From the New Zealand TV Weekly, October 21, 1968
With the tragic and untimely death of producer David Hardy, in a motor accident, AKTV2 has lost one of its finest and most talented producers. David, on arrival from Britain four years ago, started his career with the NZBC design section. His experience in Television with both Associated Rediffusion and the BBC stood him in good stead, however, and soon afterwards he became producer of Junior Magazine from Auckland. This programme was an exhausting one for David but he still managed to produce a different and original script every week. Within the framework of the children's programme David filmed what could be considered as classic in the Chaplinesque style. Charlie Donut became a firm favourite with his floppy moustache and scruffy dinner suit, as did Constable Bobbypin, that upholder of the law with a penchant for flowers. This fact was borne out by the many thousands of letters received from the junior set each week. In 1966 David was appointed film director for the Town and Around programme and it was from this full-time film directing that he went on to direct and produce Te Ao Hou (The New World) a filmed programme featuring Maori and European chi1dren's choirs in appropriate locations. The sensitivity and care that David lavished on this film-produced at short notice for an Asian Broadcasting festival of Television fi1m-will stand as a tribute to the outstanding talent he possessed in this field. After successfully launching On Camera last year, David went on to produce the Monday night Sportsroom. . . . . Technicians at the Waiatarua transmitter had an electrifying experience recently when lightning struck a fuel tank and earthed through a Post Office cable. Transmission was interrupted while a length of cable was replaced. One technician had a remarkable escape, however. Only moments before the lightning struck, he had been standing on the cable and was called away by a colleague.
The four-part Man Alive documentary on landlords and tenants, and a Roving Report on Canadian Prime Minister, Mr Trudeau, reawakened doubts about the quality of our own documentaries, particularly Compass. With a big team this year, it has so far failed to come up to the standard we expected, apart from the single on the life of Islanders in Auckland. Too often it stops short of driving home the moral of its story, as in the programme on airport development. Perhaps the makers of Compass should soak themselves in the Man Alive series on landlords and tenants, or Colin Morris's People in Conflict, a series not shown here but made by the BBC. In this, Colin Morris investigates actual personal problems of the direst sort, involving the viewer and getting an emotional reaction. Compass on the other hand seems frightened of jabbing in the needle . . . . Gerry Symmans has made a lively impact with Column Comment . . . . Popular announcer, Philip Sherry, is the proud father of a daughter . . . . NZBC had to do a hurried switch after accepting an invitation from the Defence Department to send a newsman on a five-Week tour of South-east Asia. Chosen to go was Lindsay McCallum (World View), news talks organiser, but then he was appointed public relations man to the Apple and Pear Board, and Graham Wear, northern editor, had to be rushed into the vacancy on the junket . . . .Nyree Dawn Porter is consolidating her TV reputation in British ITV's Never a Cross Word . . . . Lower Hutt duo Bill and Boyd are regulars on former
Seeker Athol Guy's Sydney Television show, which has been well received by viewers across the Tasman . . . . The brilliant script for the Evelyn Waugh trilogy Sword of Honor was written for Television by the late Giles Cooper, while direction was by equally prominent Donald McWhinnie . . . . Reaction to the current series of Softly Softly is mixed. Barlow appears to be developing megalomaniac tendencies. Like Patrick Wymark in the Power Game, Stratford Johns has grown to dominate and transcend the vehicle. What keeps the viewer coming back is the spectacle of Barlow (or Wilder) teetering on the brink of defeat, and bending the rules to Win, again . . . . The videotape of France v Australia clash screened here recently showed again the deficiencies of the NZBC in Televising rugby tests. The visual pattern of the Sydney match was always projected firmly on the screen, whereas the NZBC seems unable to give the perspective view that allows the pattern of the game to be clearly discerned.
Seems pretty definite that Town and Around reporter, Brian Edwards, will be joining the Compass team which is headed by Des Monaghan, former CHTV3 Town and Around producer who, says Edwards, taught him all he knows about TV journalism. A former lecturer in the modern languages department at Canterbury University, Edwards joined Town and Around a couple of years ago and has justly earned a reputation as a formidable interviewer. He has gone on record as saying that he has enjoyed his job but now wants to cover things in greater depth. Monaghan is the most likely man to afford him the opportunity. But whether Compass will be big enough to hold Edwards is another matter. His sort of talent commands big money in most places other than New Zealand . . . . Peter Lambert, who makes such a good job of producing Christchurch's On Camera, is currently working on a pilot programme for a pop music series which will be screened nationally if Lambert gets the nod. Frontman will be 3ZB's Australian disc jockey, Glen Roache, and auditioning of local artists has already started. Format will be five songs on each programme by city groups and singers as well as a song from a visiting artist or group. Looks like Lambert will be a busy boy if this series gels, for his well-put-together On Camera with Julie Cunningham must already take up most of his working week . . . . In marked contrast to his virtually unheralded arrival in the Town and Around producer's chair, Bute Hewes vacated it in a manner that could not possibly go unnoticed.
Attitude Stifles Progress, He Says-TV Chief Glad to Go, shouted the banner front page headlines above a picture of bearded Bute in this city's Saturday evening sports paper recently. The Hewes Story full of
beaut quotes such as,
Don't mistake me, Christchurch is a beautiful city, one of the finest garden cities. But the people seem to want to preserve it as a garden city of the mid-nineteenth century. They're so busy keeping it so that they don't have time to have fun. There is a whole generation here that doesn't seem to know what fun is trickled over to page three under another banner,
TV Chief Slates City. It certainly was a Bute story!
What began simply as a good turn for a friend has led to a new-and expensive-hobby for DNTV2 technical producer, Russell Garbutt. Russell is an avid skier, and while on a month-long skiing holiday recently he met up with an instructor from the Otago Aero Club, whose skis he agreed to bring back to town. The skis duly returned to the aero club, Russell was taken for a short flight, with the result that soon after he had booked in for a trial flight and has now begun the necessary training for a private pilot's licence. With this new interest (he is also a VW enthusiast and has a very well turned-out car to prove it) it looks as if Russell's spare time is going to be at a premium in future . . . . On further inquiry, we found that a number of DNTV2 staff members take a keen interest in flying, among them, senior production officer, Doug McCammon and senior cameraman, Martin Baines. Incidentally, Martin and his wife, Elizabeth, who is a technician here, will be taking leave of absence at the end of this year to visit Martin's home in Rhodesia . . . . Already departed from the local scene are presentation officer, Barry O'Brien and sports officer, Wayne Andrews. Wayne has been transferred to a new position, in Auckland, and Barry will try his luck in the Television field in Australia . . . TV and radio personality, Kevin Mills recently announced his engagement to fellow staff member, June Porter. June, who is wearing a sapphire and diamond engagement ring, says they plan to marry in January, at First Church. The two-part DNTV2 series, Stage and Studio, which features stars of the
Miss New Zealand Show provided a refreshingly different approach to a type of subject which seems to have been receiving a lot of attention in New Zealand recently. It was pleasing to see a more relaxed Colin Lehmann as front man for this series-a marked improvement on Note for Note, where, at times he seemed decidedly uncomfortable.