From the New Zealand TV Weekly. May 8, 1967


Television has been blamed for all sorts of youthful pranks but it gets a bit steep when shows take the rap by inference for adult misdemeanours. A phoney "doctor" picked up in Auckland had, according to the police sergeant, used his umbrella to hook several guests around the neck as portrayed by the renowned Mr Steed in the television show The Avengers. . . . . Considerable (and justified) pride taken by technicians after the record distance live telecast of the fourth cricket test came off perfectly. . . . . Doreen Neale, in charge of NZBC's telly shows for the smaller set, had a frightening local requirement for the Speak Up series. She was, she said, looking for a 10-year-old with a mind like a steel trap. Pending the discovery of such a prodigy, nippers who stood out in last year's Top Mark were recruited to get the show under way. Wonder whether the little ones really want to sit and listen to others of their age acting as pundits? . . . . Announcers come, announcers go. Departures include popular young Eugene Fraser, who hopes to break into the TV scene in Britain. On the arrival side is Adrian Aylott, who moved over from radio. Must be the only person in the NZBC who was born in China. . . . . Work is moving along on the local assignments for the 12-part documentary series on local industries and life being done under the direction of Bob La Presle. Auckland's items' will cover vineyards and winemakers, wharves and wharf workers, and boats and boat builders. . . . . Can't say some announcers knew how to handle the personality touch when working in the studio "fishbowl" at the Easter Show.


Danger Man, which topped the ratings for many months has finished-and no more of the series are available to the NZBC (for the simple reason that no more were malde). Repeat screenings may be considered later if the demand is strong enough. Meanwhile Barry Parkin in Head Office TV reports that the viewing committee is eager to have a look at the new series Patrick McGoohan is now making in Britain called, says Barry, The Prisoner. . . . . Viewers who have been puzzled that the pop show C'mon! has not appeared among the top ten lists issued by NZBC audience research, will find the answer in the fact that the top ten only takes in peak evening viewing, that is from 7.30 p.m. onwards. Audience research expert, M.r R. M. Cornell, reports that C'mon! is doing "very nicely" in the age group at which it is aimed. . . . . Popular continuity girl, Irvine Lindsay, will front the special afternoon programmes from WNTV1 now in preparation by Miss P. Gregory, in charge of women's television programmes. Irvine has been with the NZBC for nearly three years, including a spell with DNTV2. With a background of work in the theatre, interest in music and experience in television and broadcasting, Irvine was a "natural." Apparently there were something like 300 applications for the four posts on the four channels. . . . . NZBC seems to have solved the problem of appeals against the man it wanted to edit "The Listener" in succession to Mr Monte Holcroft. By designating Alexander MacLeod as associate editor, it places him in a strong position when finally Mr Holcroft goes. Several top men in the Radio and Television news service were in the short list from which Mr MacLeod was chosen. Mr MacLeod seems to have had a meteoric rise in journalism, and it will be interesting to see how he fares in the steps of Mr Holcroft and the late Oliver Duff. . . . . New additions to the NZBC Parliamentary news reporting staff are former Dunedin journalist Ron Quennell and junior reporter John Hart. They will work under Southlander David Inglis, who this year achieves the distinction of becoming chairman of the Parliameniiary Press Gallery, a much sought-after honour.


Seems some girls just can't resist the box! CHTV3 manager Mr I. Lawrence revealed the other day that one woman has complained that since TV came to Christchurch things have become chaotic in her home because she cannot tear herself away from the screen and now that hours of transmission have been increased, . . . . General satisfaction with NZBC's selection of Julie Cunningham to compere afternoon TV from Channel 3. Mrs Cunningham is well known to local viewers and was one of CHTV3's first announcers. Formerly Julie Turpin, she gained her B.A. at Canterbury University and spent two years overseas before joining the NZBC. Julie was one of the first announcers to memorise announcements (some are still trying) . . . . Local newspaper TV critic, Dermont Lawrence, dished out fulsome praise for the Professor Geering interview conducted by Hal Weston for DNTV2. Said he couldn't help thinking that Channel 2 had stolen a march on Compass and the Wellington public affairs team, while the interview was masterly and Weston had given an object lesson in how to handle such an assignment. He added: Not only had he (Weston) done his homework on the subject, but he had the acumen and the confidence to converse with the controversial theologian on equal terms. That was praise, indeed, from Lawrence (that's not his real name) who is a former top-class journalist and knows what he's talking about. In any event, there are quite a number of supposed interviewers who could take a few leaves out of Weston's book.


When Sandy Edmonds breezed through Dunedin on a fashion stint for a local store DNTV2 reached out and beckoned the young vocalist into their studios to record six short vocal items which will be used to brighten "dead" time between scheduled programmes. Filling up two or three minutes of television time between the end of one programme and the start of another offers the NZBC an excellent opportunity to give local talent a chance to show off their talents with a one-spot item. Sandy Edmonds will make a pleasant change from a slow pan of the Southern Lakes or close-ups of a cabbage tree. . . . . It is common place to hear of radio announcers defecting to television, but you don't often hear of a TV announcer turning round and contributing to old steam radio. However, Tui Uru has just finished recording a bracket of songs for radio though few viewers are likely to give up their viewing time to hear her, unfortunately. . . . . Talking about radio, it comes as a bit of a surprise to hear the popular Compass personality, Ian Johnstone, doing continuity announcing for the NZBC's nationlal radio programme. Surely the Corporation could find other competent announcers to do this kind of radio "hack" work. I can't imagine Walter Cronkite reading record labels between his TV appearances. . . . . And still the numbers are growing, those husband and Wife teams working for the NZBC. Here in the south it goes like this. Hal Weslton and wife Frances have appeared together on Town and Around. David Beatson and his wife Lynn are both in news reporting and interviewing. And Don McCutcheon's wife, Millie, is starting in radio. . . . . Rumours in the frosty autumn air that DNTV2 may be producing another panel discussion programme after the style of Any Questions which was chaired with cordial geniality by Sir John Walsh . . . . . . And congratulations to Noel Robson and his merry band of Town and Around men who presented a wacky spoof on Country Calendar, with a group of white-overalled "scientists" poking and pulling at some pasture on Banks Peninsula. AKTV2 will really have to look to its laurels.

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