From the New Zealand TV Weekly. May 1 1967


With the NZBC clamping down on expenditure of overseas funds, local artists-and private enterprise producers who are prepared to take a calculated risk-have their best chance ever of picking up a curly quid. You can bet that more NZBC producers and performers will be following, say, Kevan Moore and Peter Sinclair into the big outside world. . . . Odd angle in the NZBC "save overseas funds" drive: An airline's offer to take a three-man camera team to San Francisco and Honolulu for eight days, all expenses paid, was turned down because of the prevailing economic state. Couldn't a sharp TV team have picked up a lot of interesting material, seen through N.Z. eyes, at no cost in that time? . . . Problems of paying for popsters to return from Australia may change the face of C'mon as witness the arrival on the scene of such Country land Western performers as Big Mike Durney . . . Possibility of one or more other pirate radio stations joining the existing Hauraki set-up could spell death for all of them. Rough luck on the present boys if this was to happen. . . . Wonder how much has been spent on the Welter of self-identifying pop cuts 1ZB has chartered. . . . Could be some new faces on TV continuity announcing shortly.


Maurice Smyth has settled into his new groove producing Town and Around, and the team appears to be working very smoothly under his guidance. His professional training shows not only in the choice of subjects but the treatment, and the whole programme hangs together much more coherently than under the previous producer whose occasional brilliant flashes were out-weighed by the less happy moments. If Town and Around is to come back to its original standard under Kevan Moore last year, something may have to be done about one or two of the front of camera personnel. . . Ian Cross got off to a flying start with his first Column Comment. There were some anguished cries from editorial departments around the country. Contrary to some published reports, Ian will be handling the initial nine "Columns" on his own. Beyond that, NZBC has not indicated whether it will call on anyone else. If it is wise it will stick to Cross, who has developed an engaging camera manner, which, allied to his outstanding subject matter, sets him apart as a TV commentator. . . Peter Sinclair, who has resigned from the NZBC's permanent staff to work more lucratively on contract, will in future be based on Auckland. He has some more C'mon! shows to do, and the prospect is more TV compering in the future. . . . Though NZBC turned down Batman it is apparently thinking of screening imitators The C.A.T. and Captain Nice. Talking of programmes, Wellington viewers are showing some disappointment, with the new series of The Avengers. Maybe, too, they are missing from that time slot the Dean Martin Show. . . . NZBC has selected someone to compere the new current affairs programmes for afternoon viewing, but they are keeping mum at present until after appeals, if any, are lodged.


The NZBC directive regarding anglicising of Maori names could lead to even more confusion in the view of one local announcer who, naturally, prefers to remain anonymous. His point: What is the correct anglicised version? Case he quoted is Motukarara, for which the NZBC has approved Motcher-karara. What self-respecting announcer is going to say 'Motcher' in front of the cameras? he asks . . . . . . .It had to happen sooner or later! The Canterbury University students revue is called "Clown and Around" and has a TV theme . . . . . The Canterbury Theatre Trust has announced plans to establish a full-time training school for actors. It will be known as the Christchurch Academy of Dramatic Art, and will be run by the trust in conjunction with its regional professional theatre scheme. This could provide further stimulus for local TV dramatic productions . . . . . Claude and Associates, a Christchurch advertising firm, spread its wings recently and flew to good effect to produce A Stranger in Our Midst, a brief documentary about the intellectually handicapped child. It was produced for the Intellectually Handicapped Children Society, although the film was shot on location at the North Shore branch of the society in two days. Commentary by well-known Bernard Kearns. Good to see a local firm getting into TV and doing a good job . . . . . An avid local viewer, following recent weekend experiences has a new motto and is sticking to it -"Never on Sunday Afternoons". Fair enough! Channel 3's Sunday afternoon fare, particularly the films, have been so poor as to defy description. It would not be so bad if some of the really classic old-timers were screened, but most were lightweights even in their own day. Of course, there is always the old excuse (You can turn it off), but viewers are entitled to something better in return for what they pay.


Vivacious Eileen Cook, 4ZB's afternoon personality, has been chosen to compere afternoon television programmes for women. She was seeded-out from approximately 60 women living in Otago and Southland who applied for the position. Miss Cook is 33, English and has worked as a radio announcer in Gisborne, Masterton and Christchurch. To begin with the new afternoon programmes, scheduled to start late May or early June, will be broadcast for half an hour three afternoons a week. The programme will contain talks, interviews and demonstrations, lightened by musical breaks provided by Dunedin's own local talent. The acting producer, Brian Ault, who will be running things until a resident producer is appointed, anticipates that for a while the women's programme will go on the air live from the studio in contrast to Town and Around, the other news magazine programme, which is usually filmed or on tape. Apart from Saturday afternoon sports and the occasional news "special", the viewer seldom...

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