From the New Zealand TV Weekly. March 20, 1967
With the remarkable success of the pirate radio station, local mutterings are being heard again on the possibility of a pirate TV set-up. Little chance of this happening, but reiteration of the proportion Auckland area provides of NZBC TV licence and advertising revenue may have some effect in producing a second channel locally well before other centres. Suggestions of a cable link with Wellington which would give a choice of AKTV2 or WNTV1 are unpopular. What would be the point of having a different version of the same thing as the only alternative, say the locals. . . . . Plaint of older viewers when C'mon! is on: What is Peter Sinclair talking about? Pete's patter is too fast-paced for many to pick up. Yet a surprising number of oldsters dig the show. . . . . Local columnist notes that if you leave your car to be fixed at any garage, odds are you'll find the radio tuned to 1480 (the pirates) on your return. . . . . Local newsmen suggesting that Column Comment should be spread further round the country when it returns. . . . . Technician, Garth Beniel, getting plaudits for his handling of C'Mon's "big sound". As a result, Larry's Rebels have been trend-setters in cutting a commercial recording in the NZBC studio-probab1y the first time NZBC facilities have been used in this way. Could be a new source of revenue. . . . . Cherry Raymond looking very sporty in a vivid scarlet Consul Capri. . . Considerable doubt whether the projected visit by Diana Rigg (Emma Peel) will ever come off. Still talk of Shari Lewis as a visitor.
The opening of WNTV1's new transmitter on Mt. Kau Kau turned out to be a great occasion, even though the death of the Minister of Finance Mr Lake the day previously cast a pall over the politicians present. The celebrated Wellington wind, which normally blows at anything up to 100 miles an hour on the 1,400ft mountain top, dropped to no more than a breath. All the big-wigs were there, and Ian Johnstone did a neat job in touring the transmitter buildings. It was also a pleasant touch to get the Prime Minister to switch over directly to the Basin Reserve for a cricket telecast. There was a clever shot with the big camera pannig all the way from Kau Kau down to the cricket. New Zealanders tend to be critical of these opening functions, but it was well worth underlining to viewers that £400,000 of their money had gone into the facility. . . . . Unfortunately for the corporation, the Prime Minister had none of the news it would have liked to hear - such as that the government had at last approved the start of work on the Avalon studio complex. He did not mention what might happen about second channels, nor did he hint what the government was thinking about the term of the director-general which expires soon. Most people expect the term to be renewed, but for how long? . . . . As mentioned in this column last week, many viewers were extremely pleased with the reception from the new transmitter. But the mounting number of complaints suggested that the corporation perhaps under-estimated the need to keep the public informed. Certainly TV maintenance firms were flat out with work associated with redirecting aerials.
One of CHTV3's and radio's top newsmen, Graham Coddington and family returned home after a recent Sunday outing to find fire engines in attendance. The Coddington home was badly damaged and Graham remarked that, after reporting many a fire in the course of his work, it had come as a big surprise, as fires were the sort of thing that always happened to other people. He was equally surprised to read local newspaper reports the following day and find his name had been changed to "Poddington" and "Paddington"! . . . . . When Roy Woodward turned his back on the camera and mike at the end of February there was considerable conjecture around the studios as to who was going to fill the senior announcer's berth. Among those in the running was Wallie Chamberlain, but the answer should be known by now. . . . . CHTV3's sports team has had a full O.B. diary recent weekends-national swimming championships at the Centennial Pool and Canterbury v Australia cricket at Lancaster Park on the same afternoon, Canterbury tennis championships, Canterbury v Southland softball on March 11 and then the Australia-New Zealand cricket test over the weekend of March 18. The team has been getting rave notices from the critics as well as viewing public.
Readers may remember young John Greaves who wrote an article for this magazine on The Avengers film project undertaken by him and his classmates at the Otematata High School? Well John now tells us that June Cherry, who was to play Mrs Peel, has left Otematata, rather putting a spoke in the works. However, using the experience gained in planning the original film, the group now plans to switch over and do a Danger-man film. . . . . Whatever night it used to be long ago that was hair-washing night, Saturday night would be a good night for the chore this 1967. True, many people make Saturday night their night out, but just as many look forward to a relaxed night at home, possibly watching television later than usual. Yet on DNTV2 lately there's been such a sag in the middle of Saturday night TV, that it's hardly worth sitting through the middle for the dubious rewards at the end. One might not like Gunsmoke but would tolerate the Western for the sake of those who do, but the solemn World Scene, however admirable and however worthy as a summing-up, is sadly misplaced on a night which could be, and most people think should be, "entertainment without effort." . . . . There seems to be a lull in enterprise in local production. Why not build programmes around Harry Gibson or Carl Stirling or both - instead of creating a format and trying to find a man to fit it? Harry can be a most provocative and compelling chairman, and Carl has had extensive overseas experience in the ad-lib type informal show.