From the New Zealand TV Weekly, November 6, 1967


Many Kiwis doing well in overseas TV would gladly return home for their children's sake and if assured of regular acting employment. One, Ewen Solon, of Maigret and recently seen in a Mogul episode, has shown marked interest in the new Auckland Theatre Trust. . . . . Pamela Hewes, wife of AKTV2 producer, Bute Hewes, and a competent British TV actress, now teaches at the Auckland Theatre Trust's School, which can count itself lucky to have such an experienced professional. . . . . January will see Max Cryer off to America for six months. Meantime, he appears once a week in On Camera, has made a new record with his children's choir, another singing to the accompaniment of both Town Hall organ and Civic Theatre Wurlitzer, and will shortly cut a third disc reading children's stories with Town and Around interviewer, Rae Pritchard -. . . . . The BBC documentary, Kangaroo Valley, S.W.5, knocked the lid off a situation which too few New Zealand parents appreciate. A large proportion of young people going to Britain on working holidays have no end in view, no career to further, no idea of what to see or do, and live in unhealthy, cramped conditions, and Earl's Court, an area that began deteriorating drastically nearly 20 years ago, has gone a long way down the scale since. . . . . Many middle-aged mums and dads enjoyed seeing Alice Faye, winsome star of many pre-war musicals, on a recent Dean Martin Show, looking neat of figure and leg and pretty as ever (almost) if a little rusty of voice. . . . . . Writing in London's New Statesman, editor Paul Johnson, who has appeared on several TV panels features seen here, regards the BBC's Forsyte Saga in which Nyree Dawn Porter stars, as a superb example of TV craftsmanship. . . . . The new Hamilton TV station may skim some Auckland talent. For a start, freelance cameraman, Harold Calander, who recently shot interlude material at Mt. Ruapehu, has shifted to the Waikato. . . . . .Versatile Colin Hill, of Town and Around, has appeared recently as an entertainer at Logan Park Motel. . . . . Although John Tate plays only secondary roles in British TV features, his name in the credits always means a sound performance. Seen in several Power Game episodes, he appeared recently in a Sunday night play, I Remember the Battle, giving as usual a first class portrayal of an ex-sergeant major.


The Dean Martin Show is being switched from peak time on Saturday night to a later hour on Wednesday, a decision which might have caused alarm and despondency a few weeks ago, but there has been a noticeable tendency among viewers to become blase about Dino's show Mr Parkin, senior programme officer, says that in NZBC's view there is no falling off in the quality of the show, but they thought they would make the change before people got tired of it. Going into the Martin slot on Saturday nights is a new Western series called The Monroes. There could be more of these programme changes in the future, in order to maintain interest in long-running shows. . . . . . Column Comment is resuming on November 8, but without Ian Cross in his familiar role. Auditions for a successor were being held at the time of writing, and it seemed likely that an Aucklander would be chosen. Though Ian Cross will be missed, there is value in getting a second opinion on our newspapers. Let's hope the new man will be as balanced and forceful in his opinions as Mr Cross. . . . . Dougal Stevenson, whose Compass programme on fishing was a first-class piece of reporting, has been seen and heard keeping his hand in as a newsreader a good deal lately. So, too, has Peter Brian, announcer in charge at Wellington. This could reflect a shortage of likely lads for the newsreading chores. . . . . There was a good deal of rejoicing in the NZBC that the Government had at last approved a start on the Avalon studio complex, even though the plans had to be stripped to the bare bones to get them past Cabinet Works Committee. The start's the thing, though, and once the building is up, it should not be so difficult to get approval for new equipment. . . . . . Popular newsman Nadoo Ballantine-Scott, whose experience With radio in Sydney has stood him in good stead on WNTV1, is going to Dunedin on transfer. . . . . From week to week there is still no more consistent show on television than Z Cars. The great strength of the programme lies in its variety of characters, and in the story line, Some of Alan Prior's scripts particularly are brilliant examples of their genre.


Mary Dick, who helped out very well, indeed, on Town and Around, while Helen Holmes has been recovering from her motor accident earlier this year, now back on the general staff. . . . . . Interesting new and attractive face, with personality to match, featuring on Town and Around recently, is Judy Douglas. CHTV3 might have some shortcomings, but whoever is responsible for the selection of the feminine front knows what he/she is about. . . . . Now it's Timaru that is getting full Town and Around treatment. Mobile unit is making its first foray outside metropolitan Christchurch and one of the first offerings the South Canterbury Agricultural and Pastorial Association's annual show. . . . . . More Town and Around news: WNTV1 and CHTV3 getting together on a combined offering - if it has not come up by the time you read this. . . . . . . Bill Tay1or's new series for the young-young (and possibly not-so-young) set, about a spaceboy who is confronted with earthman's problems, being called 5,4,3,2,1, Zero, If effects count for anything this one should really get off the ground. A 30ft rocket, Channel 3 designed and built, should see to that. . . . Some repeat programmes really do hit the mark. Everyone - but every- one - knows Peter Ustinov, or so they think. Ustinov, the family man, was the subject of a recent after- noon screening and the girls really liked it, along with other stay-at-homes. Just goes to show that timing really counts for something. This didn't rate a mention when it first appeared. Maybe it was incorrectly slotted. In any case, second time up it evidently impressed. Highlights fact that many of the best TV offerings do require an environmental conducive to concentration.


Local broadcasting staff are now settling back to normal routine after a week of celebrations to mark the 30th anniversary of Dunedin's commercial radio station, 4ZB. Many well-known personalities, now familiar figures in the television world, were on hand to help staff and-listeners relive highlights from the three decades. Head office, Wellington, was represented by assistant controller of TV programmes, Mr J. M. McFarlane. Mr McFarlane became well-known to listeners when he was Dunedin's senior announcer and organiser of a favourite weekly event, the Community Sing, The person who probably remembers most about the station's history is Noel Robson, who hosted Town and Around very successfully several months ago. Noel has been with 4ZB longer than any of the present-day announcers. . . . . The Town and Around camera looked in on the festivities and introduced viewers to the face behind another very well-known voice, that of Peter Dawson. Senior announcer, George Speed reports the week passed with a great deal of excitement and that letters poured in from listeners. .We too, join them in congratulating 4ZB on thirty very successful years. . . . . Latest report on the holiday-makers is that Maureen Little is of to Napier for a couple of weeks. 1t's a safe bet though that she won't be going by train. Her pet dislike, since coming to New Zealand from England, is the Kiwi train. . . . . It has been felt that most of the complaints about television's Friday night movies have been quite unjustified, until the screening of the John Wayne/John Ford Season. The series proved quite entertaining in a mediocre way, but the movie, Fort Apache, was enough to make the keenest viewer turn pale. Goodies chased baddies and vice versa. John Wayne played a horribly righteous hero, as usual, and the whole thing was topped off with a generous helping of faded Shirley Temple. Gone was the innocent charm of The Little Colonel and in its place was the sickly sweetness of an immature 19-year-old. It would be unfair to lay the blame entirely with producers or actors here but we trust NZBC won't treat us to this kind of inferior viewing too often.

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