From the New Zealand TV Weekly. October 17, 1966
Despite rumours to the effect that Shari Lewis will be here before the end of the year, the firm behind her possible visit says that she will not —but she is keen to come and may make it early next year. Could Shari really be 35, as is stated? .... Not surprising to find ballet star turned producer Bryan Ashbridge brewing up a rather kookie ballet offering for us —Symphony for Fun, which was done by the N.Z. Ballet last year... Barry Crump the latest on the sick list with tonsillitis. Too many of those roll-your-owns? ... Tag-wrestling being taped as a substitute for a Saturday live sports broadcast. Producer Michael Scott has had previous experience in TV coverage of tag-wrestling...
I've done my dash—given all that I can give was the refreshingly honest comment of pioneer producer Ian Watkins, bowing out of telly to return to radio. Ian has the satisfaction of knowing that he has left a string of "firsts" in his log—first continuity announcer, first live interview, first outside commentary, first musical, first religious programme and so on—even the first television licence! . . . . Loss of so many producers has forced transfers from elsewhere. Michael Devine has come from Wellington. First chore he takes over is Of Shoes and Ships... Barbara Magner is out of Town and Around for a time. Replacement is a 24-year-old visiting English journalist, Annabel Murray.
Wellington’s Town and Around, due to reach the 150th edition on October 14, will take a short rest over the holiday period at Christmas. It will end for the year on December 23, resume again on January 30. The Town and Around team is pretty flexible these days. Graham Billing has joined Mike Minehan as one of the regular reporters, works, like producer Kevan Moore and front man Peter Read, on contract, which apparently is much more rewarding than the standard NZBC salary scale. Maurice Smyth, who was on loan to Town and Around from the newsroom, has returned to base. His rich Irish accent will be missed.... Michael Devine, a former radio’ announcer at Rotorua, who came to Wellington to work with Town and Around, was transferred to Auckland, and is to take over from Ian Watkins, the direction of Of Shoes and Ships. Mike, who revealed an agreeable personality when he occasionally appeared on Town and Around interviews, has some new ideas for this children’s programme... Mr Holyoake seems to be mastering the TV medium. At any rate he does not hesitate to order the NZBC men around, so that the best part of the profile is seen. .... Compass did not measure up to its usual high standard in its rather casual treatment of the watersiders’ dispute at Wellington and Tauranga.
Dr Austin Mitchell, senior lecturer in Political Science at Canterbury University and top TV personality broke new ground when he spoke at a literary luncheon to mark the opening of New Zealand Book Week. His subject: The Half-gallon. Quarter-acre, Pavlova-flavoured Boot that rules my life. .... Christchurch City Council, in face of some opposition, has given the NZBC the all clear to establish radio and TV studios, subject to height restrictions and land- scaping, in Opawa..... Professor B. G. Wybourne, of the Canterbury University physics department, returned recently from a 12-day trip to the United States with the news that a man-made element, europium, that is revolutionising illumination, has boosted sales of colour TV sets to 20,000 daily in the U.S. Sets sell for 500 dollars (little more than New Zealanders pay for black and white) and the colour picture matches that of a well-balanced ‘colour transparency, according to the professor... Channel 3’s Town and Around team has brought to light the interesting fact that Canterbury University has got beyond the experimental stage with closed circuit TV as a teaching aid. Biology and psychology students there are watching animal behaviour on the closed circuit and lecturers and students rate it tops, because everyone can see what is going on and also the animals act naturally because they are not disturbed.
DNTV2 announcer Raewyn Lamb has a busy time ahead of her with her production of Wolf Ferrari's opera, Susanna’s Secret for the Dunedin Opera Company. Raewyn is no stranger to the opera, — having toured New Zealand with the New Zealand Opera Company in the lead ing role. A newcomer to the actual production of opera, Raewyn is well known in Dunedin circles for her productions of straight plays and as a performer..... Television producer Rod Cornelius (children’s — productions!) is the proud father of a newly arrived son. The Cornelius’ have hamed their little bundle of joy, Timothy Charles ..... Announcers missed from the screen these days are most probably in Wellington on a course, Cathy Dowling and Dougal Stevenson have been and come back, and in pairs the others are planning to go North for some few weeks yet ... Everybody in Otago these days seems to be bewailing the
drift to the North, but there’s one thing that has drifted South and which no other area in New Zealand has been able to offer of recent times. That one thing is the series—The Avengers! Because the series was late in arriving here, local viewers have been enjoying the antics of Peel and Steed while northern viewers were lamenting the loss of the show. Maybe our City Fathers should have added The Avengers to their list of southern tourist attractions!