From the New Zealand TV Weekly. July 14, 1969
As far as I can discover, the C'mon! series is not being offered to Australian television. Why? If it is good enough to have been the basis for a widely praised tourist promotion deal, including Television time, surely it is a potential export product. The NZBC does not seem to have been over-efficient in its endeavours to find overseas markets for the local product. Maybe it is time that a deal was made with contract producers which would offer a bread-and-butter return for series from the NZBC and leave them free to market their own shows abroad . . . . Rumours around that the NZBC is being pressured to give a guarantee of a substantial increase in time devoted to homegrown shows, music and writing. This would include TV, radio and- even commercials. I've heard that a target of 25 percent is aimed at in all departments . . . . Why can't the films we see on Telly have their original year of release included in their programme listings? It is done generally overseas and the information is readily available . . . . Mildly surprising to see Jimmy Sloggett handing in his notice as C'mon! arranger and being replaced by Bernie Allen . . . . l understand that Eden Kane - here recently with Australian Maggie Jodrell - is the brother of Where Do You Go To hit singer Peter Sarstedt . . . . Nomination for the latest prize in the Trash Stakes is The Good Guys series. Was it tossed in as a make-weight in a package deal? . . . . The Little Singers of Mt Roskill have been quiet for a time but their new disc, Little Red Donkey, should guarantee them a Telly spot and a lot of recording requests. Apart from family trade, it sounds like a single which could easily hit the charts . . . . How banal can the panel comments get in Studio One? They add to the oddly amateurish sound and feeling of the series, which really shouldn't look or feel that way. Sometimes it is surprising that the panel even picks up the lyrics of the songs with the rather blurred musical balance. And it was probably inevitable that sooner or later Max Cryer would pop up as a panel guest.
Popular Irvine Lindsay had many well-wishers when she was married to David Yardley, a reporter with the NZBC news staff, at St John's in Wellington. Irvine chose a short cream wool dress and a very smart head-dress trimmed with feathers to set off her dark beauty, and in our view she is un-doubtedly the NZBC's Bride of the Year. She was however, only briefly absent from her On Camera duties, with which she intends to continue. She had finished her stint as a judge with Studio One the same week as her marriage . . . . Catherine Dowling, who came from Dunedin to become one of WNTV1's most outstanding. continuity announcers, is leaving the NZBC to join the New Zealand Dairy Board on the public relations staff. Cathy was also a great success with Town and Around, and it is to be hoped that the NZBC will find some avenue in the future to employ her talent on a freelance basis . . . . A new BBC thriller Breaking Point, written by the leading English writer Victor Canning, will come on screen within a month or two. Filmed in five parts it features William Russell (well known from Dr Who). It is produced by Alan Bromly . . . . The NZBC came in for some criticism for its rather scanty treatment of the announcement by the New Zealand Meat Board of its plans for Expo 70 at Osaka. The Meat Board is arranging a fabulous set-up to display New Zealand food, and the entire Cabinet turned out to hear of the plans. But all the NZBC could do in the Television news was to screen a rather sketchy interview with the architect and show one or two of the designs for the clothes that New Zealand girls waitressing in the restaurant will wear. Let's hope that the NZBC, which is arranging the entertainment for New Zealand's pavilion at Expo, can come up with a similar range of imaginative plans . . . . Cilla Black in her Sunday night show impressed as a really warm personality, and the show itself had pace and style . . . . The NZBC is expected to take an early opportunity of screening the film of the Royal Family, made by documentary man Richard Cawston, which has created so much comment abroad
Town and Around broke new ground recently when the entire Thursday night programme was devoted to a discussion on the controversial All Black tour of South Africa, and Friday night's Teletopic was given over to the same subject. On the Thursday night, Brigadier J. T. Burrows was for the tour and Mr F. H. T. Thompson was against it, with John Burn, who handles Teletopic in the chair. Viewers who anticipated fireworks must have been disappointed, for the views expressed were, in the weather forecaster's language, moderate to mild. The most interesting feaure of the following night's Teletopic was that,with two exceptions, the telephone callers who put questions to Brigadier Burrows and Mr Thompson were women - and exceptionally well-spoken ones at that. These two Town and Around efforts might easily have left viewers with the false impression that this South African tour is a dying issue for, as a TV forum, they did not engender much heat . . . The
Do not adjust your set caption appeared on Christchurch viewers' screens with rather monotonous regularity recently and not because of any local technical hitches. Studio One and Gallery, both Wellington productions, and ones that are must viewing in many Canterbury homes, were the culprits, the sound being atrocious. As far as Studio One was concerned, this fault led to a raw deal for contestants competing in a talent quest judged by viewers, while Gallery was a farce because viewers had no chance of following the line of questioning and responses of three people interviewed. A short-coming of this nature might be more excusable if it emanated from anywhere but Wellington which is, reputedly, the best equipped channel in the country . . . . That Troubleshooters off-shore power-boat racing story held more than usual interest for Christchurch viewers for the very good reason that it featured local talent. Barry Cookson, who played the part of Pearsall, is a former Christchurch radio announcer who acted with the Canterbury Repertory Society, while the Italian mechanic, Marinetti, was Alan Rowe, also Christchurch born and bred . . . . Bernard Smyth has apparently struck the right note with his Column Comment. Early in June it was announced that his contract, if that is what you call it, had been extended from six to ten programmes.
The recent heavy falls of snow in Otago brought some amusing situations and some difficulties, too, for NZBC staff in the area. Among the latter was the discovery, the morning after the first heavy fall, that the announcer rostered to conduct the 4ZB Breakfast Session was unable to reach the studios as thick coatings of snow made roads impassable. Although it is a radio matter and not connected with Television, we feel credit must be given both to Doug Chave, of the technical staff, who kept the programme going so smoothly until Peter Dallas was able to reach the studios about 7.15 a.m., and to Kelvin Gardiner, of the newsroom, who took care of the hourly news bulletins when it was found that Noel Robson was also snowbound, at home . . . . Kelvin was also heard later in the major TV news bulletin when he was among the reporters who braved the elements to bring in reports on weather conditions from around the province . . . . DNTV2 was really on the ball when it came to presenting the 7.30 p.m. news. Because Dunedin Airport had been closed all day, it had been impossible for the usual consignment of news film to reach the city. The result was a very smooth link with CHTV3 for all but the local news . . . . Naturally enough, this set us to wondering why the two channels shouldn't link every night, and thereby save the expense of flying film down here. We learned, however that this is impractical-at present as so much makeshift equipment has to be used. By the end of the year, though, something of a more permanent nature should be in use . . . . On the lighter side, NZBC staff claimed the honour of erecting the first snowman on the now-vacant Stock Exchange Building site. Standing just a few feet away from the plaque marking the spot where Dunedin's first settlers stepped ashore, the green-faced snowman bore a cardboard sign reading:
To the Dunedin Public. 1969. 121 years later the first snowman made his appearance on this spot. A memorable occasion indeed!