I saw him up close at a telethon.

Series about milk-loving Count Homogenised

Press, 3 May 1983, Page 11

A new 13-part children’s television series, “It Is I Count Homogenised,” produced by Kim Gabara in Christchurch, will start on Tuesday next week at 5 p.m. on One. The hero of this new Television New Zealand series, Count Homogenised (played by Russell Smith), is best described as relating to milk in the way Count Dracula relates to blood.

Count Homogenised’s fangs are not for puncturing veins but for punching holes in the foil tops of milk bottles. The Count is dressed all in white with a flowing cape, and his skin is an eerie, milky white, as one would expect of someone who exists solely on milk.

Count Homogenised has led a sheltered life and is quite naive (except in matters of milk). He is also extremely self-centered and lazy. But for all his faults he is a lovable rogue, says TVNZ.

The milk-loving Count’s ancestry is unknown, although he lays claim to many royal roots including a direct line to Baron Whipped Cream of Latvia. His more immediate history is better known — he first came to television screens in 1979 in the series “A Haunting We Will Go.” At that time he made regular appearances, and a general nuisance of himself, at the stately home of Major Montgomery Toom.

The Count has since moved to the city and is yet again being a nuisance — this time at the dairy of Douglas and Rhonda Dearsley. The Dearsleys’ dairy is unfortunately located at the end of a dead-end street and as a result customers are few and far between. The only regular is the Count, who is the one customer the ill-fated Dearsleys do not want. Rhonda finds the Count creepy and weird, and to Douglas, Count Homogenised can and does seem bent on ruining his life, business and sanity. Douglas Dearsley (played by Tony Wahren) is the last of the diehard optimists, only he would try to run a dairy at the end of a dead-end street. Douglas tries anything and everything to make his business a success, forever refusing to admit defeat.

Seeing opportunity at every turn, Douglas conjures up schemes and plans. Rhonda (played by Lynda Milligan) is Douglas Dearley’s wife, and a frustrated stage actress. She hardly ever gets a part in local amateur productions — because she cannot act.

On top of her acting frustrations, Rhonda must cope with being both near and far-sighted and with helping to run a dairy at the end of a dead-end street. She would like Douglas to sell the business — to anyone at any price. Living with the Dearsleys is their niece, Vicki (played by Juliet Dowling). She is a shrewd and bright girl, seeing through the confusion and antics of those around her. Confined to a wheelchair, Vicki is particularly interested in electronics and this can be a source of trouble for both the Count and the Dearsleys.

“It Is I Count Homogenised” was produced in association with the Milk Promotion Council. The author of the series, Grant Morris, has a wide background in television writing. He first started writing for “Radio Waves” and then went on to write the pilot episode of “Mortimer’s Patch.” He is also known for the television play, “Tough At The Bottom,” and several “Close To Home” episodes, in addition to being part of the team who put together the comedy lines for the Billy T. James Show. Morris has also written several radio plays including “Dead Line.” His more recent writing for television has included working as script writer with Keith Aberdein on TVNZ’s new drama series, “Inside Straight.”

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