are all due to be screened here over the next few months, long after they have faded from American screens. They may still make good viewing for New Zealand audiences. Robert Lansing, who made a big impact here in 87th Precinct, is coming back with a secret agent series, The Man Who Never Was.... Probably better viewing will be some new programmes from Britain including a new Francis Durbidge serial, Bat Out of Hell, and This Man Craig.... Some good cartoon programmes are also on the way including the Hanna Barbera Abbott and Costello.... Lindsay McCallum has played a large part in formulating the new radio news Programmes at 7am and 7 pm each day. This could be useful experience if and when the same kind of programmes reach television screens. They could be not too far distant.
If there is a basis in current rumours, by the time these words appear in print, Christchurch's Town and Around producer, Des Monaghan, could have been named Compass producer, the job that was Ian Johnstone's until he moved on to better things (outside the NZBC) last year. Englishman Monaghan joined CHTV3 as a floor manager when he arrived here some four years ago. A year later he became Town and Around's first director, and then subsequently producer of-what is regarded (and not only in Christchurch) as top Town and Around of all the channels. A Monaghan move north would be CHTV3's loss and a gain for Compass. Ominous thought is that the move might be a step in the direction taken by the last three Compass producers-out of the NZBC! Monaghan is another man the corporation could ill-afford to lose.... Another thought: If Monaghan got the Compass job, it could be he would want to take Brian Edwards along with him. One of the mainstays in the Town and Around team, Edwards has developed into the in-depth interviewer that documentary programmes must have. Recent confrontations with singer, Shirley Bassey, and an anonymous couple who won the Mammoth Kiwi, clearly showed Edwards could hold up his head among the "name” overseas interviewers any time of the day or night..
Television is one of the best mediums for bringing people closer together. Many people recognise and greet announcers in the street, CHTV3's Julie Cunningham told local members of the Insurance Institute of New Zealand in the course of a recent luncheon address.... Murray Forgie, 3ZB's disgustingly cheerful breakfast session announcer, snuggling between the sheets longer these days having handed over the early-morning mantle. Maybe we'll be seeing more of him on TV continuity in future instead of the sporadic, but welcome, appearances of the past.... Some folk, it seems, have yet to learn that a wink is as good as a nod, judging from a statement recently from the Post Office's Regional Engineer in this city, Mr H. W. Wilkinson. He said that it was intended to prosecute at least 1,200 people who had failed, after being warned, to obtain TV or radio licences. Most of these prosecutions arise out of the recent local survey during which more than 11,000 new TV and radio licences were issued. Seems most folk took the hint!
Recent news from overseas is from Maureen Little, a former DNTV2 announcer, at present on extended leave in England. Maureen is at present working for the BBC's regional station in Nottingham, her home city. Soon, however, she hopes to audition tor Television work with Britain's ATV Network.... More news from abroad, this time from former announcer, Judith Pate, who has also recently been working with the BBC. Judith was married recently, in London, to a fellow New Zealander, Mr David Barr, of New Plymouth, whom she met on board ship while travelling to England. Her bridal gown was lent by the New Zealand opera singer, Kiri Te Kanawa, at present studying in England, who was one of the guests at the wedding ... Latest talent to emerge from behind-the-scenes at DNTV2 is a member of the production staff, Peter Baldock, who recently gave several creditable performances as one of the "junkies” in Michael V. Gazzo's play about the drug problem, Hatful of Rain.... Announcer, Raewyn Molloy, will also be making a stage appearance soon when she shares the title role in Carmen. Raewyn was among the DNTV2 staff members who appeared in the locally-produced series, Songs from the Shows... The long-awaited series, Till Death Us Do Part, has finally reached the south, but with none of the reaction one might have expected considering the response it received in Britain. One reason for the lack of reaction may well be that the programme is screened too late in the evening for any but the most ardent fans to stay up and watch it-pity.