From the New Zealand TV Weekly. April 15, 1967
The Auckland Festival has come and gone with the customary sprinkling of nightly news and comment. There was one major disappointment-the military tattoo, undoubtedly the biggest thing of its kind ever staged here, was not made the subject of a full-scale programme for screening on all channels. Scraps from the show were seen in Cherry Raymond's Festival Report, in the news, and in the children's programme, but surely the event warranted the taping of a complete coverage for later screening. The festival authorities had their reasons for turning down a suggestion that a live telecast should be done. After all, they had to consider the overall revenue, and something like the tattoo could easily have been rained-out. But the AKTV decision was that a delayed telecast would not have very much impact . . . . Barry Crump, the good keen man who has been absent from this year's Town and Around, made his return with a pleasantly nutty little piece on how to get into a house with a chain saw, aided and abetted by the versatile Tom Finlayson, who is emerging as the show's most reliable contributor. If Barry can maintain this standard, his efforts will be more rewarding than were so-me of his feather-weight pieces last year . . . . The one-time heart throb of half the world's women, Ramon Navarro, was due to make a brief call in Auckland during a Pacific cruise this month. A top star of the silent films, he has cropped up in several screen anthologies which we have seen and also some rather cruel Flash backs in Fractured Flickers. Reported to be working on his autobiography, Navarro evidently dropped his idea of becoming a priest after his screen career ended.
New man for another four programmes in the Column Comment series, is Louis Johnson, perhaps best-known as a poet and as Editor of the Poetry Year Book for several years. He has worked on newspapers as a sub-editor, and runs a weekly column in a Wellington newspaper. He is now with the Schools' Publication Branch of the Education Department. Though Ian Cross will be missed--he has currently too many other commitments-Louis Johnson should have some interesting slants on the newspapers . . . . On Camera teams from the four centres gathered in Wellington one weekend in March to talk over mutual problems and points of interest. The main concern is to ensure a continuing high standard in the twice-weekly series. Head office personnel, Prudence Gregory and Roy Melford (chief producer), among others joined the discussions. Only team unchanged from the original is WNTV1's Irvine Lindsay and producer John Charles. Other centres have retained the same hostesses, but new producers have come in, Mike Scott in Auckland, David Pumphrey in Christchurch, Nigel Beard in Dunedin. The level of enthusiasm among each team indicates that On Camera should again be one of the top local shows in popularity . . . . Diane Pickett, who did so well as a member of the WNTV1 Town and Around reporting staff last year, is now with the Australian weekly 30-minute current affairs documentary Telescope . . . . Joe Musaphia is attracting an in creasingly wide following--and not only among children-With his programme, Joe’s World. The Auckland Star's Television critic, Barry Shaw, has already singled out Joe as a man with a very large comic talent and thinks he could be, in embryo, New Zealand's first genuine Television comedian. Joe's World has the distinction of being the sole NZBC children's programme of 1967 to survive into another year . . . . Maurice Smyth's first effort as a producer in the variety field had an appropriately Irish note. The show might have been a little dry for viewers to regard as a real ceilidh, but it went off very smoothly. Whether Maurice will get the chance to expand into this field some more in the future is not certain . . . . Still no word, at time of writing, on what is happening to Compass.
Not quite as well-known as his Town and Around front man, brother Bernard, but, nevertheless, no stranger to local viewers, Pat Smyth has taken-up the post of area supervisor in Christchurch for an Auckland-based insurance company. Well-known, in local theatrical circles for his work on stage, TV and radio, Pat was publicity man for the local theatre company that folded in the city earlier this year . . . . News that Broadcasting Minister, the Hon L. R. Adams-Schneider, had agreed to set aside half-an-hour on two afternoons a week for "educational and instructional" TV, broke without fanfare in this city. The information was received at a meeting of the Burnside High School Board of Governors in the minutes of the Secondary School Boards Association. No other details were given, except that teachers' organisations were discussing ways in which the time could be most effectively used. Local NZBC officials were evidently pretty much in the dark also, for they were unable to enlarge on the Ministerial decision after the news broke . . . . Local TV critic who lambasted this city's second last episode of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, raised bobby-soxers' eyebrows when he commented that it was much too morbid and gruesome for a junior audience. General opinion from snap survey among keen Voyage watchers was that if the critic had got around to watching earlier episodes he might have really had something to write about-not that they were much concerned about oldsters' views, anyway . . . . Once upon a time the Western was staple fare but now it would appear that the NZBC's programme selection committee, or whatever it calls itself, has switched its affections to the man with a mission, or at least an excuse. Latest offering in heavily weighted local menu is Man in a Suitcase, McGi1l. Throw in The Fugitive, The Invaders and so on, and it looks as though the programmers never heard that variety is the spice of life . . . . Enterprising local corgi breeder let it be known pups he was about to put on the market were closely related to Candy, the Little Dog Lost star of the Walt Disney production screened on a recent Sunday. Disbelief of friends and others was overcome when breeder traced the family tree and offered to back it up with documentary proof. No report yet on how sales went. But it does go to show that it's a small world.
There was a definite class-room atmosphere in one of DNTV2's studios recently as the station's news readers gathered for a final briefing before the launching of Dunedin's "new-look" weather report. On hand to instruct the announcers in the use of the new weather charts and to answer their many questions was Mr Smith, of the Civil Aviation Meteorological Office at Momona Airport. CHTV3 has been very helpful in providing the first necessary contacts with the Met. Office and Christchurch airport, where maps of the correct size for transmission by wire-photo are prepared. When the weather maps are received in Dunedin they are drawn up on oxidised aluminium plates and these are what the viewer sees on the TV screen. Drawing up these plates has been the task of scenic artist, Mr Kevin Robinson. As well as the two large maps showing general conditions, smaller charts with specific areas shaded in are required, together with descriptions of all maps for the announcers. When the weather conditions are recorded in Dunedin at 3 p.m., they first have to be sent to Christchurch and getting them back to Dunedin, which has no Met. Office, in suitable form for presentation at 7.30 p.m., has constituted one of the major problems of the whole venture, according to Operations Supervisor, Mr Ted Kelly, who has been in charge of the scheme since it was first decided upon. Another DNTV2 staff member who has played a major part in preparing the new weather reports is Mr Leo Jervis, who has been looking after the presentation side. Fully-schooled in all details of weather map reading, the announcers present were given an opportunity for a trial-run, and it was interesting to see just how each individual handled, material which was the same for all. The announcers were advised to follow exactly the information sent down by the Weather Office, as the alteration or addition of a word in the wrong place apparently can make a lot of difference to the forecast. Incidentally, the announcers were shown a re-run of their trial weather forecast, and it provided a rather fascinating study to see how our cool and efficient news readers reacted when face-to-face with themselves! A final note for the musically- minded: the bright new theme used to introduce the weather report is The Bitter Sweet Samba . . . . Congratulations to announcer, David England, and his wife, Julia, who recently became the proud parents of a daughter, Carolyn Dawn. They already have two sons.