Originally published in New Zealand TV Weekly 23rd May, 1966


The Royal tour telecasts worked well despite the distances involved - the one from Rotorua was the longest live hop yet-but crews felt as though they had been engaged in one of those underwater series. “Let the Rain Come Down” is their least favourite pop song . . . Sandy Edmondes, now the Apple and Pear Board girl, is off to Sydney for appearances ..... Ian Watkins is taking over the Yo Heave Ho kids’ programme production chore. Hope he insists on the players polishing up their lines ..... Andy Stewart unhappy while here to find that his TV image locally is based on three shows which were largely experimental and slanted purely for Scottish viewers .... Derek Batey, of ITV Border Television, is the latest visitor to arrive on a filming mission here. NZBC and National Film Unit are co-operating on the production of enough material to let him run a daily series for two weeks on his return ..... Snoopy viewers have located the home and gardens in which A Swingin’ Safari shows were shot and have been peering over the fence ..... Marie Studdard, one of the panel contemplating N.Z. males in the last Compass, was always TV’s most elegant visitor for earlier panel games ..... Return of rumour about TV starting in Fiji is reported to be without foundation ..... Keith Graham, pop show compere some time back, has returned after camera experience in Australia . . . . Vogue for weird hair-styles among femme announcers seems to have waned.


NZBC has yet to discover a Richard Dimbleby for television commentaries on royal tours. WNTV1 used experienced people like Bill Toft, Ian Johnstone, Erin Sinclair, Relda Familton, but none could quite capture the hushed dynamism of the late great Dimbleby ..... Ian Johnstone had rather a difficult quarter of an hour at the beginning of the royal variety concert in the Wellington town hall, and ran out of “fill" material, when the royal party was late ..... Former Wellington TV and radio personality Stewart Macpherson, who married Lower Hutt girl Pat Josephson earlier this year, has broken into Sydney radio, is running his own weekday programme. Stewart plans to stay in Australia a year or so before moving on .... TV kitchen king Graham Kerr, who knows a thing or two about throwing the charm around, met his match when the Queen Mother inspected his display kitchen in Wellington. She’s perfectly charming, he said, awed afterwards ..... Ron Jones, one of the supervisors in the NZBC head office newsroom, has had an extended holiday in Australia. Ron was quite a distinctive figure in Dunedin journalism a couple of decades ago, worked for many years with the Otago Daily Times, before moving north.


Christchurch pop star Ray Columbus was in his home town when the first of the series (for CHTV3) of the new teenage musicals, Swingin’ Safari, was screened. Twenty-three-year-old Columbus, who comperes the show with Clyde Scott, had taken a few days off from touring the North Island to visit his family with his wife and five-month-old daughter, Danielle Lisa. . . . . The current batch of long-haired pop-singers might not suit the appetites of some of the older (and more acid) stomachs, but Ray Columbus was personable interview material in the most pleasant and informative way for CHTV3’s continuity man and the sometimes-interviewer of Town and Around, Bernard Smythe. . . . Women in Crisis, a trilogy by Colin Morris-for trilogy substitute catastrophe. . . . . Detective: “Death in Ecstasy,” by Ngaio Marsh, CHTVB, Friday, April 29. It is reliably reported that Miss Marsh was well away from her home at 37 Valley Road, Christchurch 2, and did not have to get ecstatic about it either.... The Canterbury Televiewers’ Association has lodged an application for a licence to set up its own TV station. Christchurch observers don’t rate the association’s chances highly, but there is a growing feeling that the Minister of Broadcasting is going to grant some licences for private radio stations, so that could be the thin end of the wedge ..... Wanted (by viewers): A new crop of British Castles for Sir Brian Horrocks.


This week former Dunedin television announcer Margot Searle will marry Joe Pearson, an American university student, in the University Chapel of Columbia University, New York. The couple met when Joe Pearson was an officer on the Deepfreeze ship, USS Mills that called into Dunedin, September 1964. Several months after the ship sailed in March 1965 Margot left the NZBC and went to England where, for almost a year, she divided her time between radio and television. The wedding date in New York coincides with Margot’s 23rd birthday. . . . Hylda Bamber occasionally seen on DNTV2, is also abroad and a while back joined Margot for a tour of Italy and France. Hylda is on leave of absence from NZBC ..... Lord Denning made a favourable impression with the staff of DNTV2 when Gordon Parry had to interview him in difficult circumstances. Because DNTV2’s equipment had been sent to Bluff, the interview had to be conducted before a single cine-camera. Consequently, after the interview was filmed, Lord Denning was astonished to find that Gordon Parry was not through but had to change his position and repeat his questions in exactly the same tone that he had used before. This to be cut into the finished product. Won’t that be very difficult? What about the atmosphere? Lord Denning asked. Then he happily volunteered to act out the whole interview again while the cameraman focused on the interviewer. Assured that there was no need to take up his time, the Master of the Rolls smiled, Well, I understand I’ll be out of the country when this is screened. If there’s anything wrong you can shoulder the blame on. my behalf.

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