Previously published in the New Zealand TV Weekly, September 2, 1968.


Surprising that the NZBC does not seem to have been able to sell more of its home-grown material to overseas markets considering the enormous demand which exists. Odd bits and pieces have found buyers-Australia and the BBC bought the Compass interview with the Duke of Edinburgh, and Uganda has also put in a request -but some series which have not been boxed in with either topicality or a high degree of local slant seem to have been commercial fizzers. I would have thought at least a percentage of Kevan Moore’s C'mon programmes would have been welcome in Australia. However, it looks as though the ABC will buy Bryan Easte’s Country and Western Country Touch series. The front man, Tex Morton, is no stranger to Australia-in fact, he’s been across there on another visit and probably picked up some ideas which will make the next Country Touch series more acceptable to an Australian buyer. France and Australia are interested in films of the rugby tests and Greece and Russia have shown four half-hour New Zealand packages.... Incidentally, why didn’t the Auckland rugby moguls relent and let the third test be telecast live when there wasn’t a seat to be had in the grounds days before the event? . . . . Soccer was the sport when such telly names as Rhys Jones, Bryan Ashbridge and Maurice Smyth took the field in the annual joust with local Pressmen ..., And Sportsroom announcer, Tim Bickerstaif, is off to Australia to try his luck there . . . Milli Adams has been away from Button On Button Off! awaiting a much more important event-an addition to the family. Lorna Hope, seen in the Quack and Bimbo glove puppet series a year or two back, has been her replacement . . . . TV make-up is a very specialised business, according to Carleen Spence, well-known model and erstwhile telly panel member- She spent some time looking into tricks of the make-up trade in Sydney and is looking forward to the day when colour TV will make the art even more demanding.... Town and Around is all the more entertaining for its return to some of the delightful little nonsense sketches which it also used to feature in earlier days.


Versatile continuity girl, Pop singer, and radio compere, Jennie Goodwin, has announced her engagement to 30-year-old insurance agent, Mr Graham Clifford Anson, of Wellington, and they plan to marry next April. Before coming to Wellington 18 months ago, Jennie had worked briefly in advertising and in insurance before joining the NZBC as a shorthand typist. She later took a voice and screen test (it was terrible, but it didn’t deter me) and after taking speech lessons twice a week in her lunch hour, finally passed the audition. Last year she made her first record, and more recently on her own radio programme, Girl Talk, she sang a couple of songs on each show.... It has taken a while for viewers, used to treating religious programmes as "dead” viewing time better devoted to washing the dishes, to catch on to, the fact that Dialogue is worth watching. Produced by John Terris (back with the NZBC after a spell at theological college) and fronted by Ian Johnstone, this is a lively programme. The session with Minister of Broadcasting, Mr Adams-Schneider, on morality in politics offered a number of insights into political life. It is reported that one particular programme compiled for Dialogue was so lively that it caused some worried frowns in the head office of NZBC . . . . Musaphia Joe, to whom we have already paid tribute in this column, will be back next month with a new show called Son of Joe’s World. Producer, Terry Bryan, will use much the same formula as in the previous show, with Joe Musaphia and Grant Tilly trying out a new job each week, and falling into all kinds of predicaments. Joe’s talent is one of the most original the NZBC has discovered.... Young viewers, if they are pleased with Joe’s return, still have something to complain about, in the way their interests always seem to suffer when special programmes have to be slotted in, such as rugby tests. It’s hard to know who becomes more upset: the children who miss out on their favourite programmes because they have been screened earlier than usual, or dad who cannot focus on the rugby because of the noise from the youngsters . . . . Wellington producer, Chris Thomson, is in Auckland to begin work on the six-episode Roy Hope thriller, The Alpha Plan. Filming, however, will probably not begin until early next year. Chris is expected to do a good deal of work on location around the North Island for the series . . . . Another series of Misleading Cases, which have brightened up early Sunday evening viewing may be made by the BBC... Here the Hits has had a rather mixed reception from viewers, but generally it has justified being shown at a peak viewing hour.


New Zealand’s plan to introduce some educational sessions in TV programmes should aim at enrichment, as in school radio broadcasts, and not at substituting lessons, said Mr I. G. Clark, lecturer-organiser in extension studies at Canterbury University, on his return from a four-month study tour on TV and liberal studies for adults in Britain, North America and American Samoa on a Carnegie fellowship. Canterbury University had shown wise caution in planning limited use of closed-circuit TV by its extension studies department, he said... Channel 3 has done a pretty good job televising annual rugby fixtures between secondary schools this season, but one game that did not reach viewers was that between Shirley Boys High School and Dunedin’s King’s High School. It was not the fault of Channel 3. As it happened, the Canterbury-Hawke’s Bay representative match was played the same day and a New Zealand Rugby Union ruling forbids the live telecasts when a representative fixture is being played. Presumably this is because the union fears a live telecast would affect the representative “gate” . . . . Channel 3’s newsmen weighed in with a first-class background feature on the closing of West Coast coal mines that has brought gloom to the Grey Valley and Inangahua. On-the-spot interviews with a number of Coasters as well as the Minister of Mines (Mr Shand) put viewers in the picture and must have given them a much greater appreciation of the position than that provided in the excellent press coverage. Labelled a Special News Item, this feature took the place of Gallery . . . . That’s what watching the test matches on TV does for them, was the comment of one spectator at a very junior grade rugby match in Hagley Park on a recent Saturday morning, when a referee dressed down both teams for letting their tempers get the better of them, and threatened to stop the game if the youngsters did not cut out the nonsense.... A recent snap survey among a group of regular and critical viewers indicated that Channel 3’s programmes have improved over the past month or so, and most nights of the week viewers are finding at least one feature that appeals. Certainly from an entertainment 7 viewpoint, the nightly fare has been a bit brighter recently.


Announcer, Raewyn Molloy, received favourable comment for her recent portrayal of the title role in the Dunedin Opera Company’s latest production, Carmen. The week of the opera proved to be a busy one for Raewyn, Who continued with her Television appearances as well as her opera performances only by virtue of the fact that Carmen was staged with a dual cast, which enabled the principal actors to have a “night off ” between shows ... Cool, calm and collected-apart from a brief look of surprise-that’s the way Don McCutcheon appeared to viewers when a fire alarm sounded during the reading of the major news bulletin recently. Don continued to read on amid the clanging of fire alarms for some minutes before the station went off the air and staff left the building. Blank screens caused some doubt among viewers as to the future of the evening’s programme and the studio telephone was soon blocked with outside calls. Order was partially restored, however, when a still of the Otago University, accompanied by music, was transmitted from the Highcliff station. Meanwhile, back at DNTV2, two fire appliances had rushed to the studio to find that the fire alarm had been set off by boiling hot steam from a water heater and all that was required of them was to silence the alarm bells. Normal transmission was restored about 10 minutes after the alarm first sounded A second, 8-minute break in transmission a few nights later, caused this time by a technical fault, led to another screening of slides while repairs were made, and caused one to have serious doubts about the quality of slides on file at DNTV2. The earlier still of the Otago University was out-of-date, but that was a small fault compared to the washed-out appearance of many of the later, often unidentified scenes.

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