From the New Zealand TV Weekly. January 9, 1967
Should imagine that Graham Kerr was thoroughly sick of the silly questions he encountered when autographing his cookbook in local shops. However, if it boosted the Christmas gift trade the way it was supposed to do, the public appearance lark would certainly be well worthwhile. So far as I know, he didn't repeat his Sydney singing performance while here. The
gastronaut, as one columnist happily called him, warbled September Song on Sydney telly. . . . . Considering his popular following, it is a wonder somebody hasn't asked the BBC Sunday Newsletter man, Sam Pollock, to come and visit us. In Fiji recently, I heard that a group of locals had started up a collection to buy him a grateful gift. . . . . The kefuffle over possible Town and Around replacements seems to have been a false alarm. Only leaver will be Annabel Murray, already a much-travelled lass but now ofi to Australia and thence back to Europe to catch up on places she has missed. Her travelling started when she commuted between Britain and India, where her dad was a tea planter. . . . . Colin Hill contemplating time off to write another book. He's not new to being an author, but certainly doesn't claim to have nudged best-selling status yet. . . . . Wonder whether Kevan Moore will be moved back to Auckland when a series of C'mon! gets under way. Seems silly to keep this talented variety producer in Wellington when facilities and talent are better here.
What has the NZBC lined up for '67? It looks like the most ambitious year yet for homegrown productions. Top of the bill will be Brian Bell's drama series, due -to go into production about July, and Kevan Moore's pop shows. A question mark still hangs over programmes of the Compass and Topic type. The replacement for Gordon Bick, when and if he is found, may have different ideas on the Compass format. All that can be said at this point is that the NZBC will maintain these prestige programmes if it can. Producer Bob La Presle, formerly of the N.F.U., and noted for his production S.A.R., will probably be signed up to do a documentary series. There will be two series of six of Entertaining with Kerr; Horizon, Science in New Zealand, Country Calender will continue unchanged. Instead of the Family Game, local stations are to mount quiz programmes-they are to work out their own formats. Pictorial Magazine (Looking at New Zealand perhaps?) has proved so popular its time will be extended. Brylan Ashbridge will be doing a ballet series from Auckland, which may also mount a ballroom dancing championship. Children's programmes may be modified because the output of women's programmes is to be increased. Town and Around will be continued. Three wildlife programmes by Jim Siers are to be screened. Pop singer Maria Dallas will appear in two Golden Girl programmes, produced by Chris Bourn. This is a rough outline of what's scheduled so far, from Controller of Television, Tabu Shankland, and chief producer Alan Martin. Still undecided, at time of writing, was number of C'mon! programmes to be done by Kevan Moore, 13 or 26. After he has finished this series, he will do six Cameras on Campus.
W. E. Merritt, spin bowling star of many a first-class match at Lancaster Park, has appeared in a new role this Plunket Shield season as a member of CHTV3's team of cricket commentators. He returned to Christchurch late last year after several years in England and district sports officer Dick Allard lost no time in snapping him to fill the place vacated by Mr A. G. Williams, who felt his job as commentator might not have been compatible with his duties as chairman of the Canterbury Cricket Association management committee. The Rev. R. A. (Bob) Lowe has refused to let his newly-assumed responsibilities as vicar of Fendalton to interfere with his commentaries from the Park. . . . . Pity Channel 3 had to run the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy motor-cycle racing film on the Sunday afternoon most local two-wheeler fans were out watching the first of the season's international motocross events at Finlay's Farm. It's not the first time a film of a major overseas sporting event has clashed with a local fixture and left followers in a cleft stick. . . . . On the same subject: It's difficult to understand why World Series of Golf, 1966 - two 90-minute programmes, mark you - had to be shown on Sunday afternoons when most players were out on the links.
Anyone who envies Alison Holst her newfound fame (and fortune?) should realise that she's really earned it. You don't organise her kind of TV demonstrations with all their pre-thought and preparation, AND write a book AND have a new baby all at the same time, without considerable effort. As soon as Alison got her new son home she was back on the job- and finding it not all milk and honey. Called to the phone on business, she sounded a little distraught, and explained that she was tending the new baby and daughter Kirsten had just upset a box of cornflour! . . . . . DNTV2's Programme Department had an unusual idea of Christmas decorating. The centre ceiling piece was a Triffid, which we understand is a tentacled creature that eats people. But don't get the idea their sense of Christmas is completely macabre. They planned to have some mistletoe, too, but had difficulty in finding any. Maybe just as well. . . . . Carl Hebenstreit, sometime TV emcee and radio serial-writer, tells us he had a visit recently from an ex-Warner Bros. man who was sound mixer on the second Al Jolson movie. The visitor was given Carl's address by none other than Adam West (Batman). . . . . Maureen Little . . . . . Catherine Dowling was recently promoted to Senior Announcer, Dunedin, the first time a woman has held that post here. Congratulations Catherine.