From the New Zealand TV Weekly. February 13, 1967
April seems to be the start date for the majority of AKTV2's activities and this seems a bit daft-a quarter of the year should not be allowed to elapse in this way. The holiday period is a bit of a write off, but such a lengthy recovery period seems unnecessary. Major show for April production is Gala Performance, with Bryan Ashbridge handling some of the top artists, including Heather Begg, Fenton Bowen (classical guitarist) and concert pianists David Galbraith and Janetta McStay. Backings are expected to be provided by the Symphonia of Auckland with Juan Mateucci conducting. Max Cryer will front the programme, provided his voice is back in working order by that time. He's spent some time conversing with the aid of a typewriter. . . . . Auditions have been held to winkle out two men and a woman to compere a children's series being prepared by Michael Devine. His idea is to build a "swinging children's show"-a sort of junior Town and Around.
Prudence Gregory, a good choice as the girl responsible for the new women's afternoon television programmes, will have the women of the country on her doorstep. She wants four new female "TV personalities"-one for each channel-to organise and front the programmes. None of your icy glamour, thanks, but brightness and warmth. The jobs will be advertised here and overseas. Wouldn't it be nice if the Pritchard sisters applied? Or maybe Shirley Maddock. Robyn King, and Pam Carson from Saturday Miscellany, ought to have good chances. Now there's a new children's programme in the pot, to replace Top Mark this year. Top Mark, running for more than a year, has been so successful that they don't want to spoil it by over-exposure. It will be rested. The new programme won't be a quizz, but will aim to get participation out of the children in their homes, and looks like using a panel in the studio. Like Top Mark, it will be a national programme working in series through the centres. Children's programmes Will take a lift from April 1, starting at 4.30 p.m. instead of 5 p.m. New producers have been named for the National children's programmes- Mike Devine in Auckland, Terry Bryan in Wellington, in Christchurch a new boy, Leo Jarvis. No name for Dunedin yet. With so much demand for producers, there was good reason for starting the second producers' training course. (The first ran in August-September last year.) Roy Melford, back from Dunedin, is running it. The new boys will wind up their two month course by producing a full quarter-hour show, paper war and all. Brian Bell is running a series of actors workshops in Wellington, aimed at getting enough talent for the year's local TV plays.
Although heavily involved for the past year in guidling the Christchurch Boys' High School oar club in the organisation of an international motor show, which was held in conjunction with the international Lady Wigram Trophy car race last month, C.B.H.S. science master Ron Walton found time to work up a third series of his popular In the Nature of Things programmes. It's not often the NZBC falls in love with a third series of anything, so this is yet another feather in the Walton cap, although he freely admits he really sweats it out working up these programmes, as well as the radio talks. for which he is almost as well known. . . . . Linda McDougall, probably best known for her spotlight on the Kiwi female and male of the species documentaries, although she has much else to her credit, went to the capital city mid-January to replace Kevan Moore as the key body behind WNTV2's most populiar programme, and immediately started on the big task of stockpiling material for the resumption of Town and Around. persist . . . . Recent local visitor was the London Sun's motoring correspondent Barrie Gill, who does a half-hour TV motoring programme for BBC2 each week. Here for the international motor races, Gill confessed that he had not really had much of a look at NZBC TV and so was not prepared to make any comparisons with the British diet. . . . . Incidentally, Gill, a Yorkshireman, is a fine mimic and previewed a number of currently popular U.K. programmes, including one that makes Adjective. He says it leaves Steptoe and Son for dead, for won't go further than that as he understands Granny NZBC is not quite as "mod" as Granny BBC and further comment might prejudice Kiwi viewers' chances of a bit of good clean fun!
This is the week that the curtain goes up on DNTV2's Town and Around series for 1967. The new producer, Rod Cornelius, who has to his credit the clever Kaleidoscope children's programme, is backed up by an ebullient team that includes Kathy Dowling, Howell Watson and Dave Beatson with Noel Robson, a steam radio man, as host. If the Town and Around programme looked like a For Men Only kind of show last year, in the future Mr Cornelius is all for plunging Kathy in-to the darkest reaches of Southland and Otago to get the feminine angle on people and places. DNTV2 team believes they have to travel further to get stories than their counterparts on other channels. But Invercargill viewers are still complaining that T and A and the NZBC mobile van spurns the big news breaking in Southland's boom town. Believe Hamilton complains of the same lack of attention from Auckland's Town and Around. Solution, get your own TV station, man. . . . . Two documentaries, are now being prepared by Rhodesian-trained producer Brian Ault. The first features John Middleditch, local sculptor who has exhibited in New York and London and the second is on A. H. Reed, renowned walkabout publisher now in his 91st year. . . . . Defying the NZBC's magnetic pull north, Auckland cameraman Martin Baynes has left Auckland to join the Dunedin team. He is another Rhodesian, like Brian Ault, which may explain his unusual decision to come south.