Originally published in the New Zealand TV Weekly January 29, 1968.
Previously, entertainers had a hectic time with resort bookings over the holiday period and, by this time of the year, they were starting to get over their tiredness and begin looking at the possibilities of work ahead. Thanks to extended hotel hours, it looks as though life will become a lot easier for such folk. This, in turn, can mean that more variety is available for television revues as there won’t be the same compulsion on show folk to head overseas simply to find work. Already the pattern of entertainment in pubs is starting to form here and by the looks of things the trend will continue. At least one segment of the community shouldn’t have to worry about the effect of wool prices and devaluation!.... Good news that the Post Office is pressing for satellite links with the rest of the world. We have become fairly accustomed to news clips tagged "live by satellite", but when we know that they are really filmed clips they lose their immediacy. That is the important thing with international satellite transmission - the extraordinary difference it makes to viewers to realise that the event they are looking at is actually taking place at that minute perhaps 10,000 miles away. And, if they are looking for a “plus” in the finances, New Zealand participation in such international links can lead to overseas publicity which we can only dream of at present..... Max Cryer away to the States on a private venture which will include collecting material for the afternoon On Camera programmes. One of the first of his planned assignments is a visit to radio personality, Marina, now living in California ..... The main studio is having a busy time coping with all the work offering. The old Studio 2 being remodelled - not before time as hardly anything has been done to it since telecasting first started. Lack of studio facilities could well prompt a far greater utilisation of the mobile unit, and indeed exteriors for drama productions are now being shot so that they are. ready to be slotted into place when studio space is avail- able for the interior sequences.... One thing versatile. producer, Kevan Moore, does not do is get in front of the cameras himself. Pity, because Kevan has the looks and the pleas- ant personality to be a good front man for his own Late Show. How about it, Kevan?
A big pat on the back for NZBC planners. They have scheduled a live telecast of the Waitangi Day celebrations through all four channels on February 6. Too often this national day of ours passes unnoticed except for the commemoration at Waitangi itself. The live telecast can only help us to remember our rich heritage. There will be a re-enactment of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi and, appropriately, the Whakatokea Maori party will take part in the telecast. Bill Leathwick will do the commentary ..... But while the planners can rise to the occasion at times, at others they make some inexplicable decisions. Who, for instance, decided that 7 p.m. on Sunday was the right spot for All Gas and Gaiters? Just when the country’s ministers are starting their evening services. It’s such a delightful show that the Vicar would get as many laughs as the rest of us.... The planners have also received brickbats for the programmes they selected to screen on WNTV1 over the Christmas and New Year period. Local critics have complained about the unimaginative fare and the excessive screening of cricket. The planners themselves think the criticism unfair. Just look at what was showing in Sydney on Christmas Day, they say. It is a difficult time to select programmes that will please everyone, especially when so many regular viewers are away on holiday. Nevertheless, the planners must take notice of the criticism and try to improve things next Christmas.... Town and Around returns to the screens on February 19 with a mixture of new and old faces. Personality girl, Diane Pickett has joined the NZBC trek overseas, off to Britain via Australia. Taking her place will be Catherine Dowling, a cheery blonde familiar to Dunedin viewers. She will have a hard job replacing Diane. Announcer, Phillip Sherry, has finished his six-month stint with T & A. Bill Saunders, who frequently handles the evening news, joins the team. The old faces will he Keith Aberdeen’s and Peter Read’s. There has been some suggestion that Peter Read is suffering from over exposure-he’s been the front man since Town and Around’s early days. But when you start thinking of a replacement, who could manage the job as well as Peter? No names come.
Talk about an ill wind! Who would have forecast a year ago that there could possibly be some fringe benefits for members of Channel 3’s Town and Around team? A pre-Christmas extra-mural assignment for frontman, Bernard Smyth, was to judge an amateur talent quest conducted by a resourceful local publican to boost late drinking trade. Brian Edwards, in a reversed role, compered the show ..... An interesting point there: Christchurch’s radio personalities seem to collect quite a few of these perks, whereas the established TV people seem to miss out. . . . Take a tip! A week away from the box can be quite en- lightening. Could be that TV standards are slipping or that radio standards are rising, but the fact remains, these days there is some good stuff to be heard, if not seen. And don’t let anyone tell you that radio is not popular. A pre-Christmas nine-to-midnight telephone request programme from 3ZB should have had the Postmaster-General rubbing his hands gleefully with toll calls from as far afield as Deep Cove pouring in with monotonous regularity. Secret could be that radio is intimate, whereas, for the most part, TV isn’t and gives little appear ance of wanting to be. . . The Rev. Bob Lowe may wax poetical when it comes to cricket commentaries, but there is no doubt that CHTV3 can count itself fortunate in having him and Bill Merritt on tap for Lancaster Park commentaries. Still there are some who turn off the sound and watch, listening to Jim Reid’s radio commentary. Maybe it would not do any harm to give Jim a chance in front of the monitor screen and pop the Rev. behind a microphone, just for a change.... Seems you can’t please all the viewers even some of the time. Newspaper correspondent, obviously wrapped in P.P., had the effrontery to suggest switching the Avengers to afternoon viewing!
DNTV2 has, for some time, been the only channel in the country which has no weather programme apart from a summary of the day’s temperatures and conditions and the outlook for the following day, read by the continuity announcer. Local viewers, with few exceptions, have accepted the situation meekly, but all going well, in a few months they’ll be finding out just what they have been missing, for plans are in hand to provide the channel with a sophisticated weather report, similar to those now shown on other channels. The reason for Dunedin having lagged behind for so long in this respect is that the Weather Office has only a reporting station down here, which sends its findings directly to Christchurch where the weather maps are made up. This, according to the district manager for NZBC, Mr H. A. S. Rollinson, still poses the major problem in the new scheme. Namely, receiving the map in Dunedin and preparing the report for the 7.30 pm. New Bulletin, when it is not released from the Christchurch Weather Office until 3 p.m. It is hoped that this will be accomplished by the use of wire photo equipment. With the arrival of the map, the remainder of the task should be comparatively simple. The report will be prepared in much the same way as news items and captions and an announcer will be assigned to learning the necessary details to explain the map markings..... Popular items with music lovers last year were the excerpts from a number of orchestral recitals which were screened, usually on Sunday evenings. A similar idea is proposed this year, and on February 1, DNTV2 will record the National Orchestra’s concert in the Dunedin Town Hall, for viewing at various times throughout the year.... About March or April, filming will be under way on another programme in the Landscape series which was shown last year. Subject this time is one which will find favour with many New Zealand gourmets - the muttonbird.