From the New Zealand TV Weekly. September 18, 1967
Bryan Ashbridge is back to his first love, ballet, for two or three months but he has left a couple of Concert Time shows on hand featuring Heather Begg with the Auckland Symphonia. Bryan is on leave to supervise the Australian Ballet Company's production of La Fille mal Garde and will also be assisting with another in the repertoire, Ballet Imperial. Bryan, of course, was a former Royal Ballet, Covent Garden, principal and his wife (Dorothea Zaymes) was with the same company. She's gone across the Tasman with him. Should make quite a change for them both - for Bryan, from the Gardening session, and for Dorothea, from C'mon! choreography. . . . . The local advisory committees are not heard from much, but they usually come up with some sound comments after their quarterly meetings. Things they have asked for are more humorous programmes - but I hope this is not answered with a supply of unfunny British suburban shows- fewer clashes in timings between similar radio and television shows, religious programmes at a later hour, and better interviewing. Well, you can't take exception to that lot. . . . . The ever-busy Kevan Moore gave himself just two days to chop out four Cameras on Campus programmes, which is pretty fast going. They will be fairly much on the lines of last year's pilot, mixing professional pop-folk performers with University types. Artists include the Convairs (back from overseas), the Cambridge Three, Rusty Greaves, the Kini Quartet and Malcolm Price, an English import who has had TV experience in Britain. Musical direction was once again Jimmie Sloggett's department. . . . . Ten study groups have been having discussions locally on the Towards 2000 series. These are working through the University Extension, but many more folk have written in for background notes for home study. Suggests that there is definitely an urge to learn through television and maybe it's high time more was done to promote the enthusiasm. . . . . Hal Saunders returned to theatre work in Australia without waiting to see the successful result of his year-long battle to secure private commercial radio rights.
Gastronaut Graham Kerr dropped in to Wellington late in August for 24 hours. He had such a crowded schedule that NZBC chief producer, Roy Melford, had to arrange a breakfast appointment to talk about the new Entertaining with Kerr series that is to be made in November (not next month, as a Wellington morning daily suggested). The new series on the tentative plan may include programmes on food in the local scene, living off the land, how to lose weight and still eat dairy products, and international eating. Graham Kerr appeared in Irvine Lindsay's On Camera in a Lively interview with Mike Minehan, in which he disclosed that he is pining for the ordinary life, after high pressure commercial work in Sydney. Kerr says he is going to concentrate on his food career, and writing for leisure. He revealed that he has a TV play under way. . . . . Miike Minehan has been very much in the news, with a five-column portrait of himself and his new fiancee hitting the front page of Wellington's evening daily (which not so long ago used to pretend that TV did not exist). Mike is engaged to Lorayne Young, a Lower Hutt speech therapist, whom he first met when he interviewed her for a television programme. Mike, who began his career with broadcasting in Dunedin after completing his M.A. degree at Canterbury University, is the youngest son of Mr and Mrs W. S. Minehan, of Timaru. After their marriage, probably in the New Year, Mike plans to continue in television, but has some idea of going abroad for a while. . . . Still talking Minehan, his production of life at Scott Base revealed another facet of an interesting personality- which also shows out in his unusual hobby of parachuting. . . . . Compass has maintained a high standard under Ian Johnstone's guidance this year. Its special programme on the issues in the liquor licensing referendum and the poll on the length of the term of Parliament is a good example of the topicality it has managed to achieve. Its probe of the Indecent Publications Tribunal controversy was also handled skilfully. The Compass team is to have a short rest and then come back in October and run through till Christmas. . . . . NZBC has bought the 26-part Forsyte Saga, but has not yet set a date for the series to begin. Nyree Dawn Porter consolidated her reputation as a leading TV star in the series. But some critics found the series heavy going. It will be interesting to see how New Zealand viewers react. . . . . Much praise for the production Kava For a King, the NZBC's extended report on the Tongan coronation. It gave a realistic picture of life on the island kingdom.
Filming of CHTV3's first major drama, Game for Five Players, under the guidance of Chris Thomson, was completed late August and this Actors Workshop production should be on screen some time this month. Writer was Rosaline Goldring, wife of Channel 3's Town and Around Producer, Des Monaghan. It's not exactly a first for Mrs Monaghan, who is a research officer with CHTV3. She also wrote Tale of a Kite, filmed in Christchurch a year or so ago. Game for Five Players is apparently fairly topical, at least as far as Christchurch is concerned at present! It deals with restless and sometimes violent young people. . . . . Well-known on TV for his cricket commentaries, as well as others, and opinions on a wealth of subjects, the Rev. Bob Lowe involuntarily made news in Christchurch, about the same time as the Actors Workshop company was hard at it, when one of his popular Fendalton parish dances for young people was gate-crashed by unruly teenagers and there was not much time lost in getting him in front of the camera to talk about it. His comments have given rise to some sharply divided opinions, but one cannot possibly doubt his sincerity. . . . . On much the same subject, same week was the Rev. E. Noffs of the Wayside Chapel in Sydney's King's Cross. In Town and Around he was able to enlighten viewers about hippies and certainly proved to be a good advocate for modern and sometimes rather frightening youth. . . . . These snippets and some others on Town and Around recently have underlined the fact that producer Monaghan, with front man Bernard Smyth, is successfully using a journalistic approach and Town and Around is becoming a fairly good barometer as far as the tempo of the city is concerned. . . Incidentally, at time of writing the title of Dame Ngaio Marsh's Actors Workshop mystery was still a mystery. It's the only one of the five unnamed, and it's interesting to hear that chief producer Brian Bell collaborated with the famous Christchurch authoress on this play. . . . . Interesting to note that Mr J. G. Barnes, Dunedin Chairman of the NZBC's Southern Regional Programme Advisory Committee, not in agreement with Sir Walter Nash on the question of violence in TV programmes. Surely here is a case where some deep research might produce facts. Viewers and the public generally are constantly bombarded with opinions, most of which are conflicting, and not only on the question of violence in entertainment. . . . . Also from Mr Barnes: the committee considers there's too much soccer and not enough rugby on TV, particularly on Sunday afternoons. With the exception of the New Zealand Rugby Football Union, most viewers are aware of that. If Lancaster Park gates this season can be taken as a true indication of local interest in rugby, the Canterbury union certainly would not have lost much if all Saturday main games had, been telecast.
DNTV2 announcer, Tui Uru, is a very surprising person indeed. One would expect her to have a large number of friends. She has, but it is rather startling to learn that she is able to correspond with many of them in their own languages. Tui studied German, Italian and Spanish during her travels overseas. While abroad, she also studied singing with Roy Henderson who taught such well-known figures as Dawson Freer and Kathleen Ferrier, and she is a Licentiate of the Royal School of Music. Readers may have heard her taking part in musical programmes on national radio stations. However, her ability is by no means limited to New Zealand radio. In 1955, Tui sang at the Sydney Eisteddfod, where she was awarded 11 first places and two seconds. She still holds this amazing record. Tui Uru was born in Wellington but she has lived mainly in Christchurch, where she was educated. Her mother was born in Albury, Australia, and her father was the late Henare Whakatau Uru, former Member of Parliament for Southern Maori. When not busy with her careers as a television personality and a singer, Tui likes to read and cook-Continental dishes for preference. . . . . The past few weeks have seen several changes in the announcing staff at DNTV2 but other departments have been welcoming new staff too. The latest to arrive is Mr Leo Jervis, who-comes to Dunedin from CHTV3. Mr Jervis will take over the position of programme supervisor.