From the New Zealand TV Weekly. May 26, 1969


The cigarette firms must find the NZBC's schizophrenia a source of a lot of merriment. So they're not allowed to advertise their wares on Telly? Okay -just tie up every bit of advertising space available around sports grounds and you get all the Televison exposure you want, virtually for free. It really is a paradox - there is no block on the sports ground exposure, nor of mention of a tobacco firm's name as the sponsor of a sports event, but the dreaded product must not be shown on the screen . . . . With the football season back again, the Northern TV All Stars are busily challenging other Sunday teams. Rhys Jones is the guiding spirit and there has to be some deep digging in the studios for talent. Bryan Ashbridge is one player being missed this season . . . . Ironside's Raymond Burr is going to get some film mileage out of his Fijian island. Up there recently, I heard that Burr proposes to use his island Off Naitauba- now reasonably free of mosquitoes following a Hamilton aerial spraying firm's efforts- as the setting for a film version of Robert Louis Stevenson's The Beach of Falesa. Sounds as though the NZBC could contemplate a multi-purpose film team‘s excursion up there at the time to get material which should have worldwide distribution . . . . At least overseas screenings seem certain for an ambitious project recently carried out by Bryan Easte. He was producer for the N.Z.B.C.'s first colour show deliberately aimed at markets abroad. Shot in four days at Hunua Falls, it is a feature called Taku Toa and features probably the largest Maori concert party yet brought before the TV cameras. There were 150 of them in all, from the Queen Victoria Girls' School, St Stephen's School for Boys and the Anglican Maori Club. The half-hour show features the group in Maori songs and dances, somewhat similar to their Auckland Festival presentation. Authenticity was given to the main singers costumes by the loan from the Museum of priceless feather cloaks. Pity we can't see the show in colour ourselves, as Bryan says that some of the rainbow effects over the falls were magnificent. However, it should provide a good boost for New Zealand abroad, and maybe 16 millimetre copies of the film in colour will be available for local release other than Television.


Wellington's Town and Around is settling down to the new pattern under producer Douglas Drury, and some of its best pieces recently have been those Where the producer's own particular interests have revealed them- selves. For example, a piece commemorating Frances Hodgkins, New Zealand's great painter, was sensitively handled. It is clear that Douglas Drury intends to broaden Town and Around's horizons, and this is to be welcomed. Though remaining loyal to Peter Read's memory, we must say, too, that Alan Lyne as front man is much more impressive than we had been led to think by some of his earlier work . . . . Recent complaints from some Television commentators in the Press that the NZBC was not showing enough of our politicians in election year was remedied to some extent in the week of the Labour Party conference, with some good news reports of the conference, an excellent, probing Gallery, and then the Labour Party conference report. Some viewers questioned the technique of interviewer‘ Brian Edwards who, they felt, was needling the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Kirk. The fact remained that Mr Kirk responded to this technique by some vigorous replies that projected his personality much more firmly than wishy-washy questions might have done . . . . Television personality Ian Cross was one of the men who helped to write the report of the Social and Cultural Committee of the National Development Committee, which took the NZBC to task for its low output of locally made programmes. The committee says that ways of increasing the output and raising the standard of local programmes should be studied . . . A local critic writing in a Wellington paper demolished the series The Invisible Men, produced by Iain McLean, in devastating fashion and certainly the NZBC must have thought hard before screening them. This is the kind of work, however, which the NDC‘s Social and Cultural Committee says must be encouraged. If people like Iain McLean cannot be given a chance to make films of this type, then the skills needed to make top-class documentaries will never be acquired.


Vicar of Fendalton, TV cricket commentator and general all-rounder, the Rev. Bob Lowe, is nothing if not versatile. On recent evenings, disguised by horn-rimmed spectacles and a moustache he has been pushing bread for a local bakery in a commercial, thereby helping out a friend in a Christchurch company that makes TV commercials. Proceeds from this extra-curricula activity went to the Church, but two similar ofiers. as well as TV work in Australia, have been turned down by New Zealand's most TV-exposed clergyman . . . . The first part in the two-part Bute Hewes documentary, Expedition, held more than usual interest for Christchurch viewers in that it was a Christchurch firm that supplied the jet boats used by Sir Edmund Hillary for his work in Nepal and the star driver was Jon Hamilton, son of the jet boat inventor, Mr C. W. F. Hamilton. This film recalls yet another in which the Christchurch boats and driver Jon Hamilton starred, Colorado Up-run, much of the filming of which was done by Christchurch photographer, Guy Mannering. The chronical of the Colorado trip was a real thriller and would certainly make yet another first-class documentary for TV. Like Expedition, it would also make viewers feel proud that they are New Zealanders . . . . An added attraction for an eight-day September tour holiday in Noumea will be the presence of CHTV3's Veronica Edmondson who, according to the advertisement, will personally escort the tourists . . . . Christchurch viewers who might have wondered what happened to Peter Sharp, one of Channel 3's more competent comedians in Town and Around during the old regime, got their answer when the evening newspaper ran a story on the exacting business of being a TV presentation officer. Included was a picture of Peter at his control console - his first public appearance in a long time. . . . On Camera producer, Peter Lambert, is taking up production of other programmes from Channel 3's studios and so is handing over to Peter Muxlow. Among Lambert's latest fare for the ladies, seven programmes aimed at telling them how to diagnose faults in the family car, per courtesy of Peter Bell, of the Canterbury Automobile Association, and tips on the womanly art of self defence by ju-jitsu expert, John Bonniface.


The time: 7.30 a.m. The place: the Exchange, in Dunedin. A group of youths, dressed Bonnie and Clyde style, pulled up and from the crowd of people hurrying by on their way to work, kidnapped DNTV2 personality Colin Lehmann. They took Colin to the Octagon, where they lashed him to a tree while a sturdy-looking cage was erected. Colin was led into his prison about 8 a.m., to be held to ransom until his captors felt they had made a reasonable collection of funds. The event, was however, all part of the Capping Week's activities of Otago University students and had been pre-arranged with Colin. We arrived to find the prisoner sitting behind bars (in fact, constructed from old bicycle inner tubes) in a comfortable armchair, a $5 note pinned to his lapel. He explained over coffee, that this had been handed over by a man who suggested, that the students give him a feed and keep the change. As the students wandered up to passers-by, sounding for all the world like campaigners for some way-out religion. Collin said they had taken at least $50 in the first hour and re-actions from the public varied widely, from those who tried to ignore the situation, to others who were delighted by it. You certainly find out who your friends are, said Colin as we left him to his fate (having, of course, paid the necessary interviewing fee!) . . . It should be well worth taking time out for a look at DNTV2's new quiz series Catchword, which begins screening live on Wednesday night. The show, which is produced by Murray Hutchinson, a former Wellingtonian, has Don McCutcheon as compere. Questions will be put to a pair of contestants, and for each correct answer a letter forming part of an anagram will be given. The first contestant either to guess the anagram or win the required number of letters will go on to meet further challengers. With prize-money of $2 for each letter, $20 for each complete anagram and an estimated five or six games in each show, this should prove a profitable night out for some and should definitely make good viewing for those at home.

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